This Isn’t My First Sober Rodeo (Sugar Sober Series)


October 4, 2014 by Beth Hess

This is a repost of a letter I wrote to a friend in June 2011. I was six months into my Year of No Sugar. A YEAR. I finished and celebrated that milestone with a post about some of the things I’d learned.

Or thought I’d learned. Because, tomorrow, I’ll share what happened January 2012-October 2014 that has led me right back here again.

But for today, I’ll remember the girl who wrote this note. And know she’s still in me, waiting to be reborn once again.

I was thinking of you as I was working through some “brainwork” this weekend as it pertains to eating habits. I hope maybe this will mean something to you as well. After we spoke briefly last week, I also talked with my doctor about helping kick-start some good habits, and he has prescribed a short-term medication to get me on the right track. It became the motivation I needed to get serious about not just losing weight, but changing my life. Changing my brain more than I was changing my waist.

 And here’s what happened. We went to MiCasita for dinner. I didn’t eat a single chip. Didn’t need them. Frankly, didn’t even want them. Was TOTALLY Ok passing them up even as my family enjoyed them because IT WAS MY CHOICE!!
In the past, I would approach chips, or bread, or sweets, or a menu, or any other temptation of the moment as a “I can’t have that” … as if some food policeman was going to haul me to jail for breaking a rule someone else set for me. Frankly, having some other force tell me what I can and can’t eat just makes me want to give them the finger and eat an entire pizza. That’ll show them!!
But what I realized over the last few days is that I HAVE A CHOICE! I don’t have to give my power to a list of Eat and Don’t Eat foods. I don’t have to give my power to what other people order and encourage me to eat. I get to decide what I want to put in my body and what I don’t. When I say “no” to chips because I “CAN’T” eat them, I feel crappy, deprived. When I say “no” to chips because I CHOOSE not to eat them, it feels VERY powerful. Freeing even. And I feel like I can take on the world.
This has become my foundation thought on this journey. Yes, I want to lose weight to look better, feel better, live longer, and be able to do more things. But what I really want is to come to the end and be able to say, “Well, look at that. I accomplished something really big!”
So I refocus myself with anticipation of cool insights and revelations along the way. Little moments of meeting little goals and surprising myself along the way. (Like not eating sugar for almost 6 months… who knew I could do that?? Again, not because I have told myself I can’t but because I said, “I wonder how long I can go without sweets.” Now it’s a personal challenge, and who is going to throw 6 months of sugar sobriety away for a stupid cupcake?)
Anyway, know that I am thinking of you and supporting you and here for anything you need along the way.


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.

5 thoughts on “This Isn’t My First Sober Rodeo (Sugar Sober Series)

  1. rickd3352013 says:

    The word we use in recovery circles is relapse, as the term “backslider” is not just awfully religious, but also chock-full of negative connotations. They may, to someone not familiar with recovery as a dynamic process, seem similar (even equivalent), but one comes from a shaming mind-set (or one that can seem awfully condescending), while the other is a recognition of the dynamic. Relapse is *not* a part of recovery – but it is frequently a part of our stories.

    Not here in the role of Grammar Police, but as a supporter who has been on the battle lines a long time.

    God bless. 🙂


    • Beth Hess says:

      I truly appreciate the insight on distinction of terms. I come from a path of self-inflicted rules that do fill me with guilt and shame when I make even the tiniest of mistakes. So remembering Grace in recovery does not come naturally, and I’m learning to incorporate relapses as a part of my story I am willing to be transparent about when my first instinct is to hide them.


      • rickd3352013 says:

        I daresay God knew Adam and Eve were naked when He went looking for them (else He would not *be* God as I frequently misunderstand Him); human nature is to hide when we know we’re in the wrong, and that takes no deep theological base to know. I came from a shame, guilt, and fear base as well, Beth – when you’ve found someone that identifies with your struggle and can share their own experience, strength, and hope with you, the freedom tasted is but a promise of what is to come. Not that I believe I’ve grasped it all by any stretch of the imagination, but this I know – God will not leave me as He found me. Or you as He finds you. We can take the masks and the fig leaves off. 🙂


  2. Lucien says:

    Best of luck to you. My husband and I went Primal about three years ago, and sometimes it’s still a struggle to avoid sugar and simple carbs. It really, truly, honestly is an addiction. That means it’s a choice that has to be decided every day. Backslides will happen. What’s important is what we choose to do tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. I look forward to following your journey. Thank you for sharing it!


    • Beth Hess says:

      Learning to take responsibility for our choices is both convicting and empowering. I sure would rather blame something or someone else for my addiction, but I am learning it’s my choices that keep me enslaved. Thank you for your comment and support.


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