I’m halfway through Sugar Fast by Wendy Speake, a 40 day devotional that calls for a 40 day fast from sugar. I know it sounds like a weird diet book, but it’s more than that.
Speake coauthored her first book – Triggers – which is a book encouraging mothers to look at circumstances and physical and spiritual triggers that set off a loss of temper, patience, calm. It’s a helpful book.
Sugar Fast is the same thing but more niche. It’s for that time you hole up in your room with a bowl of ice cream instead of just yourself and your fear/grief/loneliness/whathaveyou and the Lord. It’s for those days you are trusting your afternoon coffee drink to get you through your day instead of the Lord. Basically this book is about tearing down idols and strongholds and crutches – sugar is a good thing, but it becomes something bad when it’s being used to numb.
Her rules are really left up to the reader – at the bare minimum, cut out all processed sugar (desserts, donuts, sodas, etc) though she mentions some take it farther and cut out all carbs for a sort of Keto diet and some also cut out alcohol.
The focus of this book is spiritual practice, not weight loss, so I cut out all desserts, sugary foods, sodas/sugar drinks, and alcohol. 20ish days in (I lost count because I missed reading the devotional a few days) and it’s been so easy to give it up that I’ve actually lost count on what day I’m on.
Not easy exactly as much as not worth going back to. Before, I was using sugar to keep my energy up because the baby doesn’t sleep well and I was tired. Then it’d wear off and I’d get grumpy so I’d have more sugar to help me stay positive. Then I’d need more when I felt like a bad mom for being grumpy.. you get the picture.
After the first week without sugar, running instead to my bible and prayer for my help, I noticed my moods have been much more even, and amazingly I have even had enough energy for the day when I didn’t think it was possible to have enough for the hour.
It has been good for my health too— having my 5th and 6th pregnancies only 6 months apart, the most high stress 6 months of my life, my body has been through the ringer. Weight loss would be great but I feel like even more than that my body needs healing as much as my grieving soul does.
Spiritual disciplines like fasting can Sound legalistic but the body Is a part of ourselves, who we are, we are not just soul Or mind – no one knows that so well as a mother who has buried the sweet little body she carried and loved so much. Yes Kit’s soul is Alive with Christ, but oh how I long for and miss her broken little body!
spiritual disciplines that involve the body are not necessarily legalistically restrictive as perhaps as much a gift to us as Sabbath is.
I think of it in that way – this Fast is a sabbath for my body, who has done such very hard work bringing 6 babies into the world. Imperfect, yes, not so instagrammable by worldly standards, but my body has done Holy work, and I’ve entered into this sugar Fast not with the idea of punishing my body but in cleansing it.
So overall yes I recommend this book. The devotionals can be cheesy but are overall helpful with keeping me focused on the purpose of the fast, and can be good support on days where it is harder to fast.
I’ve got 20 days to go but have a sneaking suspicion I may just keep going – let me know if you want to join in.