Practice Bikram long enough, and eventually you will start to adjust your diet without anyone telling you. It’ll be something you just want to do because you know it’ll make your life and your practice better. For me, the time has come to ditch the soda – for real this time. I am kicking my coca-cola habit. I tried to get it jump started before, but then I got all anxious about the competition and bottomed out a bit. I didn’t do too bad. It didn’t get any worse, but it also didn’t get any better. Now that the competition is over, I feel like I have the brain space to do this.
I started off by laying a few ground rules. First, at the moment, I get to drink two cokes a day. One coke is 16.9 oz so about 34 oz of coke a day. When I’m eating out (which is honestly once a week at best) I am allowed to have a coke, and it doesn’t count. Why? My goal here is to first get rid of the coke within my house. I’m not going to worry about the cokes I drink when I eat out or go to a party or something like that. This is hard. I have to set some realistic boundaries.
I figured I would make it through the first week and then lessen the amount of coke I drank at home each week until I got down to zero. I promptly proceeded to modify my rules on day four (today is day six if you’re curious). Days 1-3 were fine. I drank my two cokes each day. I didn’t have any major cravings or freak outs. Then day four hit. My two cokes were gone by 1:00 (maybe noon – and I was gone for class from 8:00-11:00! What does that tell you?). I desparately wanted another one. So I did a re-evaluation of my coke program and concluded I could have another one.
Here’s what I figured out:
I’m used to drinking three 16.9 oz cokes a week or 21 cokes a week. By reducing my intake to two a day, I’d cut out 1/3 right from the start. Maybe that was too much. Maybe I had overshot a bit. No biggie. I decided I could refine my plan and reduce by one bottle a week. So for week one, instead of having 21 bottles of coke I would have 20. Easy. I made a chart that showed how many bottles of coke I had each day. For days 1-5, I have consumed 11 so I am way under my goal. In fact, I told Mark that if I had two cokes today (Day 6), that would put my total at 13 meaning I could have seven cokes on Wednesday.
Just kidding. Although it does sound like a nice reward.
Seriously though, I am treating this like I did when I made the switch over to being a vegetarian. I’m setting a realistic goal – although for the cokes it’s weekly and not monthly -and then adjusting at the end of each week. I think once I decided I could have 20 cokes this week – instead of 21 – I relaxed into it a bit because I knew I could accomplish that. I’ll see what I hit when I go to bed on Wednesday and then readjust my goal for the upcoming week.
No caffiene headaches yet, but I do know one thing. I will miss my coke. But the time has come. It has to go.