Well, as many of you know, a while back I decided that for me, it was necessary to give up soda completely and eradicate it from my diet. For someone who could seriously be described as a soda junky, this was no small feat of arms. It was really rough for me. Well, here I sit this morning at day 32. I have OFFICIALLY broken the one month barrier. I'm not going to lie, this was unbelievably difficult, and when I started doing this, I really didn't think I was going to make it to this point. Soda has long been a vice for me. When the kids are wonky in the afternoon, the sugar boost would get me through. It would also get me up and running in the morning. It's insane just how much I relied on soda. So, per my new feat, I decided to do some more Zone math. So just in case you needed some reasons, say different than the fact that Coke cleans RUST!!!!, to give up soda, here are a few reasons I can think of.
Cans of soda saved
32 days X 3 cans= 96 cans
Amount of money saved
3 cans/day x $.75= $2.25/day
32 days X $2.25= $72.00
Amount of calories saved
150 calories X 3 cans/day= 450 calories/day
32 days x 450 calories= 14,400
Grams of sugar
42 grams/can X 3 cans/day= 126g/day
126 g/day X 32 days= 4032 g
Now that we are at the month mark, let's break this down a bit. In one month, but not drinking soda, I saved almost $100. Wow! Holy cow. Talk about amazing. And if you want to hear something even crazier and perhaps more amazing listen to this. I am calculating my soda intake based on what occurs at school. I was also drinking soda outside of school at dinners or at work. Or if I would get groceries, I would allow myself to buy just one 20 oz. soda. So I probably actually saved over $100. Holy bananas! I could get a mani/pedi (which I am in dire need of!) for that amount of money! I could get a massage (mmmmm massage). Or go on a Dick's shopping spree. Oooh, how I heart Dicks. (I am now a rewards member... yeah, I get the coupons and the gift cards for $10 when I spend money. And I have about 30 coupons for there from other teachers' mailboxes... what? They weren't going to use them... so I say.... YOINK!) :) Anyway, back on track here. I don't keep soda in the house, but I do drink it away from school. Especially at the restaurant. The fountain is free to employees and we have HUGE classes. Probably roughly around 16 oz, and I could easily down 4-5 of them per NIGHT. So you can also figure those numbers into the soda that I saved myself from drinking. Seriously, this soda thing was not a small problem. It was a big one, and I am very happy that it's a habit I've managed to change.
Now, the biggest part of this experiment. The calories. Figure that the average person basis their diet on the 2000 calorie pyramid. If you go by that figure, I saved myself 14,400 calories, or roughly 7 DAYS worth of food. Let me say that again. 7 DAYS. That's an entire weeks worth of food that I was not eating, but drinking in addition to my normal diet! So I was really ingesting enough calories for 39 days, in 32 days. That is insane!!!! Holy balls Batman! Furthermore, look at the sugar intake. I have saved myself over 4000 grams of sugar. No wonder my body is now speaking to me and not so angry with me all the time. Wow. I just can't get over these numbers. I think in order to keep going, I'm going to need to do this every so often, just to remind myself why I started this. Now, I have had some ice tea since I gave up the soda, but it's minimal, and nothing compared to the amount of soda. I will have to be careful though that I do not replace soda with Starbucks. That is actually even worse. I do love their lattes and mochas though... yummmmmmmm..... but back on track again here.
Now that I've kicked the soda habit, I really need to ramp up my Zoning more. I'm sneaking little cheats in, but not adjusting to account for the cheating. So I really need to get stricter and stop justifying things by saying stuff like, "I can eat this. Really. I ran 5 miles this morning and walked another 2. It's fine." ERRRR! Wrong answer. It's not fine and it takes away the balance my body is trying to create. The start of the summer means that Zoning becomes trickier because we are on the road, at weddings etc. But again, ERRRRR! Wrong answer. I've been traveling around a decent amount lately, and I'm finding it easier and easier to stay in the Zone while I'm on the go.
First things first, read the Zone guide to dining out. Many people think if you are going to eat out while you're in the Zone, it means that you have to order a salad or cheat. Not so. There are plenty of things you can do. If you order entrees, most places will allow you to sub extra veggies or a salad for the potatoes. Lots of places also have things like fruit cups that you could even sub in. So, don't feel like you need to get locked into a big salad and nothing else. Usually the protein is more than you need, so just ask the server to box it. We don't mind, and it's great for lunch/dinner the next day. Seriously. It doesn't get much easier than that.
Ok, that's great and all, but what do you do if you're not dining out? If per say you are on the road traveling. Certainly you don't always stop to get a meal at a sit down place. How do you cope? Alright, well in my travels in the last month, here is what I've figured out. The invention of gas stations like Sheetz and Wawa has all but saved the Zoners. Both places do MTO (made to order) food and you can get things like fajitas, chicken sandwiches, salads, and now, Sheetz has started offering apple slices as well. That totally made my day to see as I was traveling back to PA a few weeks ago. The bag was roughly one block. So two packs, plus a block from the wrap on the fajita, plus the chicken and cheese from the fajita, and the sour cream, and I was Zone friendly! It was really pretty simple. Now, Wawa (from what I remember) actually has a larger selection than Sheetz in terms of offerings, so it too can be Zone friendly. I know that these are two of the biggest gas stations on the East Coast, so they should be found in most places around. There may be others too that I don't know about, so feel free to let me know if I don't.
If you get in a pinch and there is no such thing around where you can do a MTO or there are options, drive through BK or McDonalds and order a grilled chicken sandwich. Ditch the bun, and then order a parfait. It's not perfect, but getting some carbs from the yogurt would be preferable to getting them from oh you know, the fries?! :P So really, it is possible. I know that maybe this sounds crazy, but think about it. You don't want to undermine all your hard work during the week with your weekend trip out of town. You can even do Chinese, but you need to order something veggie heavy (Chicken and broccoli) and not fried, and ditch the rice. You just need to keep in mind what the friendly foods are, and I bet you'll find that most places will have some way to make things friendly. Wraps are even ok, you just need to watch the amount of lunch meat you eat, plus the carbs from the wrap, and if you're using mayo as your fat, ask for it on the side. Servers also do not mind things on the side. Well, unless they really suck and they just hate life in general. Then they hate you for being picky. :P
So, stick with it. You can do it, and keep in the Zone. I hope that my travels can help you be Zone friendly even on the go. :)