gaston gym

Day one of finally deciding I was going to embark on this journey to health. I had to take a look at what I was doing wrong so I could change. Turns out that was pretty much everything. I first began looking at my calories. I downloaded a free app on my phone called “My Fitness Pal”. It is a great tool to help keep track of your calories. It even has a bar code scanner. So you can just scan something and it knows all about the product.

As mentioned in my introduction I was/am a soda-holic. I don’t drink coffee and being a caffeine junkie, soda was my drink of choice. I would have around six cans of soda a day. If you take a normal can, which is 180-200 calories each, that was quite a big chunk of my “daily allowance”.

From my many attempts to kick the soda habit before. I knew that there would be withdrawals. I would get headaches and most people around me would say I was very grumpy. So I needed something to replace the caffeine. I don’t enjoy hot tea very much (pinkie down), and the only kind of iced tea I enjoy is southern sweet so that was out.

As I was walking around the grocery store I found Crystal Light that has caffeine in it. The packets are only ten calories and have as much caffeine as a half can of soda….Perfect! That kills two birds. I get the caffeine I need so I don’t kill anyone and I needed to drink more water anyway to keep my stomach full to curb the hunger.

Now comes the next problem that was what do I do with all this soda I have in the house. I literally brought back an SUV full of delicious Cheerwine from North Carolina. Well when I established I was going to start this journey I promised myself I would have one “cheat day” a week. So I can still enjoy the things I love as a treat rather than punishing myself. I will write another post about my first cheat day another time. That was an adventure!

I will tell you some things that I experienced cutting out the soda so you will know what your in for. The first few days were hard. I wasn’t consuming nearly the same amount of caffeine. It was very hard to get moving in the morning and stay focused. I was grumpy for about a day or two (or so I was told I didn’t notice a difference Ha Ha). I really had to change my morning routine. Instead of grabbing a can of soda as I walked out of the house I had premixed bottles of water in the fridge.

Now for the benefits of my change. The calorie intake is obviously way down. I have been fighting with insomnia for years. I have found it easier to fall asleep at night. I don’t find I am as thirsty as I used to be. Although soda is a liquid it will make you feel thirsty. Drinking more water helps that tremendously. I have tried and been enjoying different drinks since changing as well.

I have started drinking flavored unsweetened iced tea. However, instead of flavoring it with sugar I use different kinds of diced fruit. Using that same idea to just flavor water is a great too. I always drink milk with dinner too. I use 1% because I don’t like the bland taste of skim, but if you don’t mind the taste it does help cut some calories there too.

If you have any drink tips please pass them along to and I will share them at the beginning of the next post.

The hardest part is jumping in the pool. Once your in the water…..Just keep swimming!!