Once upon a time, some good friends and I went off eating sugar for four months straight. FOUR months, people! January through May, which includes Easter. I can’t even last four days anymore, which seems to stem from a growing, unadulterated addiction to chocolate. I don’t believe chocolate is the food of the devil (although, why is the best thing in the world called Devil’s Food cake?), but there are a few main reasons why I’m deeply convicted to start a three-month sugar fast starting today.

11741931_1005359919497409_785399023_n-001
Chocolate fondue fountain at work.
11719909_1005359932830741_1549462299_n-001
Dandelion Chocolate in SF.
11717090_1005359926164075_1774424365_n-001
… specializing in hot chocolate drinks. Smells like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Inflammation. Due to increased chronic pain (tension headaches, back pain, digestive problems), I’m hoping to eliminate as many inflammatory foods as possible. Gluten. Dairy. Processed sugars. Those are the big ones.

Hormonal acne. I’ve always struggled with the nasty beast that is acne. But many continue to fight it through their adult years too because of a correlation between hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, or a number of other factors. I figure cutting out hormone-infused foods like dairy, as well as trigger foods like chocolate and general processed sugars, might help even a little.

Financial stewardship. I find that I spend so much more of my precious paycheck when I give into stupid cravings. Here’s to building up that almost non-existent retirement fund.

Self-discipline. God declares our body a temple and desires that we exercise self-control in everything we put in it. That’s why it’s a fruit of the spirit. I find that going on sugar-fasts or similar food-centric self denials are fantastic ways to practice this spiritual discipline.

Care to join me? No, I’m not claiming a specific diet like Paleo or Vegan or some strange hybrid of the two (Pegan); but I’m going to tailor my dietary needs to my specific health challenges and convictions at the moment. After all, if you give someone a list of what they absolutely can or cannot eat, what happens? 

“Don’t eat the apple, Eve…”

“Okay!”

And the rest is history.

ButI am going cold turkey when it comes to sugar just to give myself the kick in the pants needed to get this cleanse started. I’ll be more lenient with the other foods as needed, although my goal is to continue leaving them out of my body like I did back when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease for a grand total of one week. I’m also giving myself a specific time frame (October 27th, the birthday of my favorite mom in the whole wide world) that’s long enough to cleanse my system but also provide a light at the end of the very dark and non-sweetened tunnel.

One more thing.

I find that if you plan to abstain from something pleasurable (Trader Joe’s dark chocolate pound bar, I’m looking at you), you’re going to want to replace it with something else enjoyable but healthy, so that you have a positive association with the experience instead of a sucky one (<— notice the technical term there). When those relentless cravings come, try drinking some refreshing green tea, call or text your best friend for a distraction (just don’t tell them that’s what it is), or blast one of your favorite songs and have a dance party until the craving passes. I’m a firm believer in the last one.

Now, here’s how Dictionary.com defines the word sober: 1) “free from excess, extravagance, or exaggeration” 2) “showing self-control” 3) “marked by seriousness, gravity, solemnity.”

Pretty admirable virtues, I’ll say. So you can see that being sober doesn’t just relate to joining AA – it means being “sober-minded, watchful” because “your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9). AMEN – said every woman who’s ever had PMS. 

Convinced yet? If you also have good intentions of avoiding certain foods, marked by seriousness and solemnity, then follow along on Instagram (bailey_lorenzo) or on this blog and share about your own journey of self-control. At least until October. Thanks for reading, friends – here’s to three months of cleansing and developing good, healthy habits!

#sober’tilOctober