I chose no sugar and I will never go back

I chose no sugar and I will never go back

Most 18 year olds can't give up junk food and trust me it was just as hard and everyone says, but it's so so worth it
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This how giving up sugar changed my life.

I was always an avid junk food lover. My favorite things to eat included ice cream, lemonade, and all things filled with sugar. That’s why this was so hard for me at first. To give up what was my favorite food group seemed impossible to me for the longest time.

I suffered from incredible joint pain for a long time. At first everyone thought it was just growing pains but I never grew and the pain never ended. For the longest time I would go weeks or even months having never ending pain in all of my joints. The kind of pain that makes you not want to do anything. And after awhile I adjusted and just got used to living in constant pain. At first I accepted it but then I realized that after only 18 years of living I should never be living in constant pain. Especially because the last few years had been the worst. Things that I used to love doing like running, being active and being outdoors moving all the time became almost impossible for me to do without having to take Advil or Tylenol every few hours.

When someone told me that giving up sugar would help decrease this pain I knew that I would have to do it. As awful as it may be, that this was something that I had to at least try to do. I had thought about it for a while before but I always wanted to do it for other reasons like to be healthier or to lose weight. But this seemed like the best reason to make, what seemed to me to be a huge sacrifice.

Then one day I told myself I would just do it. It was the time between Christmas and New Years so I knew I would be surrounded by sweets so I told myself come January 1 I would not eat sugar. I started decreasing the amount I ate because I knew that it would be one thousand times more difficult if I just cut it out cold turkey. It was hard at first, actually it was awful. I quickly found out that I was addicted to sugar and my body was in withdrawal. This meant on top of the joint pain I had a migraine for almost an entire week straight and that wasn’t even the worst part.

I’m a college student athlete, which made this makes it harder for a ton of reasons. My friends all work out with me but they reward themselves with ice cream and candy. I had to learn to reward myself with some extra dressing on my salad or some french fries with my dinner. These small things seemed to make up for the junk food. Not to mention that I love all of that junk so with this awful migraine if I even saw junk food I wanted to take a bath in it. I could have filled my face and in that week I wouldn’t have carried who was watching.

But then it got better. Once my migraine became a headache and the headache went away it became so much easier. My body adapted to limited amounts of sugar and my bones felt like I was actually my own age. For the first time in years I am no longer living in constant joint pain. No, it has not gone away completely I still have some flare ups once and awhile but they are not nearly as bad as they have always been.

Not eating the junk food has turned out to be better for more than just my joints too. My body just feels better in general. Sure, sometimes I have a little snack and it is nearly impossible to completely cut out sugar so I have now instead limited it to just processed sugars. This way I can still eat fruits because those are natural sugars. My body no longer even wants to eat the junk food I see. I see my friends eating candy or cookies and I am perfectly fine eating an apple or banana because my body doesn’t crave the junk anymore.

Not eating sugar is easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. Yes I give myself cheat days once and awhile (I mean who can resist having a small treat while in Disney). But for the most part I can find the non sugar filled options of my favorite foods. Pinterest has helped me a lot to find some of these great recipes. I recommend this to anyone who is considering wanting to stop eating sugar. 100 days after not having sugar I don’t think I would go back to eating junk food anytime soon.

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To The Girl Who Doesn't Party In College

They are rare, I know.
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I know what you all are thinking, she is just writing the article to brag on herself or to show the world the kind of person she is. No, I am writing this article to the girl out there who feels as if she is alone.

Not being a part of the party season is not the most popular thing to do on a college campus. Most people spend their days thinking about what they will do at night. Life pretty much revolves around the next party. But for people like me, it isn't spent thinking about alcohol or the next party I'm going to attend. And that can get pretty lonely.

It is not like I sit and wallow in my sadness or ever feel like my friends leave me out because I don't drink. I have great friends that support every decision I make. But, some are not that lucky. Some girls don't have the support system like me and I am here to tell you to never compromise the person you want to be just because you don't fit in. If you don't want to party, don't give in just because your friends are pressuring you into. Not to sound cliche, but find new friends because they are not your real ones. Choosing to stay true to you will pay off in the end, and you won't regret it. I promise.

I don't know why you choose to not attend the party scene, but I would be hindering my calling if I didn't tell you why I don't. I know this guy, and his name is Jesus. He is my best friend and the person I talk to about everything. It is because of Him that I decided to not party, to set an example for the people around me. But, I am also not 21. So I don't think, by any means, that me having a margarita when I turn 21 is hurting my reputation or my testimony. I firmly believe that alcohol isn't a sin when consumed in the right ways. I also don't ever see myself as a partier, 21 or not. Partying is a way of conforming and a way of becoming what this fallen world deems acceptable.

So to the girl who fails to be the typical college partier, I commend you. I look up to you. I respect you. I want you to know how rare you are. You choosing to not party and rise above the college standard is something you will never regret. I don't believe that my college years are boring because of the way I decide to live my life. I wish that I could befriend each and every girl relating to this article. So, when those Friday nights get boring, remember that you are not alone. You are rising above the standard.

Sincerely,

The girl who doesn't party in college

Cover Image Credit: Krisztian Hadi / Flickr

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13 Reasons Sophomore Year Is Much Worse Than Junior Year Of High School

And now you can happily throw all your misconceptions about junior year down the drain.

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Maybe you're an eighth grader getting ready to start high school in a few months, or maybe you're a junior almost done with the supposedly "toughest year of high school." Or maybe you're smack-dab in the middle of sophomore year, overwhelmed by everything around you. Sounds familiar? You'll be happy to know that for the most part, too, that 11th grade has nothing on the horrors of 10th grade. So what makes them so starkly different in difficulty?

1. People still do not take you seriously.

You're still in the bottom half of the high school, and you're still a lot shorter than that senior walking past you in the hallway. People in the year above you still see you as the little freshman from before, and you're trying so desperately to prove that as a 10th grader, you're a lot wiser now. Keep in mind, though, that after an entire year of stress, stress and more stress, you'll be wishing to revert back to the first day of high school.

2. Certain classes start taking over your life.

For me? AP World History, easily the most difficult class I have ever taken throughout high school.

I am not a history buff, nor do I think I ever will be. And that's one of the biggest reasons why I just could not understand the content in the class. On top of that, it was my first class of the day, I'd have hours of work for the class to finish each night and I just couldn't find any interest. So why, pray tell, did I take the class? Because everyone else was.

Because I succumbed to the peer pressure surrounding taking AP World History, I found myself struggling to stay afloat. Every test was just another issue after the previous one, and I'd even feel like crying and not knowing what to do to get through the class. I bet there will be a class like that, no matter how interested you are in its content, and you will have those horrible days where you don't know how to get out.

3. You realize that freshman year was almost too easy.

Way, way too easy. I was having fun in freshman year, and that shouldn't even be happening when I'm supposed to be growing up into a high schooler. And that's mainly because freshman year is a transition year where no one expects too much out of you. It's like a buffer year in which you're on autopilot while observing how upperclassmen have to manage their own stress.

Sophomore year is when everything you've observed in ninth grade has to come into play, and you're suddenly thrown into a hurricane that won't stop until that very last school day. Sounds like fun.

4. People keep telling you that "junior year only gets worse than this."

Is that true? Nope.

Junior year is a lot less stressful than people make it out to be, and maybe that's because you're so used to the idea of it being an impossible year to conquer. Honestly, all I realized is that the key to a successful year is just choosing the right course load and toning down the out-of-school duties so I could balance out the two parts of my life. Junior year is not anywhere as bad as sophomore year, and that's a guarantee.

5. You feel like you've already lost a year of high school to impress colleges.

Graduation's coming sooner than you think.

Because freshman year comes off as so easy, I remember thinking that I did not take advantage of how lax my year was. Come sophomore year, I felt like I had to join another club, take another class, do another project. The work kept piling on because I thought in ninth grade that high school was always going to be so easy. In fact, sophomore year makes it the complete opposite.

But don't base your success on what you believe colleges will think of your every action. Look at your career holistically, and notice the trends you tend to take that have gotten you to where you are.

6. Other people start taking you seriously. Too seriously.

Remember a few points back when I said no one takes you seriously? There are the few special people who scrutinize absolutely everything you do and do their best to make you unnecessarily stressed about things you shouldn't be worrying about so young.

"Thought of your specific dream college that you want to attend the minute high school is over?"

"Know every single class you'll be taking in your second semester of senior year?"

Questions like these pop up out of the blue and from the same few suspects, and they're meant to scare you. Don't be spooked by these people; they either want what's best for you or are wasting their own time trying to make other people upset.

7. You begin to underestimate yourself and your capabilities.

When teachers keep expecting more from you as the year goes on and extracurricular activities are making you feel more and more on edge rather than de-stressed, you feel as if this isn't how you should be feeling. You think you're supposed to be on top of everything given to you because that's why you chose that certain rigor for your sophomore year. This happened with me last year when AP World History was becoming too much work, and there was this one week when I couldn't even leave my room because I thought I'd be losing too much time for my assignments.

8. Peer pressure makes you start questioning your good decisions.

Peer pressure gets the best of us.

Peer pressure and good decisions aren't supposed to mix, but they happen to make the perfect mixture of stress and worry. Especially when everyone boasts about the classes they're taking or the activities they're a part of, you feel so utterly compelled to throw yourself into the same pathway, even if you have no interest in what others are doing.

This always happens with me and others when course recommendations for the next year come out. When you're told to choose a whole new set of classes, you can't help but take a pointer or two from others who seem to know what they're doing.

SEE ALSO: No One Prepares You For The Peer Pressure That Forces You To Choose 'Better' Decisions

9. In some classes, you're forced to be with upperclassmen you don't know. 

This happened in a few of my classes, and it was so painful to be the one sophomore in a room full of juniors and seniors with a few sophomores sprinkled here and there. It's scary to be in a room where the people around you are taller than you and know a lot more about the world than you do. You feel like that one small fish in a big, big pond.

10. People start talking more about this thing called "class ranks."

You've definitely heard of it somehow and somewhere in your life. But people start taking the concept really, really seriously starting the end of sophomore year. You'll hear foreign whispers about it, almost as if it's a forbidden secret that you're not yet supposed to know about. And you'll eventually wish that you never heard about it when people starting comparing themselves based on such rankings.

SEE ALSO: My Graduating Class Is Competitive To A Worrying Extent, And It Drives Us Away From Each Other

11. Even before sophomore year begins, you don't know what classes to take.

An empty classroom.

When you take a cookie-cutter schedule from ninth grade and get asked to choose from a slew of new courses in 10th grade, you have to ask yourself what you want to get interested in. And on top of that, you might find so many classes you're genuinely intrigued by that you have to find the balance between fun classes and core classes. Sophomore year's independence can sometimes be burdensome.

12. You get put into way more group projects than before.

Of course, being a team player is an important aspect of being successful in the future, but in most group projects I've been a part of, no one works on the project at all until the night before the project is due. And when you're constantly thrown into groups of people you've never talked to and who won't work on the project until the night before, you get stressed way beyond what's considered normal.

13. Time starts flying really quickly, and that's not always a good thing.

Yeah, yeah, time flying quickly does mean the weekend will come sooner and that summer break is getting closer, but your long-term decision making begins in sophomore year. Surprisingly, a lot of your decisions about your future start playing themselves out in 10th grade itself, and you have to control time itself to make sure you don't forget anything as you rush through each day.

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