Day 18 and I’ve started to forget that I’m doing the challenge. Do not fear, I’m not forgetting to not eat sugar, but I’m forgetting that it’s a challenge. Every day when the reminder on my phone goes off to tell me not to have extra sugar, I’m un-surprised and rather nonchalant about it. I stopped counting down the days to when the challenge will be over, and when I sat down to write this post, I had to go to my calendar to figure out what day I’m on.
My friends have also started to get used to it. On Sunday I did a potholes photoshoot with four friends. They were extremely obliging and did all sorts of weird and wonderful things that I wanted in my photo series. To say thank you, we went to Steers where I bought them each an ice cream. I did not have an ice cream and they did not look at me strangely and then click and say “oh, I almost forgot”. We simply sat at a table while they licked their ice-creams and we flicked the little cardboard cone cover to each other (small things amuse small minds hey?).
I’ve decided that I don’t want to be part of the South African statistic of eating way too many sugary things, so the challenge of eating less sugar will continue forever. I’ve had plenty of encouragement in these 21 days. The first being that I discovered two friends have also taken on the challenge. They had not spoken about it loudly and I only discovered because at ladies bible study on Thursday, they didn’t have cake either! Solidarity really does make a difference. It was even an encouragement after sending an email to my brother-in-law about my (no) sugar diaries. He replied and told me that he’s started his own personal challenge too. It has nothing to do with no sugar, but he’s started to exercise more in the past six months and saw great results, but he learned that “it turns out diet matters a great deal and exercising is simply not enough.” He took on a different challenge; “So my 21 day challenge is on 1 meal of Herbalife a day [plus eating other meals] and ensuring that I don’t eat anything which contains more calories than I can afford in my daily intake”.
Further driving force for this challenge has come from the obvious difference it has made to my body. My skin on my face is looking clearer (I was getting very annoyed that at almost 21-years of age, I still had spots like an adolescent teen!), so perhaps my spots were more to do with diet than hormones! And, when I had a re-scan of my body measurements with my Herbalife Coach, I had lost kilograms, I had gained water and muscle mass percentage, and what the no sugar mostlly affected was the decreasing of my metabolic age from 16 to 12! Of course all of that can not be put down to no sugar only, but when my coach gave me a big hug and told me how proud she was, I was all the more keen to carry on.
I carry on though, with no extraordinary powerful human strength of my own (I’ve tried that before and have always failed), but with the strength that Christ has given me. This journey has been much more of a spiritual than a physical one for me. Perhaps the outcome is most obviously physical, but my heart has been challenged and is slowly changing. I am not my own master, I am not serving myself, rather I am encouraged by the love of Christ demonstrated to me on the cross to live out 1 Corinthians 10:31 (So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God). Of course I can be thankful for treats every now and then, but God’s words are why the challenge has to continue after Sunday. The challenge of living for Christ and making decisions that glorify Him, even in my choice of food.