So, I did the challenge, but failed at doing regular updates. Whoops. In any case, here’s what went down:
- I had coke twice – once on day 5 which I posted about, and another time I accidentally ordered a coke with a takeaway. I went a few days before drinking it, and found it crazy sweet.
- I was extremely busy during April, and ended up eating out a lot for lunch, and – well, this is probably where things went wrong. I still craved a carbonated drink, or some kind of sugary drink, so oftentimes I’d buy flavoured water and stuff. It’s not terrible, but I wasn’t exactly trying to prioritise water instead.
- I definitely ate worse overall, mitigating any impact of the soda stuff.
- I’ve had a few since the challenge ended but not really enjoyed it. Part of that is because I’ve had a really bad cold this week.
As you can see, it’s a little dubious whether I can say I succeeded or not. I stuck within my rules that I set out, but I’m not sure how I did within the ‘spirit’ of the challenge.
And that’s fine! It’s been pointed out to me that going cold turkey like this isn’t sustainable for habit building and honestly, I agree. I don’t expect long term change to come from these challenges.
Instead, I like doing these month long challenges to understand myself a bit better. If I’ve got into a habit and I want to change it, which parts do I find easy or hard to change? What things trigger the habit, such as going out to lunch? What helps me stop?
Doing this for a month, you start to notice what excuses you’re likely to make, what mental gymnastics you do to get something. I clearly did a lot of them this month because what I really wanted was the carbonation – so I can think of ways around that. In short, it brings a particular area of my life into focus and I can troubleshoot habit building around those compulsions and/or addictions.
In any case, I just think it’s fun to change stuff up sometimes 🙂
I don’t have any challenge plans for May so next one will probably be June
So… I accidentally drank a glass of coke yesterday without even thinking!!
It was hilariously automatic. I went for lunch with my colleague in the middle of some research in a shopping mall, and only halfway through did I remember. It’s mostly because I don’t eat at restaurants very frequently, so I remembered all my usual triggers but not that one. D’oh.
Oh well. I can’t undo it, so I’ll just have to carry on and remember to get water in future 🙂 …
When I started 2019 I had wanted to spend every month work on a new challenge or habit. During January I worked on ‘Saying yes’ (no blog post) and was really successful (never done karaoke before…) . In March I didn’t have a particular challenge, but I did work on consistently doing exercise I found fun… Like dancing – badly 🙂
This April I’m cutting out all carbonated drinks! Ironically this become a bit of a problem during my no takeaway challenge back at the end of last year, which just shows how your dependencies can shift onto something else.
1. No carbonated drinks, at all.
2. Juice or a pint or two if I’m out with friends.
3. Drink more water! I just bought a new bottle — nothing fancy, it was super cheap — and hoping to use it at work.
That’s it! I can’t imagine this being extremely hard past the first week or so — I mostly get cravings when I buy a meal deal or something like that, as I would typically get a coke or something with it. I mostly want to cut that out, and rehydrate 🙂
Will update more this week!
During the month of November, I decided (alongside a friend, who did her own monthly challenge) to go without takeaway (or fastfood in general), for the whole month.
The ‘rules’ were fairly simple:
- Where possible, cook every meal. This meant that all lunches would have to be something I made or prepared the night before. I wouldn’t, for example, buy a sandwich from a shop as a meal.
- If I’d made plans in October to have lunch or dinner with someone, I kept the plans. But I didn’t make any new plans to eat out. So I went out for dinner twice: once with my parents and once with a group of friends. For all other plans I had to work around it somehow (usually just getting a drink, if anything), rather than just turning up somewhere and hoping I could eat there. If someone invited me out spontaneously I’d usually just get a drink but not eat with them.
- For simplicity’s sake, I decided to forego convenience food like oven pizzas etc, for the most part. I only bought one throughout the month, although I did have quite a few portions of oven chips…
Honestly, I thought I’d bail within the first day or two, so I was pretty surprised that I lasted the whole month. Yay 😉
Still, what surprised me most was how this challenge gave me something worthwhile that I hadn’t expected: an odd sense of clarity on what my brain was doing with regards to food. I’ve always just followed my anxieties about food wherever they led me, but here I practised being able to accept those thoughts, while I did something completely different.
Here’s some of the mental health skills I got to practise this month: