We are half way through this challenge!  There were some hard times and good times for all of us but we’re not done yet!  Here are a few of our challenger’s experiences to inspire you.  Keep going in the challenge or enter it still.  It truly is NEVER too late to start eating healthy and mindfully. 


            I have always had a massive addiction to sugar!  It started when I was about 13 years old and has never stopped.  I would binge on sugar quite often and spend the next few days trying to detox but the cycle would continue very soon.  The circle of addiction didn’t stop until I started to have really bad stomach aches that made me unable to work out as hard and sometimes not be able to move!  I was also highly inflamed but didn’t know what was happening because I had always been healthy before even with the sugar.  I had hit a wall and my digestive system decided to rebel. 

Although it took a long time for me to realize it was mainly the sugar that was doing this when I did realize it I was still addicted and didn’t stop.  I did a month of no sugar in September of 2014 but because I still had other intolerances I didn’t feel that much better.  I also didn’t have a plan for what I would do when I was done so the first day of the next month I was back on sugar in a big way and was more inflamed than ever before.  This challenge has been very different!  I started feeling real withdrawals the first few days but was determined.  With good solid fresh vegetables and fruits, fats and protein in the right amounts the withdrawals were easier to handle.  After the initial withdrawals such as headaches and a tired feeling I started to see my energy increase.  I felt my moods leveling out because I wasn’t having the changes in my blood sugar during the day, my skin was looking better and now I’m actually seeing my inflammation go down especially in my face and stomach.  I have lost a total of 5 pounds but this challenge wasn’t about that for me.  I haven’t had a stomach ache or flare up since the day I began this challenge and for that I am extremely grateful!

What will keep me going even after this challenge is remembering what it felt like after I ate junk, I felt disgusting, low energy, nausea, mood swings and a general depression start taking over.  I’ve read and taught my personal training clients to take control of their lives and for the first time in my life I felt it go out of control but can happily say I have regained my control and am feeling fantastic!

–          Lara Schamotta


“I’m in,” I typed and hit “comment”.  “Oh crap, what did I just do” popped into my head. Yes, I had just agreed to join the “no refined sugar January” challenge.  Hmm.  What about all the chocolates and wine we still have from Christmas?  Packed up some or the chocolate and took it into work the next day.  The rest is still in our house. This isn’t something new to me – back in my comp days, I went without sugar and/or alcohol for months. (of course, I DID get that one treat meal a week, which typically had sugar). AND, I did keep my Coke Zero in comp season, right up until the end.  This one means no sugar substitutes either.  And for the past two months NOTHING had been off limits.  Nothing was extreme, but those occasional treats had morphed into an everyday thing, and not just once a day.  Pannini for lunch? Pasta for dinner? Half my hubby’s dessert? Sure! Christmas baking – yum. Christmas chocolates (which, let’s face it, it simply chocolate!) GAME ON.  

Fast forward two weeks.  I have been checking labels, drinking gallons of water, and eating home prepared foods.  I no longer want to run across the street to pick up a scone or pannini.  The chocolate is still sitting untouched, and I don’t want to eat it (except the odd craving to have “just one piece”, which I haven’t done). I made a cake, and didn’t have a single taste.  Before agreeing to have a bite of my hubby’s food, I check the labels. Sugar in the list? Pass.  Coke Zero? Still crave one every afternoon. Maybe it’s the bubbles. I’ve made fruit infused water. It’s tasty, but not the same.

How do I feel? Honestly, not a lot different. The first couple of days, I felt like my moods were on a roller coaster. Then they settled down.  I’m still eating carbs, so my energy is fine. I get fruit, so my sweet tooth is happy.  Most days I don’t have a mid-afternoon slump, still hitting them occasionally.  I still have headaches, but the Calgary weather does that to me as well. My sinuses are slightly better. I’m down a couple of pounds, and my stomach seems flatter.  And, not five minutes ago, a coworker looked at me and said “are you leaning out? You look slimmer”. Ok, maybe I will keep this up. 

–          Julie Supple



  Going sugar free after eating a lot of sugar daily I had some withdrawal symptoms that lasted about a week.  I find I’m sleeping better, have less headaches.  Those I do have are less intense and I can taste and smell better!  Probably because my sinuses are clearer.  My blood sugar levels are more balanced so I don’t have ups and downs.  I had them before where I’d end up eating everything I saw. 

And I lost 4 pounds in the first two weeks!!

–          Chelsea Labossiere (Caba Fashions)





Half way through our Team Endurance January no-sugar challenge and feeling fantastic!  Even despite my scale saying I’m a couple pounds up. I attribute it to muscle gains from my heavier lifting as a direct result of the extra oomph I have now that my body doesn’t have to fight so hard to stabilize my blood glucose levels throughout the day. That for me is the most profoundly incredible benefit of eliminating sugar and refined foods. Those who know me know that I’m pretty high energy anyway, but the more consistent my energy, and the longer-lasting it is through my day, when completely off any sugar, is undeniable. There was a time that I would truly crash around dinner time/early evening. I would still go to sleep about 11pm, but from 7-11pm I was useless, not only physically exhausted and unproductive (I always thought it was just because I was so busy during the day), but mentally drained.  Forget about helping kids with homework, I literally had nothing in the tank. I would be short-fused and feel kind of down.. For a long time I thought this was normal.  I know now that depression and many mental health symptoms are related to imbalanced blood sugars. It may be a bit challenging to go completely sugar-free, but the benefits are so worth it – and having the support of others doing the same thing helps so much. Thank you Team Endurance!  Can we do it in February too?!


Yvette Styner



Keep updated with us on Instagram under Endurance8health and here:  on Facebook!  If you want to join us just like us on Facebook and check in daily!  Here’s to a healthier lifestyle!  

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