Archive for February, 2007

Giving It Up!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hi, i decided that today I wanted to share with you a success of mine. Exactly 38 days ago after reading an article on Steve Pavlina’s website titled ‘how to give up coffee‘ i decided to give it ago and give something up.

The immediate problem i came across was what should I give up? i had so many different things in my life that i wanted to change. I wanted to lose some weight, go to the gym more, eat more healthily. Where to start?? After much deliberation and thinking i decided that i was going to give up coke.

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OH the stress, the torment the doubts that were crowding my mind. Could i do it?? Could i really give up the blessed coke? Now I know a lot of you out there will probably be saying. Yick yeck, how hard could it be? Its only coke after all. Its not like its a cigarette addiction, or a coffee addiction… right?? wrong!!

An addiction is an addiction and well coke is my addiction. Coke was my oasis. It’s the middle of summer, its hot, sticky and sweaty and coke just seems like a really nice cool refreshing drink, especially in a glass with 3 ice cubes and a sliver of fresh lemon. If I’m at work and its hitting the 2pm time of day and I’m starting to feel a little tired or off colour and in need of a pick me up its a can of coke that i’ll reach for. Going out to dinner, going out with friends, going to social events! Coke thats my drink! not wine, not vodka not Bacardi Breezers. Good old fashioned coke.

It tastes so good, its so refreshing, the fizz as you drink it and the special sound it makes as you open up the can, and the rush you get when you swallow it down and the burning sensation as it goes down your throat and it makes your head goe weeee!! and the smell!! oh its smells so good! its like a clean fresh sweet coke smelling thing! What more could a girl want? Hmm where was i.. i got a bit side tracked 🙂 anyway giving up coke! Yes well the doubts and the thoughts of I’m not going to make it.. the first few days were fine. I kept telling myself, you don’t need it I’ll just have a glass of water. I made sure i didn’t have any spare change on me so i couldn’t go down to the vending machine on the 1st floor and just buy one and i also made sure i had plenty of fruit around so that if i needed a sugar rush I’d eat a grape or an apple or an orange or a grapefruit.

It was good, I was going so well… for the first two days… then the headaches started, the 2pm yawning. The feeling of lethargy as my body decided to punish me for not drinking its favourite addiction. Did i mention that i was going cold turkey? i wasn’t even drinking diet coke, or soft drink at all. I’d given it all a miss. No sugary fizzy drinks for me! I was going to do it the hard way, all or nothing! I knew that if i didn’t do the whole hog then there would be no hog at all!

So here i was stressed out at work, angry at the world and for some crazy reason I’d decided to give up the only thing in the world to make me happy at work. My lifeline to staying awake at 2pm to making it to the end of the day. My lifeline…

What had i done? Each afternoon i kept having to fight myself, telling myself I don’t want it, i don’t need it, I would survive! Coke was an addiction and i didn’t want it ruling my life. I CHOSE TO GIVE UP COKE!! No one made me do it. Has anyone ever used the power of positive enforcement? i think it works over the long term but i didn’t feel very positive whilst i was saying this to myself every afternoon. it was hard, it wasn’t easy i had to force myself to not drink it and to not give in.

As each afternoon slugged along and after every day I’d look in my little diary and I’d write another number for the day that i passed. It went from 3 days to 5 days, to 10 days and after that i decided i had to find something else to drink because i couldn’t’ keep drinking water, as nice as it is, sometimes you just need something different to drink and i could feel my willpower waning. So after talking to a girl that i chat to at the gym quite regularly i decided to take her advice and start drinking iced tea on social occasions or when i was feeling particularly challenged. Funnily enough, i like it. I looked at the kiloujoules and its 1/3 of what coke contains. I can’t remember the numbers right now but i now its less the 400 while coke is in the thousands.

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So from 10 days i made it to 20 days. Once i’d hit 20 days it was no longer an issue about my will power. It became a matter of pride. I’d made it to 20 days and i was going to make it to the 30 even if it killed me!! I’d given it up for 20 days and the thought of having to start a fresh just made me cringe! I’d made it past the hard part! I was no longer suffering headaches, and i no longer felt like i had to go to the gym just to make up for the drink i’d had that afternoon. I was still counting days but i was no longer actively having to stop myself from going downstairs to that damn vending machine and buying that can of coke.

So i wnet from 20 days to 25 days… on the 25th day i was faced with temptation. My boyfriend and i had gone to a club to see a friend play a gig. Another friend had gone to the bar and had bought a drink. I didn’t think I’d be affected. For 25 days I’d been clean, for the last week I’d been fine and had experienced no cravings. But then i was caught unaware, i looked at my friend holding that glass of coke and my mouth just started drooling. I could almost taste it, the sweet, cold refreshing flavour.

I kept looking at the glass in her hand my mind just tumbled over with thoughts of maybe i can ask for a sip, I’ve made it to 25 days i could have just one, one won’t matter, and i could feel me convincing myself that it would be okay. As i sat there staring at the glass in my friends hand i had almost hypnotised myself into leaning over and just drinking it straight out of her hand. It seemed like hours that i sat there, even though realistically it had only been a few seconds. It was crazy! I’ve never felt so compelled to do something. Even sitting here 38 days letter i can still vividly remember the way that i felt as i stared at that glass of coke, it was like i was a person lost in a desert and had just found water. It was really really hard to turn my back on that glass of coke and to try and convince myself that i didn’t need it, that I’d be fine, that i was going to happily turn away and drink my room temperature glass of water that tasted murky. I didn’t’ even have my iced tea to save me from myself. It was sheer willpower!! I don’t know where i garnered the strength to turn my back but turn my back i did, and i drank my room temperature glass of water and tried to ignore the clammering that was my inner voice telling me to go and buy a coke.

So from 25 days, to 28 days and then one day i looked down and realised YES!! I’D MADE IT!! I’d given up coke for 30 days. I’d done it!! When i looked at my diary i couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe that i had made it to 30 days.

Now you can believe it or not, but the instinct on that wonderful day was not to go right downstairs and buy a coke, believe it or not my instinct was to go downstairs and reward myself with a bottle of iced lemon tea nad then to say to myself, ok you’ve made 30 so now how about another 30. 🙂 so here i am, I’m on day 38 and I’m still going strong. I’ve been out on several social events since day 30 and i’m still quite content to not drink coke. I still have moments where i’ll look at someone whose drinking a glass of coke and feel a tingle but i’m pretty sure that i am strong enough to fight the cravings 🙂

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I made it! and i am extremely proud of myself. I don’t really even miss it at all! So i guess the moral of the story is that if you really really put your mind to it and you stand by your convictions you can give up anything… even if its something that you think you can’t. if i can do it you can to!!

Chinese New Year

Saturday, February 17, 2007

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Hi everyone

Today i wanted to talk about the wonders of Chinese New Years eve.

For all of you out there who have just spent the morning, cleaning your rooms, dusting your furnitures and washing your clothes and bedsheets to prepare for the new year. I sympathise with you. On a wonderful hot, sunny day like today what would you rather be doing? Going snorkelling down at the beach (its a 2 hour drive but thats not the point) or cleaning your house… i know which one i would prefer to be doing:-)

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Why is it that I go through the frantic cleaning up phase on this particular day just because its Chinese new years eve? Why is that later this evening i’m going to be spending a small fortune on taking out my family and friends to celebrate an event that i don’t really even believe in?

Its for my mum, i guess in my own small way this is the way that i show her respect and to show her that i care. Presents are not really something that she likes to have and every time i buy her something she looks at me as if i don’t really know her and why did i bother. Its true of course, i don’t really know her but how can you get to know someone with whom you’ve only ever spent roughly two weeks with every six months for the last 15 years?? (its the 2 weeks every six month time again)

So i guess in my own way, I’m going to the effort so i can show my mum that i care. And to be perfectly honest its been a while since i cleaned my rooms and things so its about time 🙂 a good excuse you might say! In terms of the expensive meal tonight, I think I’m actually looking forward to being able to treat my mum to dinner at a restaurant because she likes that sort of thing and its easier and probably going to be more rewarding then me spending hours trying to find her a present which she won’t like. Besides who wouldn’t want to eat crab 🙂

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Now down to the reason why we go through this cleaning frenzy every Chinese new year. From my understanding its to make sure that all the bad luck from the year before is washed away so that you can start the new year on a clean slate. Mum passes out these silver coins and tells my sister and I to put them in our purses. She has also given me this pumpkin looking thing to hang on the top of my bed. It doesn’t matter that the pumpkin looking thing doesn’t match the colour or the room setup, its supposed to ward away evil demons and bad luck. I don’t believe or even follow the concepts that my mother believes in, but i do believe in making life easier for myself and over the last 15 years I’ve finally realised that its just easier to accept whatever crazy ideas she has to make my mum happy. Why you may ask?? well again its just to make her happy and show her how much i care. I guess i just don’t care enough either way to make a big fuss out of it.

Regardless the cleaning is long due, the restaurant tonight is going to be tasty, the company is going to be nice and i guess overall doing something nice for someone else in my family is a good thing 🙂