Chances are you've seen the trend—blog posts and articles titled "I Did Something and This is What Happened". I figured I might as well jump on in and share what happened when I quit sugar and hopefully offer a new perspective that extends beyond the most common benefits.
7 years ago when I quit sugar, I didn't expect my life to change so drastically. I knew that I needed to quit because it was negatively impacting my health, but what I didn't expect was the chain of events that took place. That one change touched all aspects of my life.
In all honesty, I've never set a New Year's Resolution that I stuck with and celebrated. If anything, I'd set small goals throughout the year and when my time was up, I'd move on to the next thing. This goal was different because it wasn't really a "goal" that I'd be working towards with the possibility of not pulling through, it was a decision. A solid decision that I was inspired to make.
My inspiration: reactive hypoglycemia, headaches, foggy brain, chronic fatigue, blurry vision, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, low energy, and a host of other symptoms that made my life seem dull and at a standstill. Ultimately, I decided to quit sugar because I wanted more for my life. I wanted freedom.
I wanted more than anything to have a life full of passion & energy and now I'm 7 years sugar free! Yes, I'm a 100% recovered sugar addict.
Sweets were a daily part of my life for many years so I didn't imagine giving them up would be easy. Tell me there's no time for dessert and you'd get the hardest, longest, eye roll you've ever seen. Sugar was my religion and it had a powerful hold on me.
My Sugar Intake
Considering myself a healthy person, I was shocked when I learned how much sugar I was actually eating. Not just the obvious things like candy and desserts, but it was hidden (in plain sight) in everything!I had no idea sugar was in my ketchup, salad dressing, and pasta sauce. A little ketchup may not seem that big of a deal to some people, but all of those small amounts add up, especially when you're already taking in 10 packets of sugar in your morning coffee (yes, that was me).
I was consuming more than 200 grams of sugar per day and a good amount of it was hidden sugars.
Putting it in perspective: The recommended maximum amount of sugar per day for women according to the American Heart Association (AHA) is 25 grams, which should come from natural sugars of course. I was consuming 8 times that amount in processed and refined sugars! I had a serious sugar addiction and didn't even know it.
What I Learned
First, let me just say, skinny isn't synonymous with health. I was very slender, I didn't gain weight (no matter how HARD I tried), and I ate food that I considered healthy like grilled chicken and fish, vegetables, and I LOVED salads. But yet, there I was, battling against sugar addiction with a triple-digit sugar intake.
When I quit sugar I made learning about the dangers of sugar a priority. I discovered that the more I learned the more I understood what had been happening to me since childhood. It all made sense so I chose to quit cold turkey.
When I quit sugar I entirely changed the way I ate, how I chose products, and how I shopped for groceries. I learned how to identify sugar on food labels and how to make better choices. I no longer ate processed foods, including anything in a package, can, or jar, and avoided the inner food aisles of the grocery store completely.
Once I mapped out my journey, teased my brain, tossed my junk, and refilled my fridge, I was officially a sugar free babe, living a sugar free lifestyle, and I've been sugar free for 7 years now and counting.
By quitting sugar I literally changed my life. My symptoms began to fade out of my life starting the very first few weeks. It wasn't just the usual things you hear like... I felt better, I had more energy, my vision improved, and my skin glowed. Those benefits alone were certainly worth quitting. It was the increase in energy that came from getting more quality sleep and eliminating insomnia that tipped me over into a new life.
Instead of listing all the benefits I experienced in this post, I'll focus on my biggest win, which is my new life as an entrepreneur. HUGE, I know! I felt so much better after quitting sugar and over time that newfound energy gave me the boost I needed. It was the spark that triggered positive action towards fulfilling my dreams.
I was no longer stuck in that sticky stagnant energy that was keeping me bogged down. Gone were the days of feeling so exhausted that I hated getting out of bed in the morning or working a full day on someone else's dream and not having the energy to work on my own. I now had mental clarity (had no idea what that even felt like) and the energy to follow-through on the commitments I made to myself. Spiritually, I was in an amazing space because I believe quitting sugar and changing the way I nourished my body allowed my energy to flow more freely.
I'm so grateful I made the decision to quit sugar. I'm living proof: when you feel good within, it transcends all areas of your life.
If you're looking to make a change, my advice to you is to do it. Inspiration is no accident. It's a little nudge from the Universe to get you to take action. Need help? Grab a copy of my book Hey Girlfriend, Ditch Sugar for 365 Days. Wishing you all the best.
Help for You
I'm honored to be part of the 2020 Kick Sugar Summit, which is hosted by Florence Christopher and Aimee Anderson. It's a 7-day virtual conference with more than 40 speakers from around the globe for anyone looking for more information about sugar addiction and the impact it has on your health.
Whether you're on the fence about quitting sugar, you've made the decision to quit sugar, or you're already on the journey and want to see other's success stories, join me for the 5th Annual Kick Sugar Summit. It runs from March 2, 2020 to March 8, 2020.
The summit is 100% free and open to the public, 100% online, and 100% motivational if you want to quit sugar and change your life like I did (did I mention 100% free?).
The summit is ideal for...
Individuals with diabetes (and other illnesses)
Individuals who are overweight
Individuals who have high blood sugar
Individuals who want to improve their health (and life)
If you believe sugar is an issue in your life or you just want to live a freer, healthier and happier life like we do here on Your Shitastic Life, please tune in.
I'm curious...what is the HARDEST thing you've ever done because you knew it was the best thing for you?
About the Author
Wanauma Graham is a creative entrepreneur, founder of Your Shitastic Life, and author of Hey Girlfriend, Ditch Sugar for 365 Days. Find her at YourShitasticLife.com and follow her on Facebook @WanaumaGraham.