freedom from addiction, and my 45 lb weight loss

Y'all. My life has changed.

**I never write about weight or health really,
mainly because I have fear of people judging me.
So please know that my heart is sincere right now in sharing this with you as a story of my personal journey and as an encouragement to you if you need it.**

PS this is a long post, but worth the read, I promise!! :)

{progression of weight loss in my face...maybe you can't tell, but I can! :) }

I actually should probably start this post saying something like,
"Hi, I'm Sarah. I am a sugar addict."
And then I would let you know that while it is still a daily battle,
I have been mostly "sober" from sugar for several months now.

I am being completely serious, and if you think I am joking, then you probably never have had, or don't realize that you do have, an addiction to processed sugar.
It is real.
When I first starting changing my diet, and cut out all processed, refined sugar, and gluten...
I literally went through withdrawals from the sugar for about 2 days.
Like chills, headaches, the shakes...the whole bit, no joke.
Which clearly proved to me that I was doing the right thing!!

I will write more about my addiction to sugar as this "series" progresses,
but the gist of it is this...
I have always loved anything sweet. Especially candy and desserts.
But my main vice? SUGARY DRINKS. Completely processed, FULL of sugar drinks.
Juices of any kind: grape, lemonade, cranberry, you name it.
Oh, and lets not forget about my enemy, Coke. yep, straight up Coca-Cola.
Seriously I am surprised I did not become obese from all the sugar I have drank in my life.
You know how most people keep a glass of water by the bed?
I used to keep JUICE.
Swigging it all night long, every time I slightly woke up.
(oh, and let's not even talk about what this has done to my teeth.)

All that to say...guess what?! I am free from my sugar addiction and feel healthier
than I have in years. Seriously.
And I have lost 45 lbs, and feel great right now!

Don't worry, this post is not about the Sugar Devil or something.
It's not even about weight.
It is about the FREEDOM I have personally found in changing the way I eat and think about food.

HOW did I do it?
At the encouragement of several friends, and mainly my sister Danielle,
I got on board with the "Whole30" challenge, which is basically eating Paleo in a strict way.
It is a great way to begin the HEALING process to rid your body of all the processed crap you have put in it.
(hence my withdrawal symptoms)

"Paleo" is kindof a popular thing right now, especially as Crossfit exercise has become popular...most Crossfitters seem to embrace this way of eating.
It basically is eating lots of protein, healthy fats, veggies, fruits, seeds, and nuts.
No processed foods, white potatoes, starches or refined sugars.
Sounds hard, but Im telling's not, once you get passed the initial "healing" your body has to go through.
There is a plethora of awesome recipes out there, and I will be sharing a bunch here too!

I'm about to tell y'all about it, but
click here to learn a ton about it:


OK so lets talk about the weight thing real quick.
I am just going to be completely vulnerable and open with y'all here, as I would hope you would expect from me. Even about this.
so please, no judgement ok? :)

Though I have had an addiction to sugar for a long time, I never struggled with being overweight. I have always had very high metabolism and am usually very active as far as exercise goes.

And let me give a quick disclaimer here:
I fully realize that most of my weight gains have been from pregnancy, which is obviously legitimate and healthy weight gain!
But after the baby comes, and after a reasonable amount of time and physical healing, getting through the early stages of breastfeeding, adjusting to no sleep, etc...
it just becomes weight.
And it is SO so easy to just keep it on, and add to it.

And that's what I did after I had Abigail.
And rightly so, really! In my experience, having my first baby was one of the hardest adjustments ever in my life. So focusing on weight loss was obviously not a priority, when all I really needed was just a little shut-eye. :)
(amen, first time mommies?).

But when Abigail was 9 months old, and I was still carrying around the baby weight,
I realized that how I felt about myself was affecting everything.
I felt gross, I was still wearing maternity clothes, I had NO energy.
Eventually I lost the weight after getting back into exercise, and about 2 months of Jenny Craig. (which was great for me then, but it is def not a way to live because it is ALL so processed).

Then we got preggo with sweet Bethany.
I learned later that you usually gain more with each pregnancy (was this true for yall?)
Well, it was for me!
I gained 42 lbs with Bethany, which was a good amount and nothing to worry about.

But I KNEW this time, that I wanted to really work at getting the weight off quicker.
Not because of looks, but because of how it makes me feel to carry around extra weight.
It is a lot easier said than done though, especially when you are a nursing mommy who wants to eat everything in sight, you aren't sleeping, and you are chasing around a 2 year old.

{post-baby weight, even in my legs}

I want to say this real quick:
do NOT in any way think that I am saying that if you carry around baby weight for a while it is a bad thing. it's NOT. This is just MY personal story and my journey of becoming healthier. :)

So, I let some of the weight just come off as it naturally does after delivery.
I tried to exercise some, but finding time/child care to do that was difficult with two little ones.

A few friends of ours began telling us about the "Paleo" thing.
Pale-what? no carbs? are you Crazy?
umm, no JUICE? "Theres NO way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks I can ever do that."

BUT, with simply hearing the testimony of my sister, of our friend Zach, and a few others,
about how their life and health and sicknesses changed...
I began to realize that this may just be what I NEED to do.
To lose the weight but also (mainly) to change my eating lifestyle and break my sugar addiction.

So I did it.
I did not make it through the whole 30 days of Whole30,
but it kickstarted my weight loss AND my freedom from sugar addiction.
Within the first 14 days, I lost 12 lbs. Yes, that's right.
My sister's husband lost about 30 in 30 days!!

And I continued to lose until I met my goal, then started adding some processed foods back in (limited).
(then I went to Dallas for a funeral for a week, and gained some I am now embarking on my second Whole30 challenge!)

My hope in sharing all this with you today, and in the days and posts to come,
is to encourage you that you CAN break addiction to processed foods.
And to encourage you to ask yourself if you HAVE that addiction! Lots of people don't realize they do.

Also, I hope to offer some guidance and tools for you if you decide to embark on this journey too.
Seriously, if I can, anyone can.
This girl used to make out-of-the-way trips to the gas station to get Laffy Taffy.
And you know the great thing about it, about "clean eating"?
You really do feel clean.

Know this about Whole30 and Paleo eating:
It is NOT a "diet". no points, no counting, no microwaved food.
It is a way to live better.


so here is my testimony about it:
in 6 months and 10 days, I lost 45 lbs.
I have for the most part, kept it off for almost 2 months.
I sleep better, which is a miracle.
I am no longer addicted to sugar, which is an even bigger miracle.
I have more energy to keep up with being a Mommy.
I feel better about how I look.
I stay fuller longer which helps me not to reach for bad snacks all day.
I am wearing regular clothes (not maternity still).
My moods are drastically better.
Exercising is easier.
I coud tell Bethany was affected because my breastmilk got healthier:
she stopped having any reflux and her gas issues improved SIGNIFICANTLY.
My mind and memory is clearer than ever.

All positive things that have impacted my life!
That's why I had to share.

The fact that I am no longer addicted to sugar like I was is worth it all.
I honestly believe this is saving me from sicknesses I was headed for.

I feel like I've been given a GIFT of changing my life.
I am NOT perfect (I had a bunch of Nutella this weekend, darn it.)
BUT I am trying.
Because I have come to realize it is important to me.


{the day I reached 45 lb weight loss goal!}

I am still very much a work in progress when it comes to all this, but my desire is to share a little bit with you here about how my life has changed.
I will have a button over on my sidebar that says "Whole 30...",
that you can click on to find tips, recipes, and read about my journey in this.
That's what it is: a journey.
I look forward to doing this thing together. :)

Come back tomorrow to learn more about this "Whole30" thing,
and about the Paleo way of eating.
I'm gonna include one of my favorite recipes for y'all too!

also, if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I am using the hashtag #sarahswhole30
to show pics of meals I am eating on this journey!

In the meantime, check out this website to read about it:


and check this out to read stories of people whose lives have been changed like me:

sorry that was a whole lotta info...but I am so glad to share it all!!
You are my new bff if you made it through all that! :)

Blessings y'all!!
See ya tomorrow.