I’m a little embarrassed by what I’m about to tell you, so just a fair warning, this subject is a bit sensitive to me. It might be something you’re struggling with too.
There was a time when I drank 5 cups of coffee every day. That might not sound too bad to most of you, but here's the kicker... I put 3 packets of sugar in each one!
And, that's not all. After drinking my sugary coffee all morning and through the afternoon, I went home to drink soda with my dinner and while watching TV before bed.
It's true... I was addicted to sugar. My sweet tea was never sweet enough, and I couldn't stop myself from drinking sugary drinks all day, and night, long.
It was like riding a roller-coaster. My days and nights were filled with sugar rushes followed by sugar crashes.
When I was younger, I didn't think sugar was so bad. I could pretty much eat and drink whatever I wanted and never had to deal with the unwanted side effects.
But as I got older, having a sweet tooth has definitely taken its toll on me.
About a year ago, I decided I needed a lifestyle overhaul. I wanted to start eating better and exercising more, but a friend of mine gave me some great advice.
He said: Start with one small step.
He was right! Trying to change your diet, health, and mobility all at once can be very overwhelming. It's easy to get frustrated when you are trying to change too much at one time, and just give up on it altogether.
I didn't want that to be me, so I followed his advice.
The first small step I decided to take was to cut the sugar out of my drinks.
Was it easy? Of course not!
But, I stuck to it and now I'm proud to say I take my coffee without sugar and I stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
The benefits of cutting down on my sugar consumption have been incredible.
I'm going to share just a few with you, because I don't want you to wait until it's too late to start making healthy changes in your life. You can start small like me!
How did I start?
The first place I needed to start was with the sugar in my coffee. I started slow by cutting down to 2 packets of sugar in each cup for a week. Then I went down to 1 packet in each cup for a week. After that, I went to 1 packet in each cup every other day.
By this time, I was already feeling much better! It was rough at first, but then I found myself craving sugar in my coffee less and less. I also found that I didn't need to drink as much coffee either. My body felt like it had more energy, naturally.
I'm proud to say that eventually I was done with sugar in my coffee altogether! My friends and family knew what a huge deal this was for me.
But, I didn't stop there. Like I said, I was feeling so much better and I wanted to keep up the momentum.
Soda and sweet tea were next on my list. First, I cut back like I did with the sugar in my coffee, and then I stopped buying it altogether when I was at the store.
That was the easiest way for me to stop, because I didn't have access to it at my office or at home.
Starting with cutting out sugary drinks was my first small step. Then I turned to the types of foods I was eating - all were processed meals full of sugar.
Changing my diet was hard, but I had the momentum from how great I felt by starting with sugary drinks. I started exercising more and reading the labels of the food I was eating. I had no idea how much sugar I was really consuming a day!
Now, I feel better than ever and I know it's all because I started with that one small step.
So what’s your story?
What healthy lifestyle changes are you making? Are you ready to cut down on sugar, too?
If I can do it, anyone can. I believe in you! The question is, do you believe in yourself?
Share your story with us on Facebook.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results not typical. Individual results may vary.
Impact of Knowledge of Health Conditions on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake Varies Among US Adults. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28664774].
Associations of sugar and artificially sweetened soda with albuminuria and kidney function decline in women. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20884773].
Sweetened beverage consumption, incident coronary heart disease, and biomarkers of risk in men. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22412070/].
Sugar-sweetened beverage, diet soda, and fatty liver disease in the Framingham Heart Study cohorts. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26055949].