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Rising Up From the Crashes

In March of 2018, Jason and I decided to join the group of people who dedicated one month of their lives to be sad.

Okay, not really.

We decided to do the Whole 30 Challenge.

For those who don't know what this is, the Whole 30 is where you take out all unnatural sugars, dairy, gluten, grains and GMO's from your diet for thirty days (you can learn more about it and the rules here!). We wanted to try it out, thinking since we already ate pretty healthy (read: we didn't eat cereal for dinner every night)and a few of our friends have survived it, the "challenge" shouldn't be that hard.

Lies. We were telling ourselves lies.

The first week was the worst (heads up in case you're considering it).

Getting into the routine of meal planning and cooking was more challenging that I had believed it would be. Creating new lists for grocery shopping was fun until we actually went to the markets.

You guys, it is so hard to find things that have absolutely no sugar in the ingredients.

During our first Whole 30 grocery trip to Sprouts, I ended up on my knees in the canned goods isle with both hands in the air holding onto two different tomato sauces (that were not Whole 30 approved, by the way), "fake" sobbing "WHY GOD, WHY?!?". Dramatic? Yes.

Necessary to do in public blocking a sweet old man from getting his own pasta sauce? Probably not.

The sugar withdrawals during that first week were more of a terror than the shopping.

I seriously did not realize how much sugar was in our foods until these headaches.

Just saying the word withdrawals after sugar is kind of haunting.

To put it lightly, this change in our eating habits was more drastic than we thought, and it kicked our butts.

And it was so worth it.

Once we got past the week long "hangover", both Jason and I could tell there was a positive difference. Though the Whole 30 is generally used with the goal of losing weight, its' purpose is so much more than that.

Speaking for myself, I had more physical energy, mental focus, emotional stability (for the most part, let's not get too crazy here), and even in my spiritual life. I say there was a change in the spiritual aspect because I was able to recognize how often I turned to food instead of prayer or reading the Bible in times of distress, frustration, doubt or anger.

I don't think I would have caught that tendency of mine unless I had done the Whole 30.

With all that said, I highly recommend it.

Now it's two months later and we have been slowly re-introducing all that was frowned upon during the Whole 30 back into our diet.

One major setback I've had since our change is the afternoon fog. Have you experienced it?

During the Whole 30, I would be full of energy all day, especially in the afternoon. It kind of creeped me out a little bit to look at the clock at work and see it was 4:00pm because of how awake and motivated I was. Pre-Whole 30, I'd be falling asleep by 2:30pm.

Today, the fog found me.

In my office, there is a handful of assorted candies that I have in a dish on the bookcase for people who come in with a sweet tooth.

Being the smart lady that I am, I thought it would be a great idea to eat a mini Reesus Cup. It was practically calling out to me. Okay, not really. I really didn't want it, I was just bored (have I learned nothing?!).

I began to compare all the pro's and con's as to why I should or should not cave.

It came down to this very clever argument:

There is a bunch of unhealthy crap in that thing and I shouldn't eat it---but chocolate.

I ate it.

Almost immediately after I scarfed it down, I crashed.

My eyes grew extremely heavy and my head was throbbing.

I was shook in disbelief at what I just did. This wasn't the first, and it's probably not the last.

But this cruddy

feeling reminded me of crashes we have in a different sense.

Similar to these unfriendly sugar crashes, we tend have crashes in our faith.

We feel good, connected, confident and bold because we know who we are in Christ. Personally, I'm on a "faith high" when I'm leaving a Sunday morning or Tuesday evening service, feeling fueled for the week. Then I walk out and look at my phone and theres a text message with bad news. Or the next day on my way home from work my car breaks down. But I'm good, I tell myself, I'm good. Throughout the week, I turn away from my devotionals, and turn to Facebook. I turn from healthy conversations with friends to avoiding them altogether to watch Friends on Netflix.

For some, it could be drinking more alcohol on the weekends then they should, or reading that terrible book that apparently received some formal recognition and it really shouldn't have, and we continue to tell ourselves, "I've been doing really good, and I'm in a good place in my life right now, so what bad can come of it? Why not? God knows I'm a good person. And if He doesn't see that, than too bad."

We're on cloud nine and believe that since we feel good now, we can dip our toes in the things of our past a little bit.

Then boom. We're down.

We knew better, much like I did when I ate the chocolate. Yet we do it anyways.

It's a natural human tendency to do so.

Turning to what was part of our past during our present seems okay because we have this new, healthy, or fresh mindset. Seems legit.

But it doesn't matter how great we think our mindset is, or how strong our faith may be, it doesn't mean we get a freebie with no consequences to those actions.

When we begin to think we run the show and that we determine the outcome of our actions, that's when we are wrong.

Honey, we aren't God. We can determine how we will act, what we will say, how we think, what we believe. But we do not control anything beyond that. Don't be shocked.

The good news is when we fail, in our personal expectations or other things in life, we have the opportunity to learn from it.

We fall short of perfection, sure. It's inevitable, really.

So we shouldn't be that surprised at ourselves when we do fail. Am I saying we should go about messing up on purpose then? No. I don't think we have the guts to do that anyways. We can become crippled with fear of failure, but we don't do it intentionally (unless you're really trying to tick someone off).

Do I believe then that we should sit around and do nothing? Nope.

I believe that when we experience any crashes (sugar, faith, or hey, even coffee) in our lives, we have the choice of whether or not we are going to take action from what we learned in that event and start again.

Despite what we may tell ourselves, we can inevitably rise from these crashes

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