THE BLOG
02/08/2015 04:55 pm ET Updated Apr 10, 2015

17-Year-Old and No Sugar?!

As the new year came around this year, I was stuck with the question I and everyone face every year, "what should my New Years resolution be?" A lot of people typically chose go to the gym more often, but that isn't a great idea for me considering I don't need upper body strength or gym equipment to be a great runner. I figured I would just ignore my New Years resolution and keep living as I do, because I didn't see that there was much I could physically change to make me a "better" or happier person.

On New Years Day, I overheard my mom mention something called the sugar challenge. The idea behind it is to not eat any extremely sugary foods or drinks along with no artificial sweeteners. Things that would taste tart or bland would suddenly become much more appealing after a few days of no massive amounts of sugar. I decided to read a few stories about it, and everyone has all these amazing stories like how they suffered through nasty tart yogurt for three days, but on the fourth the yogurt tasted fantastic.

I saw no reason to not join in on this challenge; in fact I thought it looked pretty easy. "No soda or candy? Sure that'll be fine, I can live without those," suddenly became "man, chocolate sounds amazing right now," after only one day. I'm on day two, and getting through coffee with no sweetener was a task that should not be taken lightly. I eat so much sugar regularly that only after one day of not having any ice cream, soda, candy, baked goods, or any other extremely sugary substance has become a huge task. I've been eating strawberries and yogurt where sugary bars or chips would've been my go-to snack. I see my mom struggling with me on this, but we'll get through the 10 days AT LEAST before fully giving up.

Doing this challenge is amazing not only because it would definitely help me as an athlete to eat less sugar, but also because of the fact that I'm reading more ingredient labels. Now even bread is made with sugar! I can't even have a bagel at this point. It's not hard to eat things low in sugar, it's hard to resist what is high in sugar content. Things like chocolate release massive amounts of certain chemicals in your brain like endorphin and serotonin. Endorphins lessen stress and pain while serotonin is an antidepressant. Like all drugs, given enough outside supply the body lessens or altogether stops the natural production of these chemicals. Part of this challenge is to get those chemicals to start producing naturally again.

Not only do I see this challenge doing nothing but good by challenging my willpower, patience, and cutting down sugar intake, but it also sends a good message. Everyone, especially people my age, eat massive amounts of sugar on a daily basis. I want to try to get other people on board with this idea because I can feel the good it's doing already. As far as I can tell I'm in the toughest part, which is the first three to four days. The only real question for myself is will I keep this up after the 10 days?