Monday, May 22, 2017

How to Quit Drinking Soda - Day 16 from a 26 Year Old Stress Eater

The Short: Jump down to the bottom of this article for a cut and dry list how I quit soda
The Long: Start here

Before Accepting Addiction
...and reading 1400 words
or consuming approx. 10 minutes of your youth...


A soda a day, keeps the doctor paid?

That's the path I was headed. Having only been 16 days, this is the biggest step I've taken to rid soda of my life. As contractor, I live life on the road, so the normal diet includes eating at local restaurants and out of vending machines. While there is a grocery store nearby, the struggle is definitely real to prepare healthy meals including finding something to quench your thirst, when water doesn't. Maybe it's from being so dehydrated with all the excess sugar I've consumed. I've recently found celery water to be absolutely refreshing, with no seeds to accidentally swallow! At the end of this article, there's an infographic that describes exactly what dehydrates the body.

I tried to quit sugar last year and that lasted for maybe a week. If you can stomach my bland writing, you can read the old post HERE (it's kind of neat being able to see my writing transform). And while I still struggle with those beautiful diabetic crystals, I'm at least consuming less, with no more soda. Specifically Coca-Cola.

I realize 16 days isn't that much for someone who may not drink the liquid crack, but for me, it's a feat. My consumption consisted of one bottle a day, sometimes two if I was bored or stressed. If you do the math, $1.50 per bottle adds up. So far, my savings at least $24.00, AFTER 16 DAYS! At this rate, it looks like savings will total, at a minimum, $45/month. My vehicle can be filled twice with that calculation!

Saving money isn't the only driving force behind me making this decision. Every single day, I would wake up feeling as if a train hit me. Not to mention, serious cluster migraines took me out for a whole day. I'd rather have my wisdom teeth pulled than experience the pain of suicide migraines (it's a thing, look it up). This was also an experiment to determine if caffeine was related to my cluster migraines and to also combat fatigue, caused from sugar shocks.

The decision to drop the soda, was pretty simple. I bought one out of a vending machine. After drinking half of the bottle, my stomach was in knots, my digestion track instantly started attacking me. Addicted as much as I was, I realized if my body is acting this way every time, it was probably cleaning my insides just as much as it would have cleaned a penny (see video below). The same was for my precious teeth. I've only got one good set!

The half drunk soda was placed in the bottom of the fridge and a vow was made to let that be the last coke. I wish I had documented the "Quitting Soda Journey", but honestly didn't believe in myself enough that I would follow through. Hence why I kept the rest of the bottle in the bottom of the fridge, juuuuust in case.

The first couple days were EXTREMELY difficult. I had a habit of carrying change in my bag specifically for coke. Muscle memory on several occasions led me to the vending machines just to stare at them in sadness. The problem I always had was that I felt good before grabbing a Coca-Cola. A bottle later, maybe an hour or so afterward I would be reminded, I made a terrible life decision. It's not very easy to learn, when the negative side effects happen a period of time after the fact. The reason for abusing my body for 20+ years. One day you look in the mirror and hardly recognize yourself.

The second day, I was standing in a line to get through the gate to my job. The power went out, so I became bored. Needing something. Coca-Cola sounded nice. The vending machines were right next to me, so why not? Thank goodness there wasn't any power in those either. I was instantly cut off from buying one.

I've realized to change anything about myself or habits, I need to constantly think of their side effects, as if it's a chant. I have too many distractions that if I don't make the conscious effort to solely think, don't get a coke or stay consistent, I forget, if that makes any sense. It's aggravating. Maybe over time, things will be different and will be second nature to walk past the machines, but this is something I've noticed about my own body, mind, and self-control.

About 3 or 4 days in, I had another terrible migraine. I still haven't figured out the source of them, but I can only think it was a withdrawal of some sort. I felt nauseous, dizzy, and had excruciating pain behind my right eye, which is normally where cluster migraines occur. I had to take the next shift off to recover and slept about 15 hours. I woke up feeling as if  I could conquer the world. It could have been my body adjusting to reduced sugar shocks, but I'm still experimenting to make that determination. Regardless, I was closer to not needing Coca-Cola and feeling great.

Starting to become a game at work, the guys would rag on me for having that spare bottle in the bottom of the fridge. This actually helped my motivation. The more they brought it up, the more I would reject the idea of consuming such lovely acidic bubbles. A couple days ago, I finally got worked up enough to take the bottle out, shook it until it became syrup, and threw it away. As a soda snob, if it wasn't freshly carbonated, I didn't want it, and any disturbance to the force would make my face cringe at such a heinous act.

Trying to compensate another drink for coke, I resorted to coffee. Once again, I was feeling good before I even poured a glass. I decided in a 12 hour shift, I would have five! I was trembling with shakes, nauseous from the creamer and sugar intake, and bug-eyed. I thought I was going to die. This in turn, helped me resort to plain old water. I wasn't much of a coffee fan anyways.

Water isn't my only beverage choice. I acquired a couple bottles of apple juice and different flavored teas. As mentioned in the first paragraph, I've adapted to delicious celery water. Eventually I'll eliminate the sugar, or at least cut the consumption in half.

Deciding when to quit never really worked for me. I had to quit cold turkey. Don't decide on a day. You're only dragging things out and talking yourself out of it. Again, this is my experience. I also remember looking in the mirror and realizing how yellow my teeth had become. I was mortified from the staining. Quitting did become easier when I could actually read it in my daily journal from Moleskine. I could see progress each day I opened the page.

The fun stuff! Here's some other interesting articles related to soda
that will hopefully be a little motivation to put the liquid cocaine down.

An infographic on "What happens one hour after drinking a can of coke"


Coca-Cola Infographic
Coca-Cola Infographic : medicalnewstoday

Watch soda clean a penny.
In the video below, they actually use Pepsi, but this still produces the same results.
Imagine what this does to your teeth! This probably explains my receding gum line.


LifeHack.org wrote a great article on all the other uses for coke besides drinking it!
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/this-list-proves-why-you-shouldnt-drink-coke-but-use-instead.html

LipoNaturals - My dear friend and his company have been working close with Vitamin C as well as chemists. Check out their article on "The Dangers of the Artificial Preservative Sodium Benzoate or Potassium Benzoate with Vitamin C." Believe it or not, this is more than just soda. Kind of scary actually! http://www.liponaturals.com/blog-lipo-naturals-liposomal-vitamin-c

Habitbull - I'm not much of an app person, but this one is interesting. This app tracks all of your habits, even the bad ones. The reviews seem pretty good as well. I'm definitely interested in seeing shared screenshots of progress, even if it's not related to drinking soda.
http://www.habitbull.com/

And finally, ME!

With more energy, less clouded thoughts, less irritability,
and whiter teeth (compliments to the sun as well!)



The Short:
Quit Cold Turkey.
Write down your purpose.
Keep something for just in case, but make it taste horrible.
Constantly think about not having whatever it is you set your mind to.
Find a healthy alternative drink to quench your thirst. I use apple juice, celery water, and light teas.
Write down your achievements to see progress.
Make it fun by seeing how much money you save.
If you don't make your goal, try again. Failure is completely giving up. You got this.


If this article helped you, please let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Everything Wrong I've Been Doing With My Blog!

I finally started digging through previous posts. Some are fantastically written, others well, I hope I didn't cause to many people to run for the hills. To be frank, they're quite terrible. I was learning my voice, and still am. I hope you enjoy the 5 key points I missed since 2015.

No pictures. Yeah, those are worth a 1000 words. The words I didn't type in each post. Had I wrote more and added photos, it could have expounded on what was happening in my life rather than the three posts that was worth 1/100th of my London experience. Kind of disappointing that two of those stories consist of poo. They're still pretty funny though, I promise that's not all of London!

Failing to plan. I'm actually okay that I failed to plan for two years. It taught me everything that I've done wrong in order to turn things around and start achieving goals. Not only do I suck at coming up with usernames, but coming up with a business name? Logo? Slogan? HA! It had to hit me in the face. Seriously, my Note 4 literally fell out of my hands and smacked me in the face. Hence, the "Note"Heather site name!

Originally, this blog was meant to strictly focus on becoming minimalist. And while I LOVE fantasizing the idea of everything in my backpack, with three years worth of garbage in a mason jar, right now that's not possible and didn't want to lead people in to believing I was accomplishing these farfetched goals. I have however, made improvements in my life that I am excited to share with the world!

I've learned that my friends and family live vicariously through me. Whether it's financial advice, travel photos, or just getting weird, I feel I now have more to offer through my blog than I did before. The latest and greatest Heatherest plan still includes travel, but on a more Heatherful level (you'll understand soon enough). A dream section, where you get to interpret what in tarnation these closed-eyelid hallucinations mean. Personal lifestyle projects and creations I'm working on; Everyone including the Twitter God will be able to read about my failures so you don't have to waste time doing the same. Entertainment will definitely include intriguing photos, videos, and more stories. And last, unrelated articles that have no business nor category on my blog, other than to inform the one lucky reader that might stumble upon it through "duck duck go."

Plan 2017 is about becoming organized and consistent. Particularly having the train stay on the tracks. I'm curious how it will mold over the next two years, but so far, this is the plan. It will be as if ZenHabits.com, NomaditMatt.com, and SmartPassiveIncome.com had an internet baby, and this is the masterpiece. They've got this internet thing down!

Forced Writing. Go ahead and skim through past articles. I'm sure you'll be able to choose which ones were relentlessly thrown out there. If for some reason I have a forced article, I promise to myself and my readers, there will be value. It might be dry, but you'll know how to order yourself a bus ticket or cook more than Chef Boyardee, darn it!

(in)Consistent. I didn't have this in my vocabulary for the longest time. For 26 years to be exact. Then it clicked. It only took a couple hundred dollars worth of plants that probably stood a better chance on the Game of Thrones after I got done with them. It wasn't until I consciously made the effort to think of consistency EVERY. DAY. For those that don't have to think about being habitual, I applaud you. The struggle is real over here. I finally found the schedule button to create weekly or biweekly posts (maybe even monthly, at the rate I've been going).

Social Media. I haven't shared many articles because I am my own worst critic. If it's not good enough for friends to see, why the heck should I share it with strangers? Time to reverse everything I've ever known. Once the content is cleared up and portfolio ready, the articles will speak for themselves.


I'm just going to be blunt and say that I'm not sure how to properly close this awesome list of fails because I've been writing since 3am.

Anyways, thanks for reading!

Here's to building a better future!