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Sarah Young’s Ocsober & Sugar Free!

By Nicole Miljevic

Ray White Gerringong’s own Sarah Young stayed sober throughout October, participating in Life Education’s ‘Ocsober’ fundraiser, as well as putting herself through the challenge of not eating sugar. 

Ms Young is undertaking a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Education for Change at the University of Wollongong – so this challenge was in her blood.

Sarah retells of oh her journey:

“Two months ago I was sitting on the lounge at home when an advertisement came on TV for Ocsober, encouraging people to take up the challenge of going sober for a whole month.I then Googled it and found that all money raised goes to Life Education, who work towards promoting happier and healthier lives for our younger generations.

As I am 19 years of age and don’t find myself dependent upon alcohol I thought I would take it even further and also take on the challenge of giving up sugar for a month too. That was the hard part. I had an original goal of raising $500 and with the donations having a slow start, at the beginning I thought I would struggle to reach it.However by October 31, after 35 very generous donations I raised a total of $1173.I was very appreciative of people’s kindness both in donating money but also in encouraging and supporting me along the way.

It was funny and interesting hearing different people’s reactions to my decision to take on these challenges.I had a couple of people say, “but sugar is in everything… what are you going to eat?” I also had someone say to me, “you are going a whole month without alcohol? How are you going to manage that?”

I would respond with a slight laugh, thinking to myself, “oh I know, it’s going to be hard”. I remember the first few days I had this funny taste in my mouth and it was like my taste buds were absolutely craving the taste of sugar. Then in the last couple of days I began to be able to taste chocolate in my mouth at the thought of eating it on November 1.

The hardest parts were when I was at gatherings and different occasions where there were lots of yummy and sugary foods on offer that I had to turn down.Also finding food to eat out was difficult.I found myself Googling things every day looking up ingredients and seeing what does and doesn’t contain sugar, so I was able to learn a lot in that sense.But I also came to the realisation and understanding that there is so much food I consume on a daily basis that contains sugar, but it is so easy to avoid this and replace the sugary things with substitutes.

You do miss it a little bit but it is definitely achievable and seeing what it has done to my health and well-being in just a month, I am determined to change and alter my everyday diet to containing less sugar (and alcohol) from now on.”

Congratulations on the hard work you put in Sarah!

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