Yesterday marked a special milestone that I am very proud of. It has been exactly 180 days/six months since I last had soda. January 31st was the last time I drank a can of Mountain Dew.
Why did I cut soda? Well, the obvious answer is because soda is bad and I want to avoid it. However, something happened that inspired me to quit drinking soda.
During the 2013 fall semester at the University of Kansas, I had a crazy schedule.
There are certain classes students are required to take if they want to graduate. However, as some current and former college students know, some classes are offered at only one specific time in a semester. What makes it tough is the fact that the required class is in the middle of the day.
This was the case for me with multiple classes on different days during the fall 2013 semester. I always try to schedule my classes in the morning, that way I could study, work and relax the rest of the day.
During that semester, I had classes scattered throughout different times of the morning and the afternoon. Due to bad scheduling and what I had going on with student media that semester (I remained active with radio, television and the newspaper), I was only able to make it to the gym once or twice per week.
My semester ended on Dec. 18 and I left Lawrence to go home in Kansas City for Christmas break. For an early Christmas gift, my parents got me a 30-day membership, allowing me to workout at a gym while on break.
Losing weight had been a goal of mine for a long time. I didn’t take good care of my body in high school and early in college. I knew graduation was coming up soon at that time and I wanted my graduation pictures to look good. This was a golden opportunity to finally be serious about that goal. Outside of writing and announcing a couple of basketball games, I did not have any serious priorities during winter break.
Why not take that time to hit the gym and tackle the weight loss? I successfully did so.
I drank soda and chocolate only a handful of times from December 18 through January 22, when school resumed. Even though I did not go to the gym on Christmas nor New Year’s Day, I still did some low key workouts at home. A friend of mine, Mary, is a certified gym trainer and she introduced me to Juan’s 30-Day Ab-Challenge, created by her friend, Juan. I completed the
extremely easy grueling and unpleasant ab-challenge.
The results after Christmas break? Check out this picture.
The photo on the left was taken in the summer of 2013, but my body was in that shape all the way through December 18. The photo on the right was taken on January 22.
While standing at 215 lbs, I saw my weight go down slowly. My goal was to be under 200 lbs by February 1st.
I weighed myself on January 30th. I didn’t want to wait for February. I was nervous, because I wanted to reach my goal two days sooner. I stepped on the scale early in the morning, and I was never more thrilled to see the numbers 199.8 appear on the scale.
Since then, I’ve been strongly consistent with working out. It also helped my schedule was less hectic in the final semester of my college career.
Since that day, I have never been 200 lbs or more. Even though a knee injury has kept me away from the gym the past three weeks, I made extra sure I was eating healthier than ever to be sure that I maintain my weight of 195 lbs. (My goal was to be under 190 this month, but due to my knee injury, I’ll have to redo this goal for next month. Coincidentally, I’m seeing a doctor today and hope to return to working out.)
If I can do it, SO CAN YOU. It requires one thing; mental strength.
1. Cut out junk food – You can enjoy an occasional soda or cupcake, but make this a rare occasion. If you want to completely eliminate both forever and you’re okay with it, then go for it.
2. Be consistent for BOTH working out and eating – I always wondered why I was never losing weight. It was because of my inconsistency.
3. Be patient – You won’t lose 15 lbs in a week. In fact, if you eat healthy and work out consistently, it’s likely you only lose anywhere from 2-to-3 lbs per week. Don’t stress if you don’t see a major difference within a week or two. It doesn’t happen like that.
Losing weight was a gratifying accomplishment for me. I have been eating smarter since then. In addition, as weird as this may sound, because of the smart eating, I feel smarter and far more confident in life overall.
Like I said before, if I am able to do what I thought was insurmountable, you can too. Good luck, and I hope my advice helps you!