Awakening Goddess: Empowering the Goddess Within

As above, so below, as within, so without - every thing that we desire, and every thing that we fear, exists within us. This blog explores nourishing our dreams, committing to our highest values, and healing ourselves from the inside out: awakening and empowering the Goddess within our bodies, hearts, and lives.

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Real Food Gives You Willpower

I quit sugar four weeks ago today, and I am amazed at how much energy, motivation, focus, and contentment I have gained as a result.  I’ve also dropped about 20 pounds and went from a size 28 to a size 24 in these four weeks, and I haven’t even made regular exercise part of my regimen yet (that’s in my plans for the next four weeks.)

When I say I quit sugar, I mean I stopped eating refined carbohydrates: candy; junk food; fast food; foods made with white flour, white rice, skinless potatoes; processed “food;” and artificial and refined sweeteners.

Several people have told me they wish they had my willpower.  I’ve told them, it wasn’t willpower – it was motivation.  And the cool thing is, once the sugar was out of my system, I had tons of both!

Willpower is the ability to control your behavior.  It sounds like such a simple thing, doesn’t it?  You know you are not supposed to do something, or that doing something will harm you, so you don’t do it.

It’s a lot easier to use willpower when you are feeling good and life is stable.  The more stress you have, and the worse you feel, the more reactively and impulsively you behave.  Refined sugar and junk food actually stress your biochemistry.  Some of us are born with genetics that make us more sensitive to refined sugar, so our bodies respond to sugar like it’s heroine.  It becomes a physical and emotional addiction.

Society punishes addicts, shames them, marginalizes them.  Society sends the message that willpower cures addiction, that people who lack willpower deserve to suffer.

 Society has it wrong.  Curing addiction and minimizing suffering gives us willpower.

Addiction is an illness: a biochemical problem that requires support and treatment.  Addictive behaviors are symptoms of the illness, not causes of it.

Our society actually promotes food addiction, because it is profitable, and we’re capitalists.  We blame the victims for choosing to eat too much of the foods which are literally engineered to addict us from the time we are children.  I highly recommend you watch the documentary Fed Up.  I wish everyone would watch it.

My motivation for quitting sugar when I did was receiving lab results that showed that I had developed type 2 diabetes.  I don’t want to rely on pills or, heaven forbid, shots, for the rest of my life.  I refuse to go blind, lose limbs, or even die from a disease caused by sugar addiction, especially knowing that I can reverse it with regular exercise and changing what and how I eat.

In my memoir there’s a scene where, upon discovering I was pregnant, I tossed my cigarettes in the trash and quit smoking cold turkey.  The same sensation happened when I saw those test results.  My identity as someone who eats sugar dropped into my internal trash can.

The first few days sucked.  I knew they would suck, and I was prepared.  I stayed home as much as possible and cooked a ton so I always had real food to eat when the hunger pangs hit.  It seemed like nothing satisfied the hunger the first few days, so I just kept my tummy uncomfortably full with veggies and proteins.  I was irritable, emotional, exhausted, had a hard time focusing, and I watched all the food documentaries I could find on Netflix to help distract me from my discomfort and help keep me motivated.

By the fourth day, I was already feeling better.  By the end of the first week, the sugar was out of my system and I had crazy amounts of willpower.  And energy.  My mood was stable and mostly good, I had dropped ten pounds, I could think more clearly than I had in months.  I felt like a whole new person.

Four weeks later, I still feel as good as I did the second week.  Maybe better.  I feel great!  Now that I’ve got the food habits down, I’m ready to add regular walking and playing dancing games to my routine.  After those habits are established, I’ll be ready to add some muscle-building to my routine.

In the meantime, all this extra energy and focus has is going into my writing, my work, and into parenting and homeschooling my son.

If you feel like you have no willpower, set yourself up for success and try quitting sugar for just 7 days.  It’s okay if you aren’t ready to change how you eat for life yet.  Just give yourself the experience of powering your body and mind with real food, and seeing how you feel after 7 days of clean eating.

If you want to hear more about how I did it, check out this article on my website:


You might also be interested in this article about how I became fat and on fat-shaming:

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Ashley Rae published her first book, a memoir, in 2012, and has been a professional psychic, healer, and teacher since 2003. Ashley's goal in life is to help you empower the divine spark within yourself so that you can love yourself freely, make your life awesome, and make this world a more beautiful, compassionate place. Visit her website to check out her other blog, find out her schedule, book an appointment and register for her classes.


  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Tuesday, 12 January 2016

    Yes!!!! I live with chronic illness and can't even imagine how much worse my quality of life would be if I ate a typical American diet -

  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae Wednesday, 13 January 2016

    Thanks, Lizann! I have too many friends suffering chronic illness and eating the Standard American diet. It's hard to imagine how they would benefit from cleaner eating, since the illnesses are so varied. Cleaner eating would help their bodies function better, certainly. :)

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 13 January 2016

    Ashley, I support your journey. Since 1980, I’ve basically been sugar free. I’ve also refrained from honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, and rice syrup. As well as all refined carbohydrates. It's one of the reasons I survived multiple sclerosis. If you'd like to read a blog I wrote about it, here it is, but in any case, best of luck.

  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae Wednesday, 13 January 2016

    Thanks Francesca! I quit all those things too. I look forward to reading your blog post.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 13 January 2016

    Rock on! Let me know what you think about the blog. I am hoping it will support your eating power, ... ooh, I like that, must use that phrase again, "eating power." Eating real food really is eating power. The implications of that simple phrase are many. I think I will write a blog enumerating some of them, LOL.

  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae Wednesday, 13 January 2016

    I love your affirmation. I left a comment there too. Link your new blog post here when you are done writing it - I'd love to read it. :D

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 13 January 2016

    You are too kind, tu! I read your blog on your own site about qutting sugar. It is such an accomplishment.

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