So my sweet friend Sandra has inspired me yet again. Everyone should have a friend like her in their life. Have I mentioned that she's a UN rockstar? Yep. Pretty much ridiculously amazing.
Among the things I love about her, two things I love greatest are her desire for community and her humble transparency. So when she shared with me her hopes to grow in wholeness through shoring up some health and lifestyle habits, I was pumped to jump in and journey with her.
She's quitting Diet Coke. I know that is an incredible undertaking. John has been Diet Coke-free for five weeks now, and even today he almost caved and gave in to temptation. I have managed to dodge sodas fairly well in the past few months, but once every ten days or so I fail in that attempt as well. The sad part is that I replace the sodas with more sweet tea, which isn't a much better choice. (I often rationalize that the tea has less sugar and antioxidants. Nice.)
So...in support of my sweet friend, and in keeping my temple as healthy as I am able, I'm going soda-free. And I'm also limiting my other sweetened drinks. I am cutting back a little at a time, deciding now that my first step is not drinking any sugar-sweetened drinks that are cold. I can guzzle a massive amount of mood-altering sucrose-filled liquid at several of my favorite eating spots, and do it rather mindlessly. Cold turkey might be difficult, so I'm giving myself one cheat in the meantime. I am allowing myself sugar-sweetened hot tea. I can't guzzle it. I also can't brew a cup of it everywhere I am. So it will be a rare treat that I have to 'experience,' meaning: I have to sit down and actually pay attention when I consume it.
I think the greatest challenge with all of this is that beverages are part of my social life. They are a source of comfort in long meetings, and a source of energy on long drives. This is a whole physical retraining, but it is also a social retraining. What will be my source of comfort or pleasure once this habit is gone?
I also need to take into consideration the realities of my life. Lack of routine and a whole lot of dependence on convenience fuel these types of habits in the first place. I grab a soda because I haven't planned to fuel my body throughout the day, and it's contained in a can that I don't have to wash.
So to help me ease into these new ways...I've done a little something tonight to acknowledge those realities and meet them head-on.
I stopped by Aldi on the way home. I paid $2.29 for a 24 pack of bottles of purified water. I also threw in the shopping basket some cucumber, limes, watermelon, and pineapple. Now I know that bottled water in rational thought is one of the biggest wastes of American money. Remember my realities? Lack of habit and routine? Need for convenience? This is where my purchase makes sense.
So once home I opened 6 bottles, poured out an ounce or so of water, and added some produce to flavor them up. I also made a pitcher of cucumber-scented water to have on hand when I don't need the convenience of the bottles. I splurged and bought the watermelon and pineapple in spears, and even with that splurge my total cost for all this was around $8. Totally worth it for me, and as I grow in health I'm sure I'll cut that cost significantly as I find more time to plan for my body's fueling.
I'm so excited to have friends running this race with me. It's unbelieveable. Everything's better with a friend. So find a friend, get accountable, and GROW!
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25