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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 they're just really good to like you're having a bad day sit and have milk and cookies like a couple of them. Popcorn at the movie theater this stuff's totally covered with butter.

I can always go for like the chip stuff yeah chips are amazing. Well if you're like most people most of us during the holidays you ate a lot more cookies popcorn and other junk food than normal and today on Focus on the Family we're going to revisit a best of 2021 program that has some great ideas for a fresh start related to food as we begin this new year. Your host is Focus president and health advocate Jim Daley and I'm John Fuller. Hey you slipped that one in I'm a health advocate wait a second here hey a survey found that two of the most common new year's resolutions are to eat healthier and lose weight have you made your I don't make resolutions okay I think I've done that a few times but I don't know that I stuck with it but we'll talk about that later.

That's another problem. You know they are great goals and as Christians 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 going to be about food and diet and those things I'm always uncomfortable so I'll hand it over to you John go ahead. There is a spiritual thread throughout the conversation today we have a very popular guest coming back to us today Wendy Speak who is an author and speaker and a wife and mom of three boys and we'll be talking about her great book The 40-Day Sugar Fast Where 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 we're always happy to have your wife Jean with us as well and here 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 being here. Now I want to make sure people understand Jean I did not invite you to this broadcast Catherine our producer. Catherine the producer set me up a little bit here because Jean will think what did you say that I needed to come to this right I need an intervention. I just want every everybody listening that it was not my direction that Jean should join today but I'm I'm really glad you're here and Catherine I'm glad you thought of that as the producer but you know let's get into it. You had the revelation Wendy one day that you were a bonafide sugar addict now everybody except the drivers put your hand up if you can identify with the sugar addiction that compels and grabs this culture I mean it's amazing. How did you come to that realization and what happened when you posted about it online Wendy? Well great question and I think it's a great place to start. I love that you said usually that we are here talking about parenting and today we're talking about really more a health topic but I have to tell you that when I posted that my name is Wendy and I'm a sugar addict I wrote it to the moms and they all responded in mass uh me too my name is Jenny my name is Susan my name is dot dot dot you fill in the blank I'm a sugar addict too and I've been here with you guys before and we've talked about angry reactionary parenting and 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 would it make us calmer kinder more consistent with our kids maybe even more christ-like but instead of it just being a sugar 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 now we have a resource the 40 day sugar fast and that's what we're here talking about that you can choose any time of the year you don't have to wait for me leading an online group to 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 well that's I mean that's a fair point and you know some people might think this is a little silly talking about sugar you know of course I have sugar in my coffee or I have sugar this way or that way but our culture our our dietary culture is just dripping with sugar isn't it yes they put sugar in everything they put sugar in everything and people always want to know yeah but what exactly am I fasting from and because it is a fast and it's not a diet you take it to the Lord and say God 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 I'm a 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 we turn to it repeatedly that thing 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 and we're going to get to that and Gene you have a couple of stories and I think that's why Catherine thought it'd be great to have you here so we'll get to those stories in a second but Wendy you advocate for a complete fast from sugar really really well I don't know if I would say what about that donut just one donut it is a complete fast from sugar but there are people that have been ingesting sugar as they're you know think about that that pyramid that we all saw in history class I mean not in history class nutrition class science class when we were in what was it sixth grade and you've got the fruits and vegetables and the meat and cheeses and then at the very top of the pyramid you have the the fats and the sugars right right and then we flipped our pyramid and we've got some of us really we wake up and we have a leftover brownie with our highly sugared latte and then we miss lunch but we have some leftovers again of the whatever treats our kids had for um you know their snack and then for dinner well we have something sort of healthy but we put the kids down for the night and then we have a bowl of ice cream just you know we need a reward for making it through another hard day have you been talking to jean what are you doing here it's terrible i know you're not saying sugar is the problem no but you're saying it's a very common thing that we can start to use to kind of reset yes you know god never asked us for a sugar sacrifice he asked us for a living sacrifice and so i think sugar is one of those things getting in the way of living life for christ we're so bound up either health sugar is affecting us physically emotionally mentally spiritually or we're 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 our appetite is our god rather than god being our god yeah and i so appreciate i mean i have been reading quite a bit about the impact sugar has on your body it's really a poison to your body i don't know why that is something that tastes so good instead of being like the worst thing you could ingest but it's true and the component about that emotional eating and jean i'm going to come to you in just a second because i want your perspective on that but uh wendy how did that start for you that emotional connection to sweets oh well i think it started way back when i was a kiddo and i would get my two dollar allowance on a friday and i'd hop on my little pink bicycle with a you know wicker basket in the front and i'd i'd ride to my friend carrie's house and pick her up and and she'd hop on her scooter and we'd go down to the corner liquor store and we'd go in you know how some of those doors they ring like a bell announces when somebody like i can hear it in my memory so clearly and i'd go and i'd i'd grab all the candies all the gobstoppers and the now and laters and the lemon drops i mean all of it at whatever two dollars could buy and we'd go back to carrie's house and we'd just binge right and um and i was also a um alachki 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 uh my mom sometimes had in the back of the fridge one of those betty crocker um vanilla icing tubs you know and she'd sometimes for a dessert spread it on a graham cracker or something like that well i would eat it straight out of the can when i was by myself i would just find whatever was there and i would eat it and it filled the emptiness even before i knew there was sadness it just filled the space and i felt happy and you must know there's a dopamine release right when we have some sugar and we're adults and we see how it affects our kids but is it possible moms and dads that it's affecting us negatively as well yeah that dopamine that points to addiction uh gene how are you relating to this when it comes to the emotional connection to eating oh i definitely relate to this and i can think of an example when our boys were younger and jim was traveling yes 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 this and why do i need the chocolate every time and was able to process it and find some healthier alternatives to that which is i mean that's what your book addresses that's exactly what your book is except we're not looking for alternatives that are healthy food options we're talking about crowding out the sugar by ingesting consuming gobbling up more of enjoying god's presence in our lives turning to his sweet and satisfying word and it's just been so cool because a diet it'll change your body it'll change your eating it'll change your health it'll even change some of your behaviors and your emotions but a fast will change your whole life and it's really powerful when you diet you say i'm going to crowd out that sugar with more healthy food options but when you fast you say i'm going to crowd out what i'm running to what i'm turning to by turning to christ yeah windy explain in the book you use the analogy of a candy cane and how that connects to sweets and dependence in the wrong direction i think you're getting there right now but what was the candy cane analogy candy canes who doesn't love candy cane we just made it through christmas i love candy canes um i actually don't like them that much okay but i know a lot of people that love the candy cane creamer for their coffee okay now that sounds like pure sugar that's just pure sugar liquid sugar to sweeten your coffee um so now that we broaden the yes you know temptation of the candy cane you know candy cane we a lot of us will teach it to our children you know it's shaped like a shepherd's staff right it's also shaped like a a cane and if you lean on the cane of sugar to get you through your days it's not going to be able to sustain you but god invites us he says you come to me when you're heavy uh laden 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 he also said come to me 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 our guests are wendy speak and gene daily and we're talking about wendy's book the 40-day sugar fast where physical detox meets spiritual transformation and we'll encourage you to get your copy just stop by the episode notes for more let me ask both of you i'll start with you wendy but in our society you know it's very accepted even encouraged for women to become obsessed with healthy eating and weight loss and of course if anything's taken to an extreme it becomes unhealthy even healthiness yes and uh i really want to uh touch on that gene you you had kind of that experience in college where eating correctly and it kind of became the thing for you describe what happened oh absolutely uh there was a time during college where i was at least borderline anorexic and then a 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 bodies i mean it is what did that sound like what did people say oh you know have you lost weight you look great and i i knew it i i i at that time i was younger i i knew i looked good and that's very affirming but also the what's really frightening is the amount of control i felt and how powerful that was yes and that's a bizarre and frightening aspect of it that i could control my body so much that i could control even hunger yes and and that's so unhealthy but when life feels out of control and you need to experience some control it's a very very typical 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 right and even though i would say for at least a decade after that even though my body was getting healthier that i realized whether i was rail thin or or healthy looking i was still obsessing about food yes what i was eating what i 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 and worried about what we look like what we're eating 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 i don't give them a to do or to don't list i don't tell them what to eat what not to eat we don't go from a food fixation a sugar fixation to a sugar-free fixation we fix our eyes on christ because he's the only one that's going to fix things and so that really is what is the difference between a diet and a fast is we are fixing our eyes on him and not healthy eating habits i appreciate that and you know wendy jim mentioned uh about this obsession with healthy and i had a daughter who for a season was she was fixated on healthy and the doctor finally said you're gonna have to hit a program because you are really underweight and she was startled because she's like but i'm healthy i'm eating well in 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 we're doing a little role reversal here john because i would love to take a moment to pitch calling in right now if you have a loved one 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 going to drop all the info here this is what we pay him for and he's going to tell you what that number is later um 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 my daughter is has been diagnosed with anorexia and she's back home with us as 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 yeah might not need that example in front of even if you're doing it for the right reasons so you know there's a lot of psychology it was a really interesting season for us and i did not know that there's an orthorexia this obsession with being super healthy that can become quite dangerous yeah let me go back to that snacking and feasting on god's word you've mentioned this a couple times now but i want to you know really put an emphasis i guess on it when you have that craving you're suggesting turn to god maybe read his word i want to be really clear so people that are hearing that as a behavioral pattern that when i want to sit down like jean was doing put the boys to bed jim's on the road i can do my emails oh but you know having that chocolate with doing the emails is kind of a treat and it's a reward i've worked hard today i mean you go through all that justification take that example i mean what's a christ-centered way to meet that craving i think once you recognize that you're turning to sugar for comfort or reward or companionship or to heal and you know a decades old wound i feel neglected today i don't feel affirmed today i feel ugly today and so i'm going to 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 prayer and so i say to people when we're fasting you know this isn't just taking out sugar and replacing it with healthy food let yourself get hungry because food issues really is a hunger problem but it's not a hunger like i'm hungry and i'm eating the wrong thing it's we have misplaced hunger we're turning to food to meet our deepest needs whether it's companionship with a husband traveling or loneliness or heartbreak so let us turn to him with all of those emotions what are your triggers for why you're turning to food you can answer that better than i can and when you recognize those times oftentimes my biggest triggers are happiness oh my kids are all home oh we it's someone's birthday oh we did well oh you know let's bake a cake let's bake a cake i want to 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 huh why am i having feeling that strong urge to turn to that age-old thing that i've always turned to since i was you know seven years old on my little pink bike what am i metaphorically running to sugar for right now peddling to sugar for and then making some different habits i in the sugar fast there's a story i tell where one day i put my bible on my cake platter oh this is where i wanted to go 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 and for the moms listening because i know that's really the lion's share of this audience what i found is that sugar doesn't make me sweet but christ us that's good 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 melt down okay well what are some practical things you can do and really one of those practical things is more time in god's word last time in your pantry well that's good you have you have uh said these things a few times because it's rolling off your tongue yeah let me ask you this you're talking about those crutches those things that you lean into sugar for i'm sitting here going maybe i'm missing the mark i just like the way it tastes i know i mean there's nothing i'm not seeing anything underlying the fact that a snickers bar is pretty good yes but i mean am i missing it is no i think you're also a man and i so and i'm not making a comment about men miss things i'm talking about i think that men turn to food for a couple of reasons one it's just a fun part of their day right it's oh i love a good meal but also there is that dopamine release and it does you do feel good at the end of the day i know that my husband tends to when he's struggling with work or relationships he'll even say to me i just need a win no that's interesting and sometimes that means that he's in his garage working on a car that to him is a win or buying a car for goodness sakes getting sugar because you couldn't get the nut in the screw there you go i got the bolt on there right right and he'll come in and just start looking for for something to eat and i'm like you're just looking for a win so aware or unaware it's part of us no i like that wendy as we're wrapping up here um speak to that person who maybe has tried to connect with god around this area but you know struggles to feel like god's even listening it's not connecting for them for whatever reason what would you say to that person that feels that distance they'd love to turn to christ but they're not getting that dopamine hit let's just put it that way there's something missing there and they're continually beating themselves up because they're going back to you know something they shouldn't eat to get that comfort rather than yeah i would say if you are convicted whether in this conversation or you have been for years and years you're turning into 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 i'm there with you i'm going 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 me we know that god's word says with christ these things are possible so if you have said it's not possible that's a diet if you say i lack self-control i'm saying you don't need self-control you need god 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 have you made your new year's resolutions i want to encourage you don't make a resolution make a revolution invite god to do something revolutionary new in your life during these 40 days say i can't do it god so you ask me speak to the person who can't do it who's tried and failed you can't do it let god do it and that's the difference between the the diet that you fail and the fast that is all about spending time putting your full attention leaning your full weight not on the sugar cane not on the candy cane but on the diet that you fail not on the candy cane but on the shepherd's staff and on the shepherd throw your anxiety throw your full weight upon me that is good and it helps to put your bible in your cake pan this has been so good thank you for what the lord has shown you and putting it into this format of a 40-day sugar fast and the book that goes along with it and i really want to encourage you to get a copy of the book and you can get that through focus on the family make a donation of any amount and we'll say thank you by sending it along if you can't afford it we'll find a way to cover it the cost of that on our end so just get in touch with us and we'll get it to you and jean thank you thanks for being here thanks for that vulnerability about those college years and what you went through and wendy the same for you in terms of you know for women that this is a very tender area because it's so wrapped up in image and what the affirmation of the world absolutely we get it exactly but there's hope yeah there's hope yeah well one you don't have to rely on that our identity is in christ and let me turn to the listener i think and i hope what you've heard here is that's the ground floor and we talk about that a lot we can certainly make your family perform better you can be a better parent we'll give you lots of tools to do that but if you don't know the author of the family we kind of have we've missed the mark and we always want to start right there about 800 people a day except christ through focus on the family over 300,000 people last year said focus on the family was the instrument god used to bring them to christ that's pretty amazing that's one and uh 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 there start with your relationship with christ and in doing so so many things that you're talking about wendy will begin to line up you know that's the beauty of it and i want to encourage you to call us get a hold of us let's talk about that first where you're at with god and then in addition to that 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 the link is in the episode notes or call 800 the letter a and the word family wendy and gene thanks so much for being with us and gene thank you so much for sharing your stories and wendy you too there's that vulnerability i so appreciate it and you're doing the fast right i am i am really excited to be doing this fast so thank you wendy to you excited i hope others will join us wendy i'm not so excited no i'm teasing this is great and i'll do the best job i can do yeah my husband calls it the 14-day sugar fast because he makes about 14 days with me and then all of a sudden i start finding rappers i gotta give him a call that's great perfect well on behalf of jim daley 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 i don't know maybe love yeah you could both give and get love true but it's also possible with a charitable gift annuity you get a secure source of fixed income and a charitable tax deduction plus giving a charitable gift annuity to focus on the family helps families thrive for generations to come i love that find out more go to focus planned that's focus planned
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-02 09:19:27 / 2023-07-02 09:30:18 / 11

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