The Secrets We Keep (Sugar Sober Series)


October 3, 2014 by Beth Hess

In April, my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. His symptoms came on suddenly, and a physical less than six months earlier didn’t even put his sugars on the borderline. Even the doctor was stunned that his numbers jumped so much so quickly. Overnight, our food world shifted.

My husband was amazing. Instantly letting go of carbs and desserts and diligently checking his sugars and giving himself daily insulin shots. He tracked and checked and poked and read labels and threw away buns from burgers and only selected sugar-free frozen yogurts, regardless of the flavor, topping it with only fruit and nuts.

We gave up our go-to spaghetti or pizza dinners and substituted with rotisserie chicken or scrambled eggs when time is short for meal prep. I dug through recipes and discovered new ways to enjoy vegetables (shout out to cauliflower rice!!) and filled plates with fruit instead of bread.

His diligence paid off in huge ways. In less than 5 months, he was off injectable insulin and treating only with diet and medication. He dropped 40 pounds and found contentment with his new normal.

I guess I hoped it would do the same for me. But keeping healthy foods and snacks in the house and cooking diabetes-friendly dinners only served to push my own addiction further into the darkness.

Supportive on the outside. Sugar-filled on the inside.

Picking up candy bars from gas stations. Cookies with lunch. Even creating my own sugary concoctions from whatever I could find in the house after everyone else went to bed.

Our family had broken up with old food habits. But I hung on.

Which only created more shame. And secrets. And shame. And secrets. It’s a nasty cycle of darkness. Always teasing yourself with “one last time” and “I’ll start Monday.”

And things that sit in the dark for too long get musty and putrid and damp and shriveled.
And they get lonely and sad and angry and foggy in the mind.

And all of those feel like the exact opposite of sober.

Sometimes light creeps in little by little, so we can adjust.
But sometimes it just blows the lid of the darkness and exposes everything all at once.

Committing to this journey and the blogging of it feels a little like both. Everyone near me now knows Sugar is off the table for me. But the mustiness that lies deeper is getting the light one layer at a time.


sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well. PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.


12 thoughts on “The Secrets We Keep (Sugar Sober Series)

  1. amandacalitz says:

    Thanks for a powerful post I can relate 🙂


  2. […] a different choice, that’s great. There are many paths up the same mountain, my friend. Day 3: The Secrets We Keep.: Sometimes light creeps in little by little, so we can adjust. But sometimes it just blows the lid […]


  3. nics cahill says:

    Beth this is a powerful post. I am looking forward to journeying alongside you on these 31 days. Isn’t it wonderful to feel ‘I have a choice’ and then decide whether we want or don’t want something. Here’s to empowerment, and choosing what is ‘right for us’ without shame or guilt or condemnation.


  4. Tami Qualls says:

    I have a sugar addiction. I did give up my soda pop, but quickly drank sweetened tea. I’d like to remove sugar from my diet.


  5. Simply Beth says:

    I have this feeling God is going to use your series to speak to m heart in big ways. “And secrets. And shame. And secrets.” There is too much of that.
    Thank you again, Beth, for your transparency. xoxo


  6. Sharon says:

    The secret stuff – yup, I get it. I used to call those *deeper things* zombie sins – because they absolutely refused to go away and die. My dad had diabetes, and it was a difficult journey. So I have to congratulate your husband on his success. And, I am praying for you, Beth, for your strength as you tackle the sugar war in your own life. God is shining His Light, for sure, and it will keep getting brighter and stronger!



  7. Beth says:

    Oh, I am WITH you about the secret stuff. I know it’s not good. I know my body feels worse when I fill it with sugar (and shame). And I am ALL about the ‘I’ll start Monday’….

    Looking forward to the inspiration of your journey. Thanks for being brave and vulnerable!


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