A year ago today, Eric and I started a month-long sugar fast. In fact, it was not only sugar that we fasted – we also fasted anything with yeast, dairy, and coffee (among other items from which we were abstaining – it was part of the plan we were following). Eric researched the diet and thought that it was something good for us to do for our health. We agreed to wait until after the holidays to begin and I didn’t think it would be so bad. After all, I can do anything for a month… just 30 days… right?
January 2011 was one of the longest months of my life, bar none. I had no idea how much I depended on sugar and yeast. Those first few days were the worst, but the irritability and dreams lasted for most of the month. The first time I went to Wal-Mart while on the fast, I spotted a man rounding a corner with a loaf of bread and I visualized myself tackling him and running off with it. A loaf… of whole wheat bread… really? This is when I knew I was a carbohydrate, sugar, and processed food addict!
As silly as it sounds, this month tested my marriage more than my culinary resolve. If there was ever resentment flowing through my veins, it reared its ugly head during the month of January 2011. More nights than not, I dreamed of sugar, and I often dreamed about being mad at Eric. I could fake it well during the day, but at night while I was asleep, my fury raged. It’s a wonder I did not beat him in his sleep.
My most vivid dream was of a warehouse full of candy. The candy was vividly colored, covered several thousand square feet, and all of it was free! They even provided sacks, not wimpy bags – SACKS to fill full of candy. Once the shock wore off, I ran and began stuffing my bags full of glorious candy. Just as I finished filling my bags, I raced to the door just as Eric came walking into the building. When I saw him, my face and entire being fell and, in my dream, he made me give back all of my candy. It was clear – my body was demanding the junk to which it was so accustomed and I was deeply angry at Eric for putting me through this agony.
Well, February 3rd came and I more than made up for my sacrifice. During the fast month, I had been so busy feeling sorry for myself and being mad at Eric that I did not give proper respect to the good the fast was doing for me. My skin and eyes were clearer. My thoughts were clearer (as displayed in my vividly colored dreams) and I’d lost twenty pounds. I am thankful that I can honestly say that I did not ever cheat during that month.
There were days that I was even tempted to get out a bag of sugar and eat some. The only sugar left in the house was actual white refined sugar. The only thing that kept me strong was my commitment to Eric and dreading having to admit that I went against his wishes for our family. He did not force me to do this plan, but he asked me to follow him as he attempted to improve our corporate health.
At times in marriage, your future spouse may ask you to do something hard. It may seem pointless and more difficult than it’s worth. The only advice I can give is to try it (unless it is obviously damaging to your health or immoral/illegal) and give a little. Maybe it’s a short-term fast or juicing regiment. Yes, it may sound awful, but it can have great benefits for your health. Maybe he or she wants to take a few dance lessons. You never know, you might come to like them and isn’t making him or her genuinely smile thanks enough? Maybe your partner just wants a thirty minute walk after dinner a few nights a week. If so, consider it. The walk will improve your health and the time will improve your relationship.
Do I ever want to go through that month again? No! Am I sorry I did it? No, I’m not. It did improve our health and it showed me that I’m stronger than I sometimes want to believe. Most of all, I did it for Eric and I don’t regret shopping and cooking foods that he needed. I’m sure this won’t be the last thing he asks me to do that I dread… and I’m sure it’s not the last thing he’ll ask me to do that will be good for me.
If God blesses you with a good spouse, let him or her suggest life changes that will benefit you both.
What seemingly crazy idea has your beloved asked you to do with him or her that turned out for your benefit? Are you open to trying?