Monday, May 1, 2017

Move over *NSYNC: "Dirty Pop", Ashley style!

Hello, friends!

I successfully wrote and published one blog in the year 2016. I'd like for that to change: I like writing and I enjoy blogging.

I started several posts and never finished them, so perhaps this is the start of something new?

So, I thought that I would use my blog as part of my efforts to change myself and my life (for the better), using the internet (and all eleven of my regular readers - *thank you!*) to help keep me accountable.

What is she talking about, you ask?

This year, I gave up soda pop for Lent. It was literally a spur of the moment decision I made after seeing that another Facebook friend of mine had done the same.

"It can't be that hard," I figured. It's only forty days. I can give up soda for forty days. I've done much harder and come out fine.

Lent, for those of you who don't know, is a religious observation within Christian/Catholic doctrine that involves "giving up" or abstaining from something enjoyable for the forty days before Easter in recognition of the sacrifice made by Christ. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter.

If you would like to know more about the Lenten season and what it is, read here.

Making the switch from regular pop to "zero-sugar" was difficult. It was actually this video that convinced me to make the switch:

After having made the switch to "zero" cola, I noticed the taste of the extra sugar and what the drastic difference in sugar content did to me. I no longer enjoy the taste of regular soda. It tastes like sugary syrup to me, which it basically is.

If you need more convincing, I invite you to watch this:

But giving it up totally was so much harder than I ever thought that it would be. No soda at all? You've got to be kidding me. You might as well ask me to climb Mount Everest or go SCUBA diving. But I basically SCUBA'ed myself into not drinking soda; because going whole-hogged, cold-turkey was the only way for me.

The first few days were awful. There were times I wanted a pop so badly, I thought I would cry. There were times I did cry. Not drinking pop is much harder than you think it is.

Soda pop is literally everywhere. It was even in my own house. I couldn't dare ask my PB to stop drinking it. It was literally all he drank. He wasn't observing Lenten abstinence, so why should I make him? It was that much harder.

To quote my own Facebook post:

"The struggle is real, people. Pop is everywhere: restaurants will give you as much pop as you want for the same price but charge for juice by the glass.

A bottle of water or still anything is twice the price of a can of pop...
Much like a nice, cold beer on a hot day...for some things, only a soda will do: a burger and fries is somehow not quite as great with a glass of ice water. Root beer floats without soda is just ice cream in a glass."

But I found substitutes: I drank juice. Lots of juice. Deeply watered down frozen concentrates, usually, because I can't stand the taste of aspartame, so Crystal Light was out.

I made it to the end of Lent: I thought that I would crack a can the second the clock struck midnight. But I didn't. I and I still haven't.

Disclaimer: I will be completely forthcoming and say that I have had a couple of sips, accidentally picking up PB's glass instead of my own...but I will also say that I spat it directly onto the table. Go ahead and stare, onlookers! I am not ashamed! I am keeping a promise to myself!

Ash Wednesday was March 1, 2017. Today is May 1, 2017; this means that I have not had soda in two months. Sixty days and counting, carbonation free.

I posted this, yesterday, on my Facebook page,

Just look at this picture of me (taken yesterday) in a comparison to this one, taken in April of 2016:

Left taken April 2016. Right taken yesterday, 60 days soda free.
The difference may be negligible to some. Yes, I know: either way, I am still fat. But for me, this isn't about fat, or skinny. This, this is about me.

This is about keeping a promise to myself.

If soda pop is the new cigarettes (and so far, everything I have read, watched heard and witnessed tells me it is), then I'm out.

Now if you've made it to the end of this post you're probably thinking, Holy crap. Is she done yet, or what?

The short version of that answer is yes and no.

The long version is much harder to explain: is this post finished? Yes. Am I finished with this? Is not drinking pop simply the end? I'm not sure.

I'm considering a sugar detox, with a goal of cleaner living or at the very least a drastically reduced sugar intake. To quote myself, again:

"So, I'm counting each pop-free day as a victory. I'm looking toward the next challenge. I'm considering a sugar detox - eliminating sugar from my diet - at least for a little while.

I'm doing the research and planning. As a baker, this seems near to impossible.
I have serious doubts: I love ice cream. Like a clandestine lover: it's a pleasure and indulgence that, for me, nothing else compares to..."

I'm not sure what it will look like, or entail but I want to try it. And I plan to write about it here.

The good, the bad and the ugly: it will be here. You can secretly snicker and laugh if you like. I'll never know. If you'd like to share some encouragement or tips, tricks/cheats, leave me a comment, here or on my Facebook page.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all of your love and support.

xo: Little Miss Sunshine