No Soda Challenge After 1 Month

It’s been 4 weeks since I stopped drinking soda. No one has been too badly hurt, joking. Here are my previous posts about why I was stopping the consumption of soda (Post 1 and Post 2)

How do I feel physically?

I really do feel good. I fall asleep a lot faster now, we’re talking within minutes, and sleep through the night. My REM sleep has increased substantially, according to my Fitbit. More REM sleep means that your brain processes memories better, which allows for more clarity.

If I don’t eat properly I will start to feel more tired. I had that before, but I would then down a soda. Now it helps me to eat better so I don’t get tired. All in all, I feel like I do have more energy. To help with that 2 o’clock drag where you feel like you don’t have as much energy, I’ve been using some of that Mio stuff you squirt into your water that has B vitamins in it. That has really helped.

I’ve also lost about 7 pounds, since I haven’t been drinking soda. So that’s always a plus too.

Mentally

I feel like my mind is much more clearer, even if I start to get tired, my thought process is still clear. My mood is much better, since coming off the soda. Even when it gets stressful at work.

Now what?

Now the wife and I are going to start cutting out some of the sugar in our diet. When we start it, I’ll do a post about it and what sugar does to our bodies.

Rest

How many of us feel like we get enough rest? We’re busy right? We have work, we have family, we have hobbies, we have a ton of other responsibilities. We don’t have enough time for it all, so what do we cut out on. . . rest. Over 40% of Americans are sleep deprived.

What are the risks?

  • 50% higher risk for obesity if you get less than 5 hours of sleep nightly
  • 6000 fatal car crashes caused by drowsy driving each year
  • 1 in 25 adults who have fallen asleep at the wheel in the past month
  • 36% increase in risk for colorectal cancer
  • Increased blood pressure
  • 33% increase in dementia risk
  • 3-5 years is the number of years sleep deprivation can age your brain
  • 48% increase in developing heart disease
  • 3 times likely to catch a cold
  • Greater risk for depression irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness, fuzzy thinking.

So what?

We all know that we need more sleep more rest. We know that’s when the brain rewires itself and makes new connections to help with memory recall. It’s when the body heals itself from wounds and just from the wear and tear of the day. The body makes the molecules needed to jump start processes in the body, so that we function as we should. Yet it’s the one thing that we will sacrifice to do anything else. What we’re really doing is damaging ourselves, taking away from our quality of life.

It’s important for us to rest. We are more alert, friendlier, have better ideas, and healthier. One of the most important things we should be doing is making sure we get the rest we need. It’s not easy. I work on pharmaceuticals. I know there is huge industry out there to help people sleep. Sleeping aids should be taken in extreme situations. Later on I will discuss ways to help sleep better.

The stats were a little eye opening for me. I know I will be trying to make sleep/rest a priority in my life.

References:

Related Posts: Quit Soda Challenge, Quit Soda Challenge Update 1

Influences on Leadership

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.–Proverbs 31:4-5

I’m not going to be discussing drinking in this post in great detail, that’s a whole post by itself. However, in this verse Lemuel was discouraging the king/leader from drinking as it impacted their ability to carry out their duties. I want to discuss how we let influences impact our leadership and decision making, whether that is in our homes, workplace or communities. First, we need to see what the roles are of a leader

Impact of our physical and emotional state

As leaders, we need to have a clear mind, as being a leader involves a lot of decision making. There are many things that can influence our mental thinking. What we eat can impact how we think. The stress of our jobs or lives can impact how we think or react to situations. Exercising can change how we deal with problems. Our emotions and our physical state can greatly impact our mental ability and that leads to our decision making.

How many times have we been hungry and we start getting grouchy? I can tell you at work, some of my worst decisions have been when I’m hungry. I don’t have my focus in the right place. My concentration is on making myself not feel hungry. We need to have a proper diet to feed our mind. Exercise helps us have more energy, to be more alert. Being alert helps us make better decisions.

I mentioned stress earlier affecting our decision making. Stress has a tendency to make our perspective change, which changes how we lead. Many times we’re more easy going when we are happy and quite the opposite when we are in bad moods.

What does this have to do with leadership?

Just as Lemuel was talking about wine influencing the judgment of kings, how we treat our bodies and cope with our emotions affects how we lead and the decisions we make. It determines how we treat people. When we’re making decisions, especially important ones, we really need to be aware of our mindset. Are we feeling physically fine? Do we feel hungry or physically worn down? How are our emotions? Are we happy, angry, sad, irritated, etc? All of these physical and emotional feelings influence our decisions making. There have been many times when I’m at work, I’ve pushed back making a decision because I knew I wasn’t in a good mood. Sometimes we don’t have that option, and being aware of how you feel physically or emotionally can help guard against making a bad decision. I know when I feel tired, I don’t care as much even though I know I should. In that case, I know I have to focus more. If it hasn’t been a good day, I know that I can be more harsh if I have to have a discussion with an employee about performance. In those situations I question myself on if I am being too harsh. Am I fairly critiquing their performance?

Although Lemuel was talking about wine, we need to be careful what other influences impact our judgment when leading or making decisions. If we’re careful when we know we’re not at our best, we’ll end up reducing the amount of bad decisions we make and be better leaders.


No Soda Challenge Update 1

Last week I posted about how I was going to stop drinking soda and some of the reasons why. Go here, to see that post. It’s amazing what your body has to do in order to control that much sugar in the body. What is even more amazing is how our bodies are created, and the processes it has to protect us and handle what we put in to it that is not good for us. It’s been a week since I’ve quit soda and I just wanted to give an update on some of the changes I’m already feeling.

Cravings

I have to admit the first couple of days I was really having some cravings for soda. Monday morning, going into work, was the real challenge. Usually in the morning I would go get a soda, to get me that jolt of caffeine. I also had cravings around the 2 pm time frame. As the week progressed the cravings for soda have subsided. Also, the first couple of days I was craving sugary foods. After about 4 days, those cravings started going away also.

Energy

Being honest, the first three days were horrible with energy. My body was on a routine for when it would get soda, and not putting that caffeine and sugar in my system, that it was used to. I felt sluggish the whole day, for those first three days. About mid week I started not feeling so sluggish. I also noticed more clear thinking and my concentration was starting to increase. I was also becoming less irritable.

Sleep

This is the biggest benefit I’ve seen so far in just a week. I fall asleep quickly now. When I was drinking soda, I would never fall asleep that quickly. I could lay in bed for a good hour before I would finally fall asleep. Now, I’m out within a few minutes. I’ve also noticed I don’t wake up in the middle of the night like I use to. The last couple of days I wake up and not so groggy. Going off my Fit Bit, my REM sleep is increasing. My deep sleep hasn’t increased yet, but I’m expecting it will. The improvement in my sleep, especially the not waking up in the middle of the night, is probably the must appreciated benefit of no soda.

Going Forward of Not Drinking Soda

The benefits of how I’m starting to feel just after a week, is well worth fighting the urge to drink soda. I’ve also noticed that I’m dropping a couple of pounds on the scale, which is always good. I’ll keep track of that and see if that continues. It makes sense, as you’re putting less sugar/carbs into your body. Going forward, the plan is not to drink any soda at all. I should also note, that during this time, I have not substituted soda with anything else that has caffeine, i.e. coffee or tea. I’ve really wanted to quit cold turkey, and I was afraid if I put any caffeine in my system, I would start drinking soda again. I really wanted to break my body’s dependence on caffeine as my primary source for it was soda. If you’re thinking about quitting soda, I would highly encourage it. The first few days are hard but then it starts getting better, especially when you see some of the benefits of not consuming it.

Quit Soda Challenge

We all know soda is not good for you. I’ve stopped drinking it before and it was amazing how much better I started feeling after a couple weeks. I had so much energy. The problem is I get a bad headache and I tell myself that drinking a soda will make it go away. Then all of a sudden I’m craving soda all the time.

Every time we consume a can of soda, we’re dumping our daily intake of sugar into our system. This should actually make us vomit, but the phosphoric acid helps keep us from hurling this up.

After about 20 minutes we get a huge insulin spike and our liver is trying to turn every bit of sugar into fat. Drowsiness has subsided due to the adenosine receptors being blocked.

Forty minutes in, our bodies have consumed the caffeine, our blood pressure spikes, our liver is dumping more sugar into our system.

After 45 minutes our dopamine has been increased giving us pleasure. A lot of illegal drugs work in a similar way.

Now an hour has passed and your body is excreting calcium. Soda makes your body have to pee more, which is excreting even more calcium that was going to go to your bones or teeth. Never mind all the water you’re loosing that your body should be using elsewhere. Then your body starts to crash.

All the sugar in soda gets turned to fat. Even worst, it gets turned to belly fat, which poses even greater health risks. Soda drinkers also have a higher risk of cancer. It wrecks your dental health, from leaching the calcium from your teeth. There are a lot of other health risks from dementia to gout that seem to occur when people consume lots of soda and sugar.

I’ve always known that soda is bad for you, but when you start looking into it, it’s a no brainer to quit drinking this stuff. It’s time to quit drinking soda for good and that’s what I’m going to do.

Works cited:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-ways-sugary-soda-is-bad-for-you#section10

https://therenegadepharmacist.com/what-happens-one-hour-after-drinking-a-can-of-coke/