Take the Drinking Challenge

In this post I’ll be talking about my next 21-Day Personal Challenge and outlining exactly how you can benefit from all my hard work .

I pulled another trial out of my handy-dandy hat (quite literally) and it turns out I’ll be drinking only water for the next 21 days.

Having picked this challenge last Thursday, I’ve had a few days to think over the implications and wean myself off some beverages.

On Friday, I decided to have no diet pop (I never drink regular pop anyway). On Saturday I gave up my morning orange juice as well and by Sunday I was drinking only water. However, I did have a Perrier water (carbonated water) that day and I’ve since realized that due to the sodium, Perrier water was cheating.

Therefore, today is my first official day.

What I Hope to Gain

By drinking only water I hope to wean myself off my other drinking “habits”:

Diet Pop/Soda:

I was drinking 3-4 of these per day. Mostly decaffeinated, but that’s not the point. All that aspartame couldn’t have been doing me much good.

Also, I’ve read from more than 1 source that aspartame is addictive. And, judging from the withdrawal symptoms I’ve been having, I believe it!

Orange Juice

Every morning I’d rush for my morning fix of orange juice. Again, no sugar added, but still way too much natural sugar.

I know for a fact that I was addicted to “the juice” because I was craving it like crazy for the first few days.

Milk

I drank about 2-3 glasses of milk a day. Yes, it’s probably good for my bones but I want to switch to organic and also see what other alternatives I have through more research.

Tea

I habitually drank a large mug of tea each morning with milk and sugar. I’d like to eventually switch to a tea that is decaffeinated and doesn’t require a heaping teaspoon of sugar to make it palatable.

Alcohol

I have to admit, I’m not much of a drinker so this isn’t an issue. I may have had a glass or so of wine at a dinner party but never anything significant.

My Plan of Action

This is day one (Monday) of me drinking nothing but water. I plan to do this for the full 21 days and then assess how I feel.

Then, I may or may not introduce other beverages into my diet. For example, I’d like to start drinking decaf green tea, and, as I mentioned above, I may try organic milk.

This way I know that what I’m drinking each day is a conscious choice and not an unmindful act driven primarily by addictive behaviors.

How Things are Going so Far

Luckily, I’ve always drunk a fair bit of water as I’m constantly thirsty. So that part isn’t a big deal.

However, I am experiencing much more withdrawal symptoms than I had expected.

Aside from the extreme cravings (which are finally starting to dissipate), I’ve also had a headache and fatigue for the past 4 days. I’ve read that aspartame can cause these withdrawal symptoms, but so can caffeine withdrawal (even though I was only consuming a fairly low amount of caffeine on a daily basis).

These symptoms should disappear after about 2 weeks. It takes that long for substances such as aspartame to get out of our systems.

What Can You Gain From My Experience?

Making conscious choices is always better than being unmindful about what we put into our bodies. If you’re thinking about making dietary changes, start with what you drink.

I would advise you take more time to wean yourself off of the other beverages than I did so you don’t experience as much withdrawal. I’m really glad I “chose” this drinking water challenge before the food challenge comes up – it just makes more sense.

Think about it this way, getting things back to the basics allows you to see what you actually want to put into your body without your judgment being clouded by addiction (either consciously or subconsciously).

Drinking only water for 21 days will naturally raise your water intake which has countless benefits. You’ll then be in the habit of drinking the water your body needs to survive and thrive.

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