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Giving Up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
January 3, 2022 5:00 am

Giving Up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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January 3, 2022 5:00 am

Wendy Speake explains how she developed a closer relationship with God after overcoming her sugar addiction which she had been turning to for comfort in the face of life's difficulties, and challenges listeners to pursue spiritual transformation by overcoming their own addictions. Jim Daly's wife, Jean, joins the conversation to share her personal experiences.

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Cookies like Oreos and stuff like those are amazing and there's really get to like having that Satan have milk and cookies like a couple of them totally covered fighter. I can always go for like ship stuff gadgets.

Remember well if you like most people, most of us during the holidays you ate a lot more cookies, popcorn and other junk food in normal and today on Focus on the Family were going to revisit a best of 2021 program that has some great ideas for fresh start related to food as we begin this new year your hostess focus presidents and health advocate Jim Daly John.

You slip that will help you wait a second or pay a survey found that through the most common New Year's resolutions are to eat healthier and lose weight heavy major. I don't make resolution. I think I've done that a few times, but I don't know that I stuck with the talk about that later. You know they are great goals indiscretions. I think it's important to consider that relationship that we have with God and what we have with food and what we need to do to commit to become closer to him and maybe not as close to the Oreos. That's the way to go.

There's a reminder in the Old Testament that if we draw near to God, he will draw near to us and that's the goal of our discussion today, we often focus on marriage and parenting John, but today it is about food and diet, and those things I'm always uncomfortable. Saul handed out throughout the conversation with a very popular guest coming back to us today. Wendy speak who is an author and speaker in a wife and mom of three boys and will be talking about her great book.

The 40 day sugar fast were physical detox meets spiritual transformation and we have copies of that here the link is in the episode notes or give us a call and Jim were always happy to have your wife Jean with us as well and he or she is here she is, and I want to say welcome to both of you thank you thank you so much. I'm happy to be here.

Always a pleasure. Now I want to make sure people understand you and I did not invite you to set me up a little bit.

Jean will think what did you say that I need intervention is one every everybody was. It was, not my direction that Jean should join I'm really glad you're here Catherine I'm glad you thought of as the producer. But you know let's get into it.

You had the revelation Wendy one day that you were a bona fide sugar addict. Now everybody except the drivers put your hand up if you identify with the sugar addiction that compels and grabs this culture mean it's amazing how you come to that realization.

And what happened when you posted about it online. Wendy great question and I think it's a great place to start. I love you said usually that we are here talking about hunting and today were talking about really more a help topic to tell you that when I posted that my name is Wendy and I'm a sugar addict.

I wrote it to the mom's and they all responded en masse me to my name is Jenny. My name is Susan, my name… You fill in the blank on the sugar addict.

You and I have been here with you guys before, and we talked about angry reactionary parenting. It was in a group like that where I said what would happen if we set down sugar for 40 days. Physiologically, what would happen when it make us calm her kinder, more consistently like it, maybe even more Christlike.

But instead of just being a shaky detox. Could it be a spiritual fast and that's where it started, and hundreds of people and then thousands of people started doing it by the second year we had thousands of people by I think the fifth year we had 15, 20,000 people fasting with us and that now we have a resource. The 40 day sugar fast and that's what were her talking about that you can choose any time of the year. You don't have to wait for me leading an online group fast from sugar.

In order to feast on Christ to stop turning to sugar highs to get us through our hard days but start turning to the most that's that's a fair point. Some people might think this is a little silly talking about sugar course. I have sugar in my coffee or I have sugar this where that with but our culture are dietary culture is just dripping with sugars and yes sugar and everything to check on everything people always want to know yet but what exactly my fasting from and because it is a fast and it's not a diet you take it to the Lord's sake. I know there's a stronghold in my life and that's I love that word stronghold God said so clearly to us throughout the Scriptures, stronghold run into me when you're having a hard day with your kids run into me when there are struggles in your life and I will keep you safe and I will get you through this battle and when we turn to anything to get us through our days, that isn't Christ and return to it repeatedly often ends up as a stronghold, so I hear people say yes I've got a sugar addiction.

It's a stronghold in my life to get to that, Jean.

You have a couple stories and I think that's why Catherine thought it be great to have you hear the stories of the second Wendy you advocate for complete fast from sugar really really well. Just want to complete fast from sugar. There are people that have been ingesting sugar as their think about that that pyramid that we all saw in history class, not history class nutrition class science class when we were and what was it sixth grade and you got that fruit and vegetables and the meat and cheeses and then at the top of the pyramid you have, that the facts in the sugars right right and then we flipped our pyramid and we got we wake up and we have a leftover brownie with our highly sugar latte and then we miss lunch, but we have some leftovers again of the whatever treats our kids had for you know their snack and then for dinner, but we have something sort of healthy but we put the kids down for the night and we have a bowl of ice cream just really need a reward for making it through another hard day energy this terrible thing. Sugar is the problem sings a very common thing that we can start to use to reset. Yes, you know, never asked us for a sugar sacrifice does for a living sacrifice, and so I think sugar is one of those things getting in the way of living life for Christ were so bound up either sugar is affecting us physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually or distracted about living our life for Christ because all we can think about is that next thing that we want to get us through our appetite is our God and God being God and I so appreciate.

I mean, I have been reading quite a bit about the impact sugar has on your body.

It's really poison to your body. I don't know why that is so good. The worst thing you could ingest, but it's true and the component about that emotional eating injuring them to come to you in just a second, because I want your perspective on the Wendy. How did that start few that emotional connection to sweets. Well, I think it started way back when I was a kid out and I would get my two dollar allowance on Friday and I hop on my little pink bicycle with a wicker basket in the front night. I did my friend Carrie's house and pick her up and she hop on her scooter and we go down to the corner liquor store and we go in you to help some of the stories they ring like a ballot is like I can hear it in my memory. So clearly, and I'd I grab all the candies on the gob stoppers on the now and later that no lemon drop all at whatever two dollars could find.

We go back to Carrie's house in Wheaton. Dan right and down.

I was also a latchkey kid.

My parents divorced when I was very young and I would come home as I was growing up to an empty house and I was very well loved. I'm not blaming my parents divorce. I'm just telling a story and my mom sometimes had in the back of the fridge. One of those Betty Crocker and vanilla icing.

You now, sometimes for dessert, spread it on a graham cracker something that I would eat it straight out of the can. When I was by myself. I just find whatever was there and I would eat it and filled the emptiness even before I knew there was some nests it just filled the space and I felt happy and you must know there's an opening really is when we have something there and for adults and we see how it affects our kids but is it possible moms and dads that it's affecting us negatively as well points to addiction Jean how are you related to this one comes with the emotional connection beating wide definitely relate to this sin.

I can think of an example when our boys were younger and Jim was traveling I would put them to bed, grab some chocolate and sit down in front of the computer and do email and this was happening so consistently. I finally recognized this was an unhealthy pattern you know and really started asking myself why, why am I doing some why do I need the chocolate every time and was able to process it and find some healthier alternatives to that which is coming that's what your book addresses. That's exactly what your book is stuck were not looking for alternatives that are healthy food options were talking about crowding out the sugar by ingesting, consuming, gobbling out more of enjoying God's presence in our lives. Turning to his sweet and satisfying word and on is just been so cool because a diet change of body will change your eating, you change your health will even change some of your behaviors and your emotions but fast change your whole life and is really powerful when you die examine a crowd out that sugar with more healthy food options but when you fast you say on the in crowd out when I'm running to what I'm turning to turning to Christ. Wendy explained in the book.

Use the analogy of a candy cane and how that connects to sweets the dependence in the wrong direction. I think your getting there right now, but what was the candycane analogy candidates who doesn't love candycane.

We just made.

I don't like them that much. I know a lot of people that love the candycane creamer for their coffee here sugar that years sugar liquid sugar to sweeten the coffee. So now that we broaden the temptation of the candycane you candycane really a lot of vessel teach it to my children unite shaped like a shepherds staff right. It's also it's shaped like a cane and if you lean on the cane sugar to get you through your day's it's not to be able to sustain you but God invites us to meet your heavy laden threatened you lean on me and I will get you through. I will give you rest. I will get you across the finish line, not only into the eternal glory but through your days. Yes it come to be cast your cares and your anxiety upon me, and I'll get you through.

And when we turn to something else to get us through our days. It just doesn't work today on Focus on the Family. Her guests are Wendy speak Jean Bailey and I were talking about Wendy's book the 40 day sugar fast were physical detox meets spiritual transformation and will encourage you to get your copy to stop by the episode notes for more money – both of you.

Also you Wendy, but in our society is very accepted, even encouraged for women to become obsessed with healthy eating and weight loss course if anything's taken to an extreme becomes unhealthy even healthiness and I really want to touch on that GNU you had that experience in college were eating correctly the cut became the thing for you describe what absolutely. There was a time during college where I was at least borderline anorexic and then the little after that struggled for a short time with bulimia, and two things that really stand out to me. Even today about that was one how affirming society is to our rail thin body mean it is. What did that sound like what are people so you know you lost the way you look great and I I knew it I i.e. at that time I was younger, I'd I knew I looked good and that very affirming but also the what's really frightening is the amount of control I felt and how powerful that will not bizarre and frightening aspect of it that I could control my body so much that I could control even hunger. And that's so unhealthy that when life feels out of control and you need to experience some control. It's a very, very typical, and struggle for women especially, but even for young men in this generation. I'm seeing that anorexia is a response to feeling out of control and the need to be in control even though I would stay for at least a decade after that. Even though my body was getting healthier that I realized whether I was rail thin, her or healthy looking. We still obsessing about what I was eating what it was going to eat what I wasn't eating and coming to the realization that is not God's best for us to be obsessing there worried about what we look like me a few years of leading this online 40 day sugar fast to stop feeling stressed about this one thing I never talk about food during the 40 days we don't talk about food and I don't give them a to do what you don't list. I don't tell them what to eat, what not to eat we don't go from a food fixation sugar fixation to a sugar-free fixation.

We fix our eyes on Christ because he's in only one that can fix things and so that really is what is the difference between a diet and a fast as we are fixing our eyes on him and not healthy eating comments. I appreciate that and you don't.

Wendy Jim mentioned about this obsession with healthy and I had a daughter who for Susan was. She was fixated on healthy and the doctor finally said you're not here program because you are really underweight and she was startled because she's like, but I'm healthy. I'm eating well and in fact she just starved her mind and was making bad decisions. How do we avoid that with regard to any food, sugar, or otherwise, you know, I feel like doing a little role reversal here. John Pease I would love to take a moment to pitch calling and right now if you have a left line that you can tell that they are struggling with an eating disorder or if you yourself know that you're struggling with an eating disorder and you need some wise biblical counsel, take a moment John's gonna drop all the info so are you going to tell you what that number is later, and however I actually just had a conversation with a friend of mine who has been on the admin team and she said Wendy, my daughter is has been diagnosed with anorexia and she's back home with us and she's getting healthy.

I don't know if I'll be able to do the sugar fast this year, meaning lead it with me and I said I actually suggest that you don't because people who have struggled with taking things in a very strong way out of their diet for a season to practice control might not need that example in front even if you're doing it for the right reasons so you know there's a lot of psychology was a really interesting season for us and I did not know that there's an ortho Alexia this obsession with being super healthy become more dangerous. Let me go back to that snacking and feasting on God's word mentioned this couple times now but I wanted to really put an emphasis like this on when you have that craving your suggesting turn to God. Maybe read his word.

I want to be really clear so people better hearing that is a behavioral pattern that when I want to sit down. What Jean was doing with the boys to bed gyms on the road I can do my emails.

Oh, but have a chocolate with doing emails, treat, and its reward. I worked hard today go to roll a dry dictation take that example in the what's a Christ centered way to meet that craving. I think once you recognize that your turning to sugar for comfort or reward or companionship or to heal and unite decades old wound. I feel neglected today. I don't feel affirmed. Today I feel ugly today and so I make myself feel good and ugly at the same time. I mean it's really a deep deep hurting place that a lot of people eat from. But when you start recognizing it and you start saying, Lord, in those moments. I want to turn to you then. I've heard people say that during times of fasting, their hunger pangs become like church bells calling them to pray and so I say to people in your fasting. This is just taking out sugar and replacing it with healthy food yourself get hungry because food issues really is a hunger problem but it's not hunger. Like a hungry and eating the wrong thing is we have misplaced hunger.

We are turning to food, to meet our deepest needs.

Whether it's companionship that has been traveling or loneliness or heartbreak. So let us turn to him with all of those emotions.

What are your triggers for why your turning to food, you can answer that better than I can. And when you recognize those times. I oftentimes my biggest triggers our happiness. All my kids are all home all week at someone's birthday.

All we did well you know it was bigger cake baking love on you. Let's make cookies and and we celebrate with sugar okay how can I do that in a way that will help us to remain physically, emotionally, even relationally healthy and let's make some different changes and during the sugar fast is a great time to pinpoint why am I have a feeling that strong urge to turn to that age-old thing that I've always turn to some. I was in a seven years old on my little pink bike. What am I metaphorically running to sugar for right now pedaling to sugar for, and then making some different habits in the sugar fast. There's a story I tell her one day I put my Bible on my cake platter and it's a reminder for me there that I don't need to turn to food as much as I need to turn to my sweet Savior moms listening because I know that's really the lion share of this audience. What I found is that sugar doesn't make me sweet, not Christ us. And so what am I going to do if I really say I want to stop yelling at my kids. I want to stop acting emotionally when they act emotionally. I want to stop melting down when they knelt down okay some practical things you can do and really this practical things as more time in God's word last time in your pantry, you will know if you talk you is you're talking about those crutches those things that you lean into sugar for sure going. Maybe I'm missing the mark just like the left side there's nothing I'm not seeing anything underline the fact that the second part pretty good but my missing is no. I think you also man and I so I and I'm not making a comment about madness things I'm talking about. I think that men turn to food for a couple of reasons. One is just a fun part of their day right is all I love a good meal but also theories dopamine release and that you do feel good at the end of the day. I know that my husband tends to when he struggling with work or relationships. He'll even say to me I just need a win. That's interesting and sometimes that means that he's in his garage working on a car that to him as a win or by getting right order because you couldn't get right in the screw bulb on the right will come in and just start looking for something to eat and is looking for a win so aware or unaware it's part of us like the windows were wrapping up here speak to the person is tried to connect with God around this area, but struggles to feel like God is listening.

It's not connecting for them, for whatever reason. What would you say to the person that feels that distance would love to turn to Christ, but they're not getting that dopamine hit that way missing there and are continually beating themselves up as her going back to know you something that shouldn't be to get the comfort rather than if you are convicted, whether in this conversation or you have been for years and years, your turning to sugar too often and for the wrong reasons. Matthew chapter 6 God invites us. Jesus invites us seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these other things that are concerning you today and there with you to take care of those two.

I'm in the midst of those struggles but if you go to meet those needs.

First, just like seeking me first will crowd out those struggles going to those struggles first will crowd out the we know that God's word says with Christ. These things are possible. So if you said it's not possible that's diet with you say I lack self-control. I'm saying you don't need self-control you got control and that's the difference between a diet of fast if diets have not worked for you. You guys were joking at the beginning about having revelation I want to encourage you don't make a resolution medical revolution invite God to do something revolutionary new in your life during these 40 days that I can't do it God so you asked me speak to the person can't do it. This tried and failed to do it do it and that's the difference between the diet that you fail in the fast that is all about spending time putting your full attention leaning your full weight not on the sugarcane not on the candy cane but on the shepherd's staff and on the shepherd throw your anxiety throw your full weight upon me, and help your Bible and your kick. I will so good. Thank you for what the Lord is shown you're putting it into this form. Sugar fast in the book that goes along with the I really want to encourage you to get a copy of the book and you get that through Focus on the Family make a donation of any amount and will say thank you by sending it along if you can afford will find a way to cover the cost of that on our end. So just get in touch with us and will give it to you and Jean thank you thanks for being here. Thanks for the vulnerability about those college years than what you went through and when did the same for you in terms of uniform women that this is a very tender area is so wrapped up in image and what the world just get there so you will one. You don't have to rely on our identities in Christ return to the listener, I think, and I hope what you've heard, here's that's ground-floor and we talk about that a lot. We can certainly make your family perform better be a better parent will give you lots of tools to do that but if you don't know the author of the family. We kind of have we missed the mark and we always want to start right there about 800 people to accept Christ through Focus on the Family over 300,000 people last years of Focus on the Family was the instrument God used to bring them to Christ is pretty amazing that one down you know we never really we never give it that much thought. It's kind of a byproduct.

We want to be more intentional in this year to say start their start with your relationship with Christ and in doing so, so many things you talking about. Wendy will begin the lineup you know that's the beauty of it and I want to encourage your callers get a hold of us. Let's talk about that first where you're at with God and then in addition, about how you can improve your situation emotionally, spiritually in every way with Wendy's great book. The 40 day Sugar fast and if you can give a gift of any amount to focus today I want to send you a copy of the 40 day Sugar fast as our way of saying thank you. You can donate and get the book and learn how to join Wendy's annual Sugar fast of a link is in the episode notes or call 800 K and the word family. Wendy and Jean, thanks so much room with us and Jean thank you so much for sharing your stories and when the U-2 this, the vulnerability is so appreciated and you're doing the fast right II really excited to be doing this fast.

So thank you this is great and all, do you think the 14 day Sugar because he makes about 14 days of me and then I'll send them a call. Well the help of Jim Daly and the entire team here. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ, I'm here asking people how they could both give and get to know you love you give through body. It's also possible that the charitable gift annuity you get a secure source of fixed income and a charitable tax class giving a charitable gift annuity to Focus on the Family family thrive for generations to come.

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