Saying “No” Makes Room for the Beautiful “Yes” (Sugar Sober Series)


October 6, 2014 by Beth Hess

lots-of-junkSince October 1, after a final binge on donuts, cookies, and sweet tea the day before, here is a sampling of the things I’ve said “No” to.

* Pumpkin-shaped Reese’s cups
* Wendy’s Frosty
* Every fast-food restaurant with milkshakes, cookies, and hot apple pies
* Donuts at church
* Cinnamon pretzel at Sam’s
* Sam’s Club sample hawkers
* Fruit Cake (ok, that was an easy pass, but I’m counting it a victory anyway)
* The ice cream aisle
* Candy bars at the check-out line
* Late-night pantry creations
* Giant bags of assorted Halloween candies
* Pumpkin-spice latte
* Frozen yogurt and its array of candy-coated toppings
* Sweet tea
* “Nutrition” bars with dark chocolate

But who’s tracking it, right?!?

I am finding, however, that every “No, Thank you” builds my muscle against the next challenge.

Plus, I’ve had plenty of time for Yes, as well.

Yes to a full weekend of family time with no other plans. Yes to sitting outside in the cool afternoon. Yes to noticing how the October light deepens the beauty of fields in harvest. Yes to reading. Yes to writing. Yes to worship music in the morning. And on the way home. And running through my mind all day.

Yes to connecting with others that have a similar struggle. Yes to letting them know they are not alone. Yes to the hope that there is another way. Yes to old dogs and new tricks.

Yes to feeling hungry and not having to fill it at all costs. Yes to feeling full and stopping without cleaning the plate. Yes to the quiet reconnection of my body and my soul. Yes to them learning to be friends again.


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.

9 thoughts on “Saying “No” Makes Room for the Beautiful “Yes” (Sugar Sober Series)

  1. […] may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8,10) Day 6: Saying “No” to What Holds Me Back; Making Room for a Better “Yes”.: I am finding, however, that every “No, Thank you” builds my muscle against the next challenge. […]


  2. aljung72 says:

    Your challenge is inspiring and I do agree…Every no means yes to something else. Each no makes us stronger. I love how you’re looking at this! I also love this picture—it makes not want to eat sugar!


  3. Sharon says:


    It strikes me that the enemy tries to get us to focus on the things we say “no” to. He likes to make us feel like we’re being short-changed somehow, that our pleasures are being denied. After all, isn’t that sorta the crux of what he tempted Eve with?

    But, God is all about the “YES!” Letting Him control our hearts makes all the difference. He teaches us that these things that we “deny” ourselves are really just openings for Him to pour in His grace.

    “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

    I’ll never forget that someone once said that this verse could be interpreted in this way:

    Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give TO you HIS desires in your heart.

    Yes, Lord, make it so.



    • Beth Hess says:

      Good words, Sharon. I’m learning to delight in lasting things, indeed. Like the Lord. Delighting in things that fade so quickly just doesn’t made any sense when I really consider the cost. Of course, you’re right that Satan is so good at blinding us to the realities of the cost. So it’s all about staying alert.


  4. ambercadenas says:

    This is certainly worth celebrating, friend! When I see your list of Nos laid out so stark here, beside the Yes’s, it moves me, how many things this could be true of in my own life. How many cheap, unsatisfying, life-depleting things I say yes to on a daily basis, and all those rich, fulfilling, life-affirming things I say no to. When I look at Yes as making space, opening, to good things, it changes me, too. Thank you, Beth.


    • Beth Hess says:

      It’s a pretty easy choice when these things are laid out side by side, huh? Maybe it’s a key to continuing quality decisions — looking for the Yes on the flip side of a No. I’m so grateful you are here with me, Amber.


  5. beth says:

    This is inspiring; I said, “Yes” to three apple cider donuts from our favorite orchard on a wonderful family trip. Today, my body aches. I have zero energy. I’m paying the price….

    Thanks for the reminder that it’s more about the “YES” that we make room for! Best of luck on your further journey!


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