So... many years ago I was hanging out with my sixth grade teacher. This was long after sixth grade. I was probably in college, or in the year between college and seminary. We were in her kitchen and it was the Christmas season. And though she is Jewish she had a plate of Christmas cookies on her counter, likely given to her by a student. I took one at her invitation. And then as we stood there and talked I took another, and then another, and then another. I don't know how many I had eaten when she said, in a tone that brought the fire of shame to my cheeks, "You have a SERIOUS problem." I never forgot that.
And when I would get into a cycle of consuming more and more sugar every day as I would from time to time in the years that followed, of driving to the gas station to get some candy because I NEEDED it, of not being able to pass up a cadbury creme egg when I'd be paying for gas, of eating way too many of the goodies brought to Bible Study, when I'd be in this cycle I'd feel lousy about it and I would hear my teacher's voice.
At some point in the last few years I started to call it what it is, an addiction. And in December of 2007 I said to my sister "I seriously think I'm addicted to sugar, but I CAN'T give it up." The woman who has kicked two addictions, or one addiction and one otherwise unhealthy relationship with a substance, in the past few years said"Yes you can, Sarah. You just can't do it in December." So... I started weaning myself in the last week of December. I allowed a bit of indulgence on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and then, as of January 2nd, I stopped. I still have some sugar in breads and sauces. But I have not had any food items where a primary ingredient is refined sugar or corn syrup for nearly four months now. I have to decide to do this every day. I still want it, but... not as much as I want to overcome my dependence on a substance.
We had a transition team meeting at a church member's house tonight to discuss the terms of dissolution of my call, etc. and one of the elders had made a lovely apple cake for the occasion. At first she was talking about another recipe and the fact that that recipe was super healthy, it didn't have any sugar in it, and I thought she was talking about the cake. But she wasn't. So I refrained. And I explained why. When I said "It is an addiction." She said, "No it's not or you couldn't stop." Umm... tell that to a recovering alcoholic. "I choose every day to avoid it, it isn't easy."
But... honestly... I think it has something to do with why we finally conceived. That wasn't why I gave it up, but I know there are links between insulin and fertility and I know that in the first month off sugar, the only month of fertility interventions with our new doctor my body reacted totally differently to the medicine than it did a year (or was it two years) before with my old doctor. The only thing different in my body was my sugar consumption. And three months into this new discipline, we're pregnant? My reiki practitioner is certain it played a role. And I think so too.
Thanks be to God for the strength to overcome an addiction that may have been a barrier to conception all this time.