As long as I can remember, like many people, I have had a sweet tooth. No one ever thinks terribly negatively of a sweet tooth. It’s just something you have. You learn to live with it. It’s not life-threatening. You don’t rush to the hospital to get your sweet tooth removed. Instead, you feed it. Chocolate. Cake. Brownies. Ice cream. Fruit. Pastries. Cookies. Waffles. Pancakes. Muffins. The list is long. The calories infinite.
After finishing my 7-day water fast, something amazing happened. For the first time in my life, I seemingly didn’t have a sweet tooth! You cannot imagine how bizarre this is until you experience it for yourself, and I cannot express in words how monumental this is!
As I explained in a previous blog post, food is one of my great passions in life, and sweets played a huge part of that. But not necessarily always in a positive manner. Often it led to friction in my marriage. My wife loves to bake and I love to eat, and while that could be perceived as a match made in heaven, to the contrary, it became a source of constant conflict. My appetite for sweets was insatiable, to the point that it was negatively impacting my health. I would consequently ask my wife to help me by reducing her baking, which annoyed her to no end as her view was that she wasn’t baking for me and it should be up to me, a grown adult, to have the willpower to not eat everything in sight. Easy for her to say but impossible for me to do despite my best efforts. Although I pride myself on being a man of great self-discipline, the intoxicating smells of cakes, cookies, chocolate, and all manner of delicious delights wafting throughout the house was too much for me. Don’t misunderstand me. I wasn’t so weak-willed that I would devour the cheesecake she baked for church or a party, but the fact of the matter was that behind every great success story of hers was usually a failed attempt, and it was these failed attempts that ended up sitting in our refrigerator and tempted me endlessly. These mishaps and there obscene amounts of calories almost unfailingly ended up in MY stomach, not hers. People don’t realize it but eating a piece of chocolate cake, for example, is probably four times worse than eating a simple bar of milk chocolate. Not only do you consume the chocolate, but also butter, sugar, and cream, in large quantities and at incredible speed. And during the course of a day, one piece can easily become two or three or four. That’s why it’s called an addiction.
Well, those days are quite possibly over! After my 7-day water fast, my cravings for sweets are gone! Oh, I can still polish off a piece of cake before you even finish your first bite, but I no longer feel like eating a second, third, or fourth piece. And as proof, I submit the fact that we’ve had an entire chocolate cake and ice cream sitting in the refrigerator all week, and I haven’t once felt like tearing into them. I’ve been perfectly content eating wholesome fruit, instead. I am a changed man! Granted it’s only been a few weeks so it’s probably too early to declare a complete victory, but so far things look promising. But I should note that my goal is not to give up sugar. My goal is simply to be in control, to be able to enjoy desserts as part of an overall healthy diet.
So what exactly happened? I suspect that the 7-day water fast was long enough to clear my gut bacteria from my system, and it was this gut bacteria that had been driving my sugar addiction for the past 46 years of my life. This is the only logical explanation and correlates perfectly with all the latest research into gut bacteria. Now I understand perfectly why in regards to this matter that my willpower always inevitably failed me. I was fighting a war against an invisible army of bacteria in my gut, and the only way to defeat them all was to starve them to death.
Once the fast was over, I did make it a point to try and repopulate my gut with good bacteria. Some people take probiotics for this, but I opted for the natural route which entails eating fermented foods. With each meal, I made it a point to eat one of the following: kimchi, miso, yogurt or pickles. I can’t say for sure if this has actually accomplished anything, but as they are foods that I enjoy eating, it’s not a chore, and I plan to continue this routine for now.
Ultimately, the million dollar question is whether or not I have truly beaten my sugar addiction. Only time will tell. I will be sure to report back at the end of this year with an update, but as of now, I am guardedly optimistic that I may have finally slain this dragon.