Last month I did my own version of “Dry January”, and until last month I had never heard of that term! Some people give up alcohol during January, and I did my own version of that by giving up dessert. People who know me know that I looooove sweets, specifically chocolate. Freddy loves to bake and I’m always first in line to lick the spatula of batter or try his first batch of test cookies. Towards the end of last year leading up to the holidays, we were having some form of dessert every single night, whether it was ice cream, brownies, cookies or Sprinkles cupcakes. As much I love dessert, I wasn’t loving the way it made me feel. I always felt so lethargic afterwards, sometimes falling asleep on the couch before 9pm. I also hated the effects it was having on my skin. My skin felt puffy, irritated and I was getting breakouts left and right, which I hadn’t really dealt with since I was in my early 20’s.
As 2018 was coming to an end, I knew I wanted to take a step in the new year and make a positive change in my daily dessert habits. I decided that I would give up all chocolate in January, which after a couple days turned into no dessert period. If I was going to give up chocolate then I might as well forego any form of dessert all together! The first week was a huge struggle—I found myself craving any sort of sweets at all times of the day: in the morning I wanted donuts or a chocolate croissant, at lunch I wanted a cookie, and at dinner I would have killed for a scoop of ice cream! I bought a bunch of fruit to try and curb my sugar cravings and I used raspberries, blueberries and grapes as my form of dessert at night if I felt like I was going crazy.
Once the first week passed I started to feel like I could really stick with it; I even waited in the car as Freddy went to Sprinkles one night and I turned down the cupcake he got for me! That’s when he knew I was really serious about my “Dry January” plan haha. It took a couple weeks for me to notice a difference in my skin; I think it took some time to mellow out and adjust to the fact that I wasn’t constantly putting refined sugar in my body. I was also making a concerted effort to eat healthier too—less pasta and rice, more veggies and protein. January was also the month I kickstarted my BBG workout program and constantly worked out 3 times a week (still going strong this month!) and I was feeling really good about the choices I was making to stay active and eat better foods. You know what the best part was? About halfway through the month I wasn’t even craving dessert anymore! I could walk by the dessert aisle at the grocery store and not even feel tempted to run over and take something home. I honestly felt free; free from the chains of sugar addiction.
As you can see from my before and after photo (#nofilter) I have significantly less breakouts than I did when January started. I still have some acne scars which isn’t uncommon for me, but overall my skin feels infinitely better than it did one month ago! I have mentioned in previous posts that self-confidence is something I’m working on improving this year, and to be honest, it’s hard to feel confident when my skin looks like it did in my before photo. But aside from my skin, I feel so much better all around! I have more energy during the day because I’ve been sticking to a consistent sleep cycle and getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and I’m eating foods that actually fuel my body rather than making it crash 30 minutes later.
On February 1st I decided to “reward myself” and bring some donuts to the office. I ate three (yes definitely way too many but it had been a long time since I had a donut!) and I immediately regretted my decision. Not even joking, that night I had a breakout form on my face and I decided that this wasn’t just going to be a January challenge, but rather a complete lifestyle change. And the best part is Freddy is joining me! He stopped eating dessert about halfway through last month and instantly noticed a difference in his body, too. Now this doesn’t mean I’m never going to eat dessert again, because that would just be insane! But I am definitely saving it for special occasions and moderating the amount that I eat. Maybe instead of having a whole Sprinkles cupcake I’ll split one with Freddy. I just realized that it’s honestly not worth it to feel so sluggish and tired after eating some cookies or a brownie. I only have one life to live and I want to feel happy and energized and ready to take on each day that God puts before me!
I hope my journey encourages you in some way, no matter what mountain is standing in your way. I still have a long road ahead of me to achieve my health and wellness goals, but if I can take one small step then I absolutely know you can too! I’m cheering you on, and if you want to share your goal in the comments below, I’d love to encourage you in that! xo