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.