I’m thrilled to announce the scholarship winners below.
I spent days reading through the essays and watching the videos, every word important. I’m humbled by the heroes I learned about.
Go Sugar Free exists to make it easier for adults to feel exceptional in their skin. Whether by alleviating issues that can be seen on the outside or assuaging ones that can only be known from the inside, it has the potential to transform.
Here are winners of the Winter 2018 Go Sugar Free Scholarships:
Kristen, Sarah, Andrea, and Ashley
Keep reading to see the winning entries:
Each recipient wrote in great detail about why they wanted to take Go Sugar Free. I’ll share just small portions that stuck with me from each essay.
“…The past four years of my life have been met with the greatest stressors I have ever faced. The birth of a child, followed quickly by the death of my father; the death of my grandmother and the subsequent selling of the farm where I grew up. I have prided myself on being a strong person always, but as these years have worn on, I’ve seen that slip.
“In 2015, when the family farm was being prepared for auction, I started to fall ill. I constantly felt like I had the flu: horrible stomach aches, nausea, body aches. I attributed this to stress and thought nothing else of it. After the auction, I felt great. For a week. My symptoms came back full force and now included stomach burning. I lived this way for two months before I finally saw my doctor. She recommended I undergo an endoscopy and colonoscopy to figure this out. I found out in February 2016 that I had gastritis and because of a present irritation, my doctor recommended a gluten-free diet. I began immediately.
“What many don’t know is that ‘gluten-free’ foods tend to be laden with sugar. I have gained 20 pounds in the last two years because my choices have been less than desirable (sneaking candy, drinking wine, etc.). I work out; I run. I completed my first triathlon this year. I can’t seem, though, to find the motivation to let go of the crap and truly say goodbye to sugar.
“…I am at a point where I am no longer confident in my skin. I want to be a better mom and wife for my family. Clearing the sugar fog may be the first step in doing this…”
“I am a 44 year old stay at home mother of four children, ages 15, 13, 10, and 6, and I desperately need to go sugar free! I have tried many, many times in the past to be free of this addiction and have never succeeded past two weeks, even though I felt amazing towards the end of those two weeks. I have always struggled with a feeling of hopelessness as it pertained to my relationship with food, and particularly with sugar…I have become used to living with a foggy brain and inconsistent energy throughout the day…I want to know what it is like to feel good in my body, to wake up refreshed and happy, and excited for the day. I would love to experience what it is like to not really care for sugary foods…I want my children to know what it is like to have a mom who is energetic and has passion for life, and I want to teach them to respect their bodies and take care of themselves. I have been in bondage to sugar for almost 30 years and I need help to get out of it. I am inspired by how long you have been free of the pull of it and the results you have seen, as well as those who have completed your program. Is that really possible? I have hope that it is. That is what I want, and what I need…”
“‘This isn’t right.’
“This is what I think almost everyday when I am feeling fatigued. I am almost 32 years old with no serious medical issues. It is not right that I feel this groggy and tired every single day. I have no energy to do the activities that make me happy. I want to feel alive again, and I know that a Go Sugar Free lifestyle can reenergize me and help me live life to the fullest.
“I am a fourth grade teacher, who religiously makes breakfast and packs my lunch everyday, yet I am continuing to gain weight (of course mostly all belly weight!)…Upon further inspection of my diet, I discovered, to my surprise, that I actually do eat a lot of sugar – some hidden and some extremely obvious. For example, when I added up how many birthday treats I was eating on average, each school year, the number was disgustingly embarrassing.
“For the past two years, I have made my financial goals my top priority…I set out to become debt free. I picked up a night job, in addition to teaching, and after many tears, swollen feet, and a bruised social life, I paid off my all my credit cards and eliminated my car payment. I am still paying off my student loans from obtaining my Masters in Education, but the freedom I feel from not being a slave to credit cards is one of the best feelings in the world. And now it’s time to free myself from foods that are bringing me down and make my health my top priority.
“…I am a lifelong learner. As an elementary teacher, I am constantly learning…I know that in order to successfully eliminate added sweeteners and refined grains that I have to become a student and learn as much as I can about the subject. When I understand the whys and how’s, I know I can free myself from refined foods…”
Thank you to everyone who entered. There were so many deserving entries, and I was grateful to consider every single one.
Kristen, Sarah, Andrea, and Ashley, welcome to Go Sugar Free. We’re thrilled to have you.