It happened yesterday. I was working away quite diligently when I realized I was thirsty. It happens. I drank a water bottle in the morning, then enjoyed my delicious Diet Coke (with lime, of course) at lunchtime. By around three pm I was really thirsty, specifically for a cold refreshing soda. What to do?
I could have taken a drink from the drinking fountain in my classroom (the one that all the germy little students use) but for some reason that just didn’t seem appealing. It was soda I was after, particularly soda with a little boost of caffeine.
You see, I had just come from a training session that was slightly less than exhilarating. It was nobody’s fault. The information was valid, it just a) wasn’t really new to me, and b) didn’t really have a practical application for what I do. That combination of factors, plus the sleep deficit that generally catches up to me by Friday afternoon, caused to be feel, shall we say, slightly drowsy.
I wanted a Diet Coke.
But the challenge. The “only drink one soda a day” challenge. What about it? Would I be able to live with myself if I drank two whole cans of soda in one day?
Turns out the answer to that question is, “yes.” Here’s why: I made a choice. It was a conscious decision to have a soda. I was thirsty. I was looking for caffeine. I thought over my options and decided that an ice-cold soda from the vending machine was the best choice at the time. Should I start bringing along extra water bottles as the weather heats up? Absolutely. But am I worried that I’ll fall back into my mindless soda guzzling ways because of one can of Diet Coke? No, I am not.
The whole purpose of the challenges is to help me change habits one step at a time. So far it’s been going surprisingly well. Since I began this nonsense, yesterday’s soda situation was the first time I’ve “broken” any of the “rules.” My one failure? An extra 12 ounces of soda. No biggie. My successes are way more important in my book.
Each week I’ve declared a new challenge and each week I’ve succeeded. Not just for the week, but for the long haul. So far I’ve quit Starbucks cold turkey (and saved a bunch of money), upped my intake of fruits and vegetables (and discovered that my sweet tooth is a demon), and curbed my soda habit (making me appreciate each one, but lessening my desire for it). I’ve also gone a week without a single trip to the drive-thru; any drive-thru. I did stop in to McDonald’s for oatmeal and an iced-coffee one morning, but I parked and got out of the car to do it. It was a deliberate action, not a mindless whim.
What are some of the health and eating habits you have that need tweaking or replacing? How are you handling them? What are some ideas for next week’s challenge? I’m taking small steps, but they’re all going in the right direction, and they add up. Come along with me, and share your successes, I’d love your company.