Since I married Heather in 2004, I’ve taken the slow approach to healthy living, opting to adapt incrementally over time so that my body and mind don’t rebel against me. Too often, people think they have to make drastic changes in order to live healthier lives. That’s not necessarily so. With willpower and attempting massive change, there’s the real possibility for failure and shame, which lead a person to avoid trying again.
Here’s an example of an approach I took to rid myself of my soda drinking addiction:
Studies have proven that 1 soft drink a day = 15 pounds of added weight PER YEAR. So if you’re not gaining weight, it means that you’re exercising just enough to fight off the soda. Imagine what you’d look and feel like without it!
I knew I wouldn’t make the switch quickly, so i gave myself permission to take the long way. This is how I successfully yet slowly transitioned my daily drinking habits:
Step 1: 6+ Dr. Peppers… See More
Step 2: 2 iced venti Starbucks lattes (much deneiro)
Step 3: 4-6 cups of coffee + cream & sugar
Step 4: 4-6 cups of black tea w/ sugar
Step 5: 4-6 cups of organic black tea w/sugar
Step 6: 4-6 cups of organic green tea w/ organic raw sugar
Currently: 3-4 cups of organic green tea w/ organic raw sugar
That process probably took me 2 years. But it was the only way i could get healthier in that area. I had to keep good taste or I felt that I was suffering. I let myself adapt to different forms / amounts of sugar instead of quitting cold turkey.
I don’t need as much of a jolt these days, and I haven’t starved myself of one of life’s essential pleasures. I’d be in awesome shape right now if I’d just find the time to exercise. That’s next on my list to conquer.
But this is proof that you don’t have to make a drastic change to live a qualitatively different life. I no longer ingest the deadly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in massive quantities on a daily basis. And the red food dye? No more.
Those two things alone have made my trek worth it. But more importantly than what I quit drinking (because far too often we focus on what we have to give up rather than on what we can gain) is what I have gained, which is a more stable mental and emotional state, less harsh post-caffeine letdowns, and the peace of mind knowing that organic Japanese green tea is the healthiest non-purified water drink there is.