Tuesday, April 01, 2014

no soda thirty

If you stroll through my house, affectionately known as The Cabana, take a walk up the steps and into the master bedroom, the look deep in the far right corners of the closet that is there, you can find a pullover.  For about six months, it was a fashion statement to have a shirt/hoodie/pullover known as a "rugby", or maybe a "Navajo" or even a "tater sack shirt", because it was made with a similar feel to it as a croker, or potato, sack.  I have one in there somewhere, given to me my freshman fall at Troy State in 1993 by my friend Miranda Bryant.  I kept it, not as a sentiment of a long lost friendship--on the contrary, we are friends on Facebook and chat from time to time--but more of a reminder. 

A reminder of the "skinny days".  Those days when I weighed less that I do now, much, much less.  I've always been someone who can maintain weight, but not necessarily lose it.  And for the better part of 10, almost 11, years, I maintained a weight of about 15 pounds heavier than I should be, not really losing any, but rarely gaining much either.  This was because of my job at Starbucks, where I did a lot of walking.  I mean, a LOT of walking, back and forth behind the counter.  Using a pedometer on my phone, I figured out that I was getting anywhere from 4 to 6 miles per day in walking.  Just around the store and behind the counter.

The amount of soda I believe I've consumed since November.  Oh, I
meant "daily"
In November, as many of you know, I got an office job at another company, so I stopped walking 4 or 5 or 6 miles per day--not just walking, but quick movement, pivoting, sometimes running short distances... but with the office job?   Suddenly, I actually had time to eat breakfast, very little of which was healthy, and suddenly, I'm afforded the time to drink water all day.  Of course, I am not drinking water, my beverage of choice is a 20 ounce Coke.  Or two.  Or three.

So, I've gained weight.  Way more than I should have gained... I would like to say 15 pounds, but its quite possible it might be 20.  If you'll keep it a secret, since you are my friends and its just us, I'll tell you I'm topping 210 pounds right now... and for my height, 5'7, that's not good. 

The Lovely Steph Leann told me that I wear it well.  Perhaps its my clothes, perhaps its how I wear my shirts or even my walk, but I'd like to think you can't really tell I'm about 30 pounds more than I need to me, maybe even 40.   Seriously. I'm a chunk.  I'm heavier than I've ever been, and worse yet, I get winded like, so, so easily.  And the accountability all falls on my shoulders.

One of the many good things about my new job is even though it gives me plenty of time to munch and drink high fructose corn syrup laden beverages, it also gives me time to listen to my iPod, especially to podcasts and audiobooks. 

So, I'm sitting there at my desk, drinking an ice cold Coca-Cola, and I flip over to a blogsite written by a friend of mine, a dude named Rick Theule... he wrote about "loose pants", essentially how he gave up the very thing that I was enjoying at that every moment.  And as a result, over time he found his pants fitting a little bit better.   It was a great piece that I enjoyed as I drank.

After lunch, I'm then drinking a smooth cup of Mello Yello, and as an added bonus, eating a bag of Bugles, even putting a few of them on my fingers cause I'm stupid.   This time, I'm listening to another friend of mine do his own podcast, called "Remodeling Clay", a dude named Clay Shaver who has an incredible story of losing hundred of pounds over several years.  He was over 400 pounds, and he's down to just over 200 now.  Unbelievable.  (I would encourage you to check out his podcast... its a great motivating 40 minutes about YOU being the best YOU that YOU can be.  And I mean that in all sincerity, no sarcasm.  He's a good dude.)

Anyway, Clay begins to talk about soda... and giving soda up.  I sighed.

To add to the mix, I thought about guy named Royce Emerson, who I worked with at a radio station over a decade ago and haven't seen him since 2001... over the time I knew him, Royce lost lots of weight, and he simply said to me one day, "I gave up Coke and Diet Coke.  That helped me lose 10 pounds right there."

An article in the morning about giving up soda (while I drank a Coke) and a podcast in the afternoon about giving up soda (while I drank a Mello Yello) and a flashback to a guy who lost weight just by NOT drinking soda... it really had me considering what to do, and what I was doing to my own health.

Back in the late 90s... or maybe it was 2006... or perhaps 1995, or it might be 2001, I don't remember when, I just remember it happened... I stopped drinking all carbonated drinks for over a year.  I think it must be like cocaine or heroin though, because after 13 months of not having any Coke products, I remember having one for a meal and it was like those lame Coke drinking polar bears were welcoming me back into the embrace of diabetes and the arms of obesity.

And now, right now as I write this, its 1252am, its almost an hour into April 1st... and for the next 30 days, I'm giving up carbonated beverages of all kinds.  Not just Coke and Cherry Coke and the like, but ALL carbonated beverages.  Not even a sparkling water of any kind, which is good, cause I'm not a fan of most, so I got that going for me.  I made this declaration on Facebook last week, to start April 1st, so now I kinda feel obligated, lest I become like someone who declares Facebook fast and then show up 19 hours later online as if nothing had been said.

The fun part is, I do love ginger ale... its non-decaffeinated, and isn't really that bad for you... and we have a case now, by virtue of me headed to Wal-Mart at 540am to get The Lovely Steph Leann something to drink due to her feeling like crap over the last 24 hours (food poisoning?  virus?  we dunno...).  So it sits there, and I won't enjoy it. 

I call it my No Soda for 30 Days Challenge... or #NoSoda30, to hashtag it unnecessarily.

So, how about you?  Willing to give up some beverage?  Willing to see how you feel on May 1st by not tossing back Mountain Dew or Coke or Pepsi or whatever your beverage of choice might be?

Oh, about that shirt I mentioned.  My goal?  To wear it again.  Even if I don't wear it long, even if I never leave the house with it on... my goal is to put it on and be comfortable in it.  I'll even take a picture and post it, because I am that vain.

Or maybe I'll put it into my daily rotation of outerwear when it gets cool again.  It is a cool shirt.  If I ever have lunch with Miranda Bryant, then I've got to be able to wear it. 

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