Interview with Melody Cisneros Milstead on Her Journey to Stop Eating Sugar

At Bienestar, we all have a health story to share. The mission of health and well-being is more than just a project we work on. For most of us, it is a personal journey that has led us to do this work full-time. Many of us have struggled with health issues that have limited our quality of life that has forced us to confront or address our health needs. For others, the journey has brought us to a place of rediscovering our capacity to push our bodies through exercise that we never dreamed possible.

Today we interview Melody Cisneros Milstead, Regional Director of Bienestar in South Texas. The remarkable turn in events in her life are so significant, that we felt led to share her story with our followers today. We hope they inspire you to explore your own health story.

Ana: Thank you Melody for agreeing to share your story with us today. Maybe we should start with some background information. What health problems have you been experiencing over the last year?

Melody: I broke my foot two years ago and had a hard time with the healing. After that, I never walked without pain. I carry extra weight and I am sure that did not help the problem. I started favoring that foot which led to hip and alignment issues. At my worst, I was hurting from the moment I woke up, was lethargic, and swollen all the time. I knew something had to change when I started measuring my steps and would have to decide if I would do exercise based on how much pain I would face.

Ana: Were there specific diagnosis that were given to you?

Melody: The diagnosis process was very difficult. First I was given exhaustive blood analysis which ruled out arthritis. I did find out I actually had terrific cholesterol levels, perfect blood pressure and my sugar levels were all good. Then they gave me more comprehensive fasting blood glucose level tests to confirm I was not pre-diabetic. After that, they gave me bone density testing and later on in the diagnosis process I was even given a more invasive bone biopsy to rule out infection. After treating me with steroids and several anti-inflammatory prescriptions, my doctor concluded that I had fibromyalgia. I walked out angry—through the steroids might have had a bit to do with my reaction.

Ana: What did your doctor say that led you to drop sugar?

Melody: It actually was not my doctor but a conversation with a holistic medicine professional. He quickly said, “get off sugar now.”

Ana: How long did it take before you started seeing results?

Melody: Three weeks! I started June 1st and though I haven’t been perfect, I can now say I will never go back to casually consuming sugar.

Ana: What results do you see now?

Melody: Absolutely no pain in my body. I have lost weight. I have more energy. I’m sleeping well. I have suffered for many years of carpal tunnel in my hands as I am constantly at my computer. I no longer have any pain in my hands and arms.

Ana: What role do you now understand that sugar is playing in your body?

Melody: Sugar was causing inflammation in my joints, muscles and bones. Inflammation causes pain!

Ana: What would you tell others about sugar?

Melody: Here are my 5 takeaways about sugar.

1.  Educate yourself about sugar. I have read countless articles on-line and watched several documentaries including: *  Sugar Coated *  That Sugar Film

2.  Understand sugar is like a drug. It is addictive and hard to give up. You can indulge occasionally but don’t let it become a habit ever again.

3.  Go ahead and mourn your favorite sugar treat. It’s hard to go sugar free. I have a sister who is an incredible professionally trained baker who makes the absolute best and highest quality desserts in the universe. I taste from time to time always understanding that when I eat too much sugar I start to crave more sugar. I still cry a little bit to myself when I see chocolate.

4.  You will become naturally aware of hidden sugar. I made chicken salad and used a high quality mayonnaise, it tasted a little sweet so I checked. When did they start putting sugar in mayonnaise? Go ahead check the jar in your fridge right now!

5.  Stop giving candy and sugary drinks to your children. I have a three-year-old granddaughter and see things very differently now. I am a “no candy” grandma!

other newsletters

Knowing the Neighborhood: Inner City San Antonio Church Models Christian Community Development, Responds to Mental Health Concerns

read more


read more

Impact Profile: Q&A with Future at Home Scholar

read more


read more
return to all newsletters