August is National Get Off Your Butt and Get Healthy Month!

Ok, I just made that up but in my little world for which I am the supreme ruler I have decided August is officially national get off your but and get healthy month.

I have been fighting the battle of the bulge for far to long. I have had my ups and downs and successes and losses (actually gains) and I am ready to do something about it. Are you with me? Starting today I am on the road to better health and fitness. This will be a long journey that will hopefully last a lifetime. This journey will begin slow and steady but eventually if we keep at it we will win the race.

Here is my plan: Start slow and start small and gradually build up. I am going to take one step at a time and the steps will be baby steps. The idea is that these changes will be lifestyle changes that I will be able to maintain for the rest of my life.

No one likes change and if we make huge dramatic changes we can only do them for so long then many of us relapse back into old habits.  Many of the changes I am planning I have slowly been working on for awhile but I have not been serious about it. This month I am getting serious and I am going to work on developing habits. I have been planing on this for awhile and working on making the changes but starting today I am going whole hog on it (Mmmmwhole hog, bacony goodness) This is not a radical change or some fad diet, as mentioned these are lifestyle changes.  Are you still with me?  This is my plan this is what I am doing, everyone is different and you alone need to decide what you need to do to make your life better. Over the next month I will be sharing with you the small changes, ideas, and tips that I am implementing to help make my life better.

First baby step- For the entire month I will not drink any soda.  I have actually been 80% soda free for about 3 years I keep relapsing but for this month I am going cold turkey and going 100% soda free.

Have you ever read the back of a soda can? 

Lets take my favorite good old fashioned Coca-Cola

Water, High Fructose corn syrup- So basically you are drinking sugar water with a bunch of caffeine. Caffeine happens to be my favorite drug, but I am working on it. Remember baby steps.

Now lets look at the nutritional value of what we so readily put in our bodies. 

It is hard to see but 8 oz or 1 cup has 100 calories, 25 mg of sodium and 28 gm of carbs. No nutritional value what so ever!  Now how many times do you ever in your life just drink 1 cup of any type of soda? The average size of a SMALL soda at most fast food places is 20 ounces, almost 3 times the serving size, Oh but they fill the whole cup up with ice so you are probably only getting 8-10 oz those sneaky bastards, or is it Mc Donalds way of looking out for your health?

Oh so why not drink diet soda, it has almost no calories. First of all it tastes terrible. Many people say oh you get used to it, why not get used to drinking sweetened beat juice then? It is a heck of a lot healthier than diet soda.

Again lets look at the labels

The cool thing is the serving size is a bit large at 330 mls (1 cup is 240mls) and amazingly both cans have absolutely nothing in them.

Now look at the ingredients aside from water and caramel, you now have a few ingredients that I bet you can’t pronounce let alone spell.

The whole point is that you may not be getting any calories but you are putting strange chemicals in your body and those chemicals can have an affect.  Three years ago I made some major changes and the first one was to give up soda. I drank water, juice, and milk with an occasional margaritta or bloody mary. Hey bloody mary’s are made with tomato juice so they have to be healthy right?

After stopping for the first month which believe me was very, very hard since I was a die hard coke addict, I was amazed at how much better I felt.  My brother described it perfectly. “It was like I have been sick for so long I didn’t know what it felt like to be healthy”  major changes that I noticed- My skin cleared up and was less greasy. I had a better attitude and was less grumpy and depressed. I had more energy. I just plain felt better.  It was as if I was slowly poisoning myself all those years.

Perhaps going cold turkey on sodas isn’t for you, but think about how many you drink each day and consider cutting back, order a small instead of a large. Only have 1 a day instead of 2 or three. Experiment with other drinks/beverages.   As I mentioned I am not a saint, over the last three years I have gone on soda binges especially when I get a bad headache nothing clears it up better than Motrin with a coke chaser.

Are you with me? Are you ready to make take on the challenge?

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