I was pretty hardcore the whole first week, I may or may not have put salsa on my spaghetti because it was the only sugar free condiment in my house. If you've never tried this delicacy, I wouldn't recommend it. But I made the point to myself, I can go %100 without. But to be able to survive I've made a few calculated exceptions (like for salad dressing - I have yet to find a sugar free dressing. Go figure. It's like Hey! lets all be good stewards of our body and have a salad! Full of sugar. Thanks.) I've accepted the necessity of celebratory free passes (which again are calculated, not impulsive). For the most part I find it not that hard to be disciplined and go without %98 of the time.
There's something magic about doing a long term fast. Something that isn't quite the same as a typical 1-3 day-er. In the grocery store I find myself avoiding eye contact with the soda isle. You can taunt me if you want stupid Pepsi that used to rule my life, but really I'm not interested. Go sing your siren song to someone else. You and your nasty chemical after taste.
But no, there really is something beautiful about starting a long term conversation through fasting. Fasting has long been used as a way to connect with God, and really to limit God to a 24 hour connection is just a little wrong. It really isn't long enough to break out of impulse driven consumption mode and truly settle yourself down for your lesson.
So what then. What does God have to say after 17 days of nearly sugar free living? To be honest, I feel like a different person. Like I should just write a book (which I have absolutely no desire to do, so don't look for me at your local library). I feel like I should go on a war path, like I should just not be ok with the way this world works anymore. I'm reading a lot about social injustice, and how it's impossible to be a Christian and just shrug my shoulders at the thought of it. How as a mother with a voice it is my responsibility to speak out for all those mothers whos voices have been silenced by poverty and oppressive social dynamics. Or at least care.
And the best part of this little experiment? It's not done. I've settled in on 40 days in length, which means I haven't even broken the halfway point. Really, this conversation I'm having has just begun, and there's no telling where it will end.