Let’s Be Honest. This is HARD!! (Sugar Sober Series)


October 10, 2014 by Beth Hess

Every town. Nearly every corner. Thousands of people in and out everyday. To fuel up their cars. Their bodies. Their addictions.

Strategically wrapped magazine covers. Cigarettes behind the counter. Coolers with ice-cold cans. Scratch your way to wealth. Candy bars in bright packaging.

Side by side. Pick your poison.

I hear it all the time. I’ve even said it myself.

“I’d rather be an alcoholic. Then I could just stop drinking. But with food… I still have to eat, you know.”

I now know that’s not only hugely disrespectful to addicts with attractions I don’t understand, but it’s also a cop-out. And a lie.

Alcoholics can’t stop drinking EVERYTHING. They have to give up alcohol.
Food addicts can’t stop drinking EVERYTHING. They have to give up sugar. Or chips. Or bread. Or eating out. Or eating past full. Or eating in secret. Or…

“But food temptations are everywhere. No event happens in America without food,” says the food addict.

I’m willing to bet that if beer is your vice, there are few social gatherings you attend that are alcohol-free. If you’ve been a drug addict for years, your regular hang outs probably offer that, too. Magazines at a buddy’s house. Checking lottery numbers with your friends.

ALL recovery is hard!!

No matter what you’re fighting (let’s not forget shopping, gossip, shoplifting, etc…) there are no easy answers. The actions that have to be taken are likely to turn things upside down. Your free time changes. Your behavior. Your default settings. Your language. Your friends.

Some people won’t understand. Some will think your recovery is a statement on your disapproval of their behavior. And it will hurt when you realize they may even be trying to sabotage your journey, so they can feel better about their own.

Getting — and staying — sober makes you different — in all the hardest of ways. Your routine. Your menu planning. Your lunches out with friends. Your contributions to potluck dinners. Your spending. Your…

And you’ll have to avoid buffets. And the office break room. And vending machines. And free samples. And the lollipop bowl at the bank.

And you’re angry at the lollipops even though you don’t like them.

And you still have to drive by Dunkin’ Donuts to get to and from your office every day.

And it will be hard. And you will wish it didn’t have to be this way. And you may even question if it’s worth it. And in some moments your honest assessment will be “No, it doesn’t feel worth it.”

And you will think that breaking into a million pieces seems like a very strange way to make your life whole.

But so many who have walked this before assure you it’s the only way. That letting go of yourself is the only way to find yourself again.

And believing them will be hard, too.


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.

21 thoughts on “Let’s Be Honest. This is HARD!! (Sugar Sober Series)

  1. […] 10: Let’s Be Honest. This is Hard!!: And it will be hard. And you will wish it didn’t have to be this way. And you may even question […]


  2. Catching up…it IS hard to give up sugar and anything else that is not good and healthy for you. Knowing this – I also know I NEED to and still can’t seem to get there. I love diet pepsi; and will settle for diet coke or diet “generic” – but I know I should be drinking water and other things besides soda. Same for the desserts, etc. I need to really get it together and give all of these things up…Thank you for sharing!! I’ll continue to follow!


    • Beth Hess says:

      There is grace, Barbara. MUCH grace for all the choices we make that we wish we hadn’t. Trust in God to direct your path… not the chorus of “shoulds” in your head. Glad you’re here!


  3. glendachilders says:

    I have been working hard on my food issues and especially on my all or nothing mentality. We were out this morning, introducing friends to our favorite diner in Chicago. I passed on the delicious donut holes they pass out while you are in line, the amazing toast and hashbrowns, but said YES to the half and half in their wonderful coffee. It felt like a good morning.


    31 dayer


  4. I started eating primarily “real” foods-minimally processed, no HFCS, additives/preservative free, etc-several months ago. And though, yes, I eat sugar, it’s still hard. I’m not hardcore with it, but I think intentionally about what I eat. But it can be difficult to explain it to others without making it seem like I’m judging them. Mostly, they probably just think I’m crazy. 😉 But the temptation is ALL around, all the time!

    Stay strong, and good luck with the #sugarsoberoctober! 🙂


    • Beth Hess says:

      Thanks for the words of encouragement, Jen. I think intentionally is key. Knowing what you are eating and why. And that can be a very personal thing. Judgment can be hard, but I love hearing that you’re standing up for yourself and what you know is right for you.


  5. Simply Beth says:

    I will be honest and admit I am one who has made that claim (about giving up drinking vs. food). BUT it’s been followed by also admitting that was not an accurate or fair statement. It was indeed a cop-out and a lie. Recovery is HARD. Can I be honest? I’m still working on getting to the point of wanting it. 😦 So challenged by all you are sharing through this series, Beth. Challenged by how I can speak of my deep, deep love for God and of how I’m so in awe of His greatness yet I still let this have control over me. It’s better but I need to let go completely. Oh how I wished we lived closer. I could use some heart to heart conversations on this topic. Thank you for your transparency. Love you much. xoxo


    • Beth Hess says:

      The wanting to want it is absolutely a part of the process, Beth. Because I’ve also spent a good amount of time NOT wanting to want it. God is cracking you open to birth a whole new season of beauty in you, friend. I’m blessed to be witness to it.


  6. Moi says:

    Sugar Free is hard to do! Best of luck on your journey – I have been cutting sugar out for almost a year now (along with many other delicious things!) and it has not been easy. It gets easier but it’s not something that ever really stops being hard on some level – at least that has been my experience. I really appreciate your words and talking about food addictions – it is such a hard topic because people do think you are judging them when YOU make changes to your diet – it’s weird but sabotage is something that I’ve seen even from those I least expected. Thanks for sharing your journey!


    • Beth Hess says:

      The sabotage can be painful, but always important that we walk our own journey with grace. And I think you’re right that food addiction will probably never stop being hard. But maybe, then, it will always be a reminder of my need to surrender it again. Thank you for joining me here.


  7. We are all in some way or another addicted to something. Even if we don’t want to admit it. Thankfully God can help us overcome anything. I will be starting this journey soon, when I finally decide that I am ready to give up my addiction to nicotine, I stopped smoking last year (hadn’t smoked in 13 years before my divorce) and went to e-cigs. Now I am getting to the point where I want to let go of them, but I know it will not be easy!


    • Beth Hess says:

      I can see God doing beautiful things in you, Shasta. The inkling a of feeling of letting something go is a good indication that He’s ready to journey with you on it. Let me know how I can be praying for you.


  8. newscindy says:

    Oh, Beth!!! I need to stop eating sugar, but I haven’t marshalled the resolve to do so…yet. I’ve decreased it significantly–that’s a start, right? I admire your fortitude though, and this is a great topic for the 31 days challenge.

    Cindy Swanson


  9. Lauren says:

    This is a great post. I am a food addict… a true emotional eater. Happy? Sad? Mad? ANY and ALL emotions.
    Quitting anything is hard. I stopped drinking Diet Coke for six months and now wish I’d never gone back. At this point, I just don’t have the self-discipline to stop again… I like it too much. Which is weak, I recognize.
    The point you make about not judging other addictions? YES AND AMEN. We are all addicted to something…
    Great food for thought. In every meaning of that statement =)


    • Beth Hess says:

      Thank you, Lauren. Food is such an “acceptable” addiction and hard to really admit the depth of sometimes. But learning from other addicts to other substances has been paradigm-shifting for me. Because there is so much we can all learn from each other when we stop measuring ourselves against each other.


  10. Sarah Travis says:

    You’re right – is IS hard!!!!! I overcame a HUGE hurdle this week though. I am an emotional eater and sugar is my go-to and during one of the most challenging days for a long time I wasn’t even tempted!!! Granted it’s only been 10 days and I know there will be days I WILL be tempted but I know it is POSSIBLE to be sober 🙂 I once heard something: The pain of disappointment is better than the pain of regret!


  11. ambercadenas says:

    Wow. All of this is so alive with honest emotion, struggle, insight. It’s these words that speak right into where I’m at, too: “And you will think that breaking into a million pieces seems like a very strange way to make your life whole.”Strange indeed. And somehow, birthing life. I am honored to be getting to know you, Beth.


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