The biggest and best lifestyle change I have ever made

Switching from Soda to Sparkling water

The background

I’m not a health nut or particularly fit or healthy and im definitely overweight, after some health challenges and some high blood sugar readings that showed I might be heading towards developing type 2 diabetes, a lifestyle change was required and fast.

Living a more health conscious lifestyle is a challenge for me, not because I don’t want to live a long and healthy life, but because I spent the first 30 something years of my life going in the opposite direction.


The Challenges

Initially I had 2 challenges, the first was getting my blood sugar under control and the second one was losing weight.

Both would require some big lifestyle changes and that was OK, what I wasn’t prepared for was how hard but also how beneficial the biggest change would be.


I’m not really an addict am I?

It turns out that I am actually.

Surprisingly to me I’m a sugar addict and soft drinks or soda was how I was getting my fix.

Like any addiction, beating it was going to be a long challenge.

Its also going to be a lifelong task to monitor and control.


Fail fast, learn the lesson and move on

This is a mantra I live by, in everything I do, and its been hugely helpful to me in my journey to living a healthier lifestyle.

In this case there were a few tools I needed to allow me to gather the data:

  • Blood Sugar Reader kit
  • Blood Sugar and Food Diary (A legal pad is good enough)
  • A set of goals and actionable items

Once I had these in place I could start to try and move forward.

The goals I set myself were healthy blood sugar levels below 5.5 mg/l and a final healthy weight of 95kgs.

This is where trial and error and playing around with foods, eating patterns etc and logging all the data comes into play.

I could see what works and what doesn’t, the big ticket items that really affect the data both negatively and positively, and at the end of each week I could spend some time learning the lessons and make changes which I would trial and implement the following week.

This worked well for me except in one critical area….


Falling off the wagon

I could go for days without my fix of sugar, it was hard but manageable to a point, but eventually I’d walk past one advertisement too many and boom I’d have a bottle of something in my hand.

The numbers crept back up and it took days to get them back under control from one single incident.

It was getting to be so frustrating and I really struggled to get round the issue.


What doesn’t kill you….

I was a notoriously fussy eater and drinker I suppose, the issue being the stuff I liked was junk….

I had switched from soda to tea and water.

I had also tried the sugar free soda but to be honest I still got bad blood sugar readings from those and any way long term they were also going to damage my health.

Sparkling water was something I had tried in the past when I was a kid, but being the fussy person I was, if I decided I didn’t like it after trying it once that was it, in my head I was done with it never to return.

I had to get over that and try sparkling water as one of my many experiments.

What didn’t kill me, didn’t make me stronger, it was actually a game changer.


Maybe its not just the sugar…

This was a pretty quick realization when I moved on sparkling water, it wasn’t just the sugar I was missing from those soda drinks, it was the fizz.

That fizzy feeling of the liquid had also formed a strong link in my brain, maybe just as strong as the sugar.


They say a habit forms in 90 days…

It actually took me about 6 months to get over the need for sugary drinks.

Over that time, I substituted them with sparkling water, the length of time between falling off the wagon became less and less, and now its more than 6 months since I have even thought of having a soda.

Ironically they taste far too sweet for me nowadays.

While it took me a lot longer than 90 days to get there, I have achieved my aim in the end.


The end result

The struggle was worth it in the end, I have met my goal on the blood sugar and more.

Im out of the risk group for type 2 diabetes and my cholesterol and blood pressure have also hugely improved.

Im losing weight, im 50% to my target and fitter than anytime since my teens quite honestly.

I’ve done other things to improve my diet and my lifestyle of course, but the biggest and best change I have made without doubt has been to get rid of the Soda.

The results were instant and obvious, like nothing else I have done before or since for my health.

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