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My Year Without Sugar

Tasty cakes, Ho-ho’s, Cinnabons.

Coldstone, Dairy Queen, Cherry Berry.

Pies, shakes, malts.

Ice cream cones, cupcakes, Chaco Taco’s.

Dove Chocolates, Twix bars, a Kit-Kat break.

Just a bite of chocolate after lunch. Just a little sugar in the coffee. Just one piece of cake.

6th grade was an especially awkward year for me. I was short, very short and chubby (yes, you read that right, chubby). I was on the brink of stardom after being cast as the lead in the 6th grade play… which I soon found out was because I looked the part of the tubby Winnie the Pooh. Awesome.

Yes, I hadn’t had my growth spurt yet, but also I ate crap all the time. I drank 3-4 sodas a day. No one really paid attention to the nutrition (or lack thereof) that was entering my body.

Over the past few years I’ve really been focusing on improving my eating habits. It has been a long process of learning how to cook real foods and avoiding the onslaught of processed junk that looms on every exquisitely stacked end-cap at the grocery store. I’ve been training for my first marathon in October and as a result I am hungry ALL the time. Seriously, All. The. Time. I knew I needed to fuel my body with good stuff.


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I know this incredible family from church who decided to give up sugar for a year. They selected one day a month as a “cheat day,” usually a holiday or birthday, and off they went. I decided to join the challenge seeing how long I could make it and if I really would feel as good as they claimed.

We started almost four months ago now and the results have been better than I could have ever imagined. The detox was HARD. Articles I read said it would take 7 days for the cravings to lessen and 21 days to change the habit. The hardest part has been social situations where everyone is having a S’more, or someone brings a treat especially for me.

The results of giving up sugar have been better than I could have ever imagined.

I haven’t told many people about my challenge since some of the people I did tell were pretty judgmental. I got comments like, “of course you’re doing something like that.” “Watch out, you’re going to turn into one of those health freaks.”

Honestly, I hope they’re right. I hope I am.

The truth is life without sugar feels AMAZING. I still eat natural sugars in fruit and honey, but I avoid all desserts and processed foods with more than 5g of sugar. I seriously just feel better.

About 2 months in I had a moment of weakness. I was at a wedding and I decided to use a cheat day to enjoy the cake. I took a bite and I didn’t even want anymore. A few weeks later I had a chocolate chip cookie, same thing. After the second cookie I felt sick to my stomach and through the second half away.

The point of giving up sugar was not for attention or to be a part of some fad diet, it was about a lifestyle change. It was about noticing what I am putting in my body, testing my willpower, and making choices today that future Sam will be happy about.

The bottom line is I’ve found I’m happier about my life when I am making healthier decisions. It’s just easier to love every detail of my life and to thank God for the immense blessings around me when I feel better. Maybe giving up sugar isn’t your thing, that’s fine! I dare you to set one goal to improve your health this week, maybe more exercise, more water, or eating clean foods! You can do it!!! Take some advice from my er… alter ego.


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Let me know how I can support you or pray for you! Change doesn’t happen overnight, it’s slow and sweaty and painful, but it’s so worth it!

 It’s a long walk through this world, but stand tall, you’re one day closer to being home.

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