Friday, 30 November 2012

My name is Kate, and I'm a Diet Coke addict

Yes, I am.  A total addict.  Love.This.Stuff.  Have done for years.  And this is an addiction I will be kicking in a few weeks.


A little bit on my DC background before we move on:

Why do I drink Diet Coke?  I enjoy it.  It fills me up - so I believe that I eat less when I drink it.  It curbs my 'hunger'.  Water hasn't done that for me in the past.  And it's 0 calories!  Get filled up and not consume calories: win-win!  I hate coffee so Diet Coke has always been my caffeine.  It wakes me up and keeps me going.  And I hadn't thought about it till now but it's also my 'thing' that I drink.  When I say that I go for 'coffee' with a friend, I really mean that they drink coffee, and I drink Diet Coke.  You don't 'go for water'.  That's not why I drink it, but it is a factor that fuels my addiction.  That's about it.  Oh, and I guess I'm addicted.

How much Diet Coke do I drink?  *Warning* - those against diet soft drinks may want to skip this paragraph.  This is the gory addiction stuff, all laid out on the table.  I have monitored this a little bit this year and I drink anywhere between 1.5L - 3L a day.  That sounds so bad, I know.  I mostly drink 375mL cans.  On average, I drink at least 5 cans a day, I have been known to drink up to 8 but that's not every day.  It's the first thing I drink in the morning.  I drove my friend to the airport this morning and cracked one open on the way, at 4:30am.  I know how much I am addicted but I was still taken aback a few weeks ago when I had a coffee with my old boss.  (Sorry, he had a coffee, I had a Diet Coke). ;)  He's in charge of stocking the Social Club soft drink fridge at my old work.  He told me that since I left, Diet Coke sales have dropped across the whole building (approx. 300 staff).  He said that some Diet Coke is close to expiring because it's not being bought at the same frequency as when I worked there.  He was then able to tell me how much I was drinking, on average, per day.  That's pretty bad, hey.  #howembarrassing.

I know it's not the best thing for me.  I know that there's that dangerous chemical in it.  I know that it's not healthy.  But I enjoy it and it makes me full without consuming calories.  This has been the dilemma up till now.  At the start of the year, I made it one of my 2012 goals, to reduce my Diet Coke intake.  And I did!  I set up a plan, and I reduced it to 2 a day.  I know that still sounds like a lot, but read my earlier paragraph again.  I did however then develop a replacement addition to diet flavoured mineral water.  But from a Diet Coke point of view, I was doing really well.  But then some life tough stuff happened, and I consciously took up a few bad habits that I had gotten rid of.  It wasn't even to help me cope.  It was moreso because I didn't give a shit.  I know, that sounds bad.   And since then I've been 'meaning to' reduce it again.

After some hits of inspiration from some fellow 12WBT'ers and Mish herself, some soul searching and some plain common sense, I have decided to reduce it again, this time for good.  My goal is to have no more than 3 per week.  I may reduce it further down the track, but for now this is my plan.  Note that I didn't say that I was giving it up, I am just reducing it.  For now.  This is a huge enough thing for me.  I have actually thought this out and made this decision.  Call it Phase 1 if you like. :)  I've spoken to a few people lately about why Diet Coke is not good for weight loss.  If weight loss is so important to me, then maybe this could be a valid reason for me to finally want to reduce it!  Nothing else has worked in the past, maybe this could be it.  And I think I'm finally starting to understand the effects.  One of my friends, Ruth, explained it really well the other day so I think I will have to rehash this chat....

As you may have seen, I have placed this as my Week 6 goal for Round 4.  This falls on the week in between Christmas and New Year.  That's kind of cool timing really.  I can enjoy Christmas with it, reduce it before NYE and still achieve my 2012 goal by doing it this year.

I've been trying to drink more water this week.  I'm supposed to drink 4L a day, more if I'm exercising.  I never thought I had an issue with drinking water.  I truly didn't.  I drink a lot of water.  I always have a water bottle with me.  One of my gorgeous friends, Leanne, wrote something on the importance of drinking water.  It's been really popular and this amazing girl knows what she's talking about.  Yet, I never read it.  Not for any other reason other than I didn't think I needed to.  I already drank a lot of water!  (And Diet Coke.  Shhh.)  That story was for people who don't drink water.  That's not me!

Operation 4L of Water a Day: how to
Well it wasn't until this week, when I started actively ensuring that I drink 4L a day, that I realised: I don't drink enough water.  Not nearly enough.  4L is a LOT.  The funny thing is, it is so much that I actually haven't had as much time to drink Diet Coke now, because I've got so much water to drink first!  Tricky ;)  The coolest thing about my new Operation Water, is that for the first time ever, it is sort of making me full.  And yesterday I went to get a Diet Coke out of the fridge, went and sat down, and realised that I had in fact grabbed a water!  What the??  The water thing is catching on a lot sooner than I thought. :)  Another friend, Bella, has put Leanne's water story on her blog.  Check it out.  I will be :)  Water As Told By The Water Goddess

So here is my Diet Coke plan:


1. Decide to break the habit 
2. Plan to drink more water
3. Actually drink more water
4. Read Leanne's water story 

5. Talk to Ruth again
5. Research Diet Coke / water
6. Try some other drinks (eg. soda water, mineral water, lemon in water, diet cordial)
7. Reduce Diet Coke: 'DC Day'

So there we have it - and I've already ticked off 3 of those steps!  I'm not going to do the cutting down before DC Day for a few reasons.  I'll suffer any headaches that come, I know they're temporary.  But by the end of Week 6 / the end of 2012, I will only be drinking 3 Diet Cokes a week.  I'd love to hear your stories if you've kicked the diet soft drink habit, or if you have any tips.  I am going to do this properly this time and make sure I don't replace this habit with a new one, like my old diet mineral water addiction.

Do you know the most important thing here?  I think about 'the' addiction, my attachment, my history, the fact that I am so in tune with Diet Coke, that I can have a Diet Coke at midnight and still sleep straight after...none of that matters when I remember the main reason why I am doing this.

I may not 'want to' do it and not yet completely understand just how bad it is for me, but I know that this is just another step into making myself into the best version of myself that I can be.  And I want that. 

It's called being healthy.


#okr: 21km to say thanks...and a whole lot more

“If you can't fly, then run,
if you can't run, then walk,
if you can't walk, then crawl,
if you can't crawl, then limp in a moon boot,
if you can't limp in a moon boot, then cycle,
but whatever you do
you have to keep moving forward."

Ok so I may have changed that quote around a little.  I first heard it on The Biggest Loser - I thought Alex's sister made it up.  Turns out it was actually from the mouth of Martin Luther King - close! :)

So today I did a thing called #okr.  It was something I have had planned for a few weeks.  #okr stands for "Operation Katie's Response".  In a nutshell, it was me wanting to say thank you to some very special people and not being really sure how to do that.  A group of friends did something amazing for me, so I decided to do a "Relay of Thanks" and run/walk/run/walk for 1km for each person.

My location scouting sux ;)
Of course though, Unplanned Operation Bushwalking Accident got in the way big time, and I have been waiting fairly impatiently to do it.  Yesterday I was really really frustrated and very very down and I didn't know what to do.  So I decided to do #okr this morning.  Exercise = endorphins = feeling better = not doing other things that wouldn't have made me feel better.  I spent a couple of hours planning it last night.  I didn't really tell people in advance that I was doing it because to be honest I didn't know if I would make it because my foot is still not healed.  I planned a total of 21km: 17km for 17 #fairygodsisters and a few extra km's for some other amazing people.  I may or may not have worked it out to add up to 21 to represent the half marathon I'm planning for next year ;)

When I first came up with the idea, I imagined a 21km run/walk, on a wide open dusty gravel paddock, a few hours drive west of Brisbane, in the country, just me, the sun, and my iPod.  It looked very romanticised in my head.

Well, in reality things change and things don't always go as planned...something I have learnt so well this year ;)  So instead I chose a cycling track that was in Brisbane so I wasn't too far away from home if I couldn't complete it, it was bitumen so that the ground was flat, instead of running/walking it, I now had a big fat moon boot to contend with, and although I assumed I'd have it to myself, it wasn't exactly the dusty country paddock in the middle of nowhere that I had imagined.

I don't know why I assumed I'd have it to myself.  I had actually checked the booking schedule online and no major events had it booked, but I hadn't thought about the dozens of pro-cyclists who would be at it at 5:30am, carving up the track.  I got there and thought they probably wouldn't like some chick in a moon boot hobbling around their track, so I had to change locations.  Turns out walking is not allowed on the track anyway.  It's ok - there's a bike/walking path right alongside.  So this was my new #okr track :)  Not measured, not isolated, but it would do.

My special shirt.  I did...just not running.
My promise to myself was that if my foot started hurting, I would stop.  Medically I was 'allowed' to do this - the ED doctor I saw had said I was allowed to exercise, and I was only supposed to wear the boot for 1-2 weeks.  It's coming up to 3 weeks.  I'm still mostly wearing it - I know my body and I know I'm not better yet.  I didn't want to do things too quickly and make the recovery time even longer, so I had to be sensible.  Not my favourite word.

So that was my plan.  To walk (well, limp) the 21km, no matter how slowly I needed to go.  And stop, if it started to hurt.  I only walked in a 3km radius of my car, just in case, and I took it really slowly.  I'm talking not even 4km/h.  Extremely frustrating and disapppointing, but I was doing it.  And as much as this whole venture was for my friends, it turned into being just as much for me.  I needed to do this for myself today.  Push past my limits, do something healthy, and keep moving forward.

I only made it 6km.  My foot started to hurt.  I had an 'angel/devil' on the shoulders moment but ultimately made a decision to stop walking and to see if I could finish the 21km by using my bike!  It was amazing.  I obviously took the boot off to ride, and it didn't hurt my foot :)  I cycled 15km - that's my longest ride since 'that ride' 3 years ago.  I actually enjoyed it.  The limits I pushed just to get onto my bike were enough.  Then I was rewarded with realising that it's a lot easier to ride as your fitness increases :)  I was still really slow, but the km's flew past a lot quicker than walking in the boot, as did my heart rate! 

My idea for this 'Relay of Thanks' aka #okr was to, as I said, run/walk 1km for each person.  For a bit of fun and also because I didn't want to embarrass/hurt anyone, I decided to make code names for each person :)  I then took a photo of myself at the start of each 1km mark, holding a sign saying that code word :)  I've told the people their code words now, so they can see 'their km'. :)  What code words did I use?  Did you really have to ask?  I kept with my theme....princesses ;)  Each km/person has been given a princess's name - photo evidence is below.

My view from laying on the grass at the end of the 21km
21km, 6km of walking and 15km of cycling, 4 hours, 2000 calories, 364 selfies (!) to get the best shots for #okr.  This all represented me saying thank you to some of the gorgeous people I know - who have given me some amazing support in the last few weeks, who gave me a weekend to smile, and just a group of people who light up my life constantly.  #okr was to say thank you - and I have, in, I admit, a very strange way.  Those I told what I was doing a few weeks ago said I didn't have to.  I know that.  But I wanted to. :)  But the coolest thing is, it ended up being just as much for me.  I wanted to do this for my friends, but I had to do this today, for myself.  And yes, I did the last lap for myself.  And no need to ask what my princess name was. :)

Thank you everyone.

There's always a way forward.

All my love xo

Tinker Bell: 1km

Pocahontas: 2km 

Princess Eilonwy: 3km

Mulan: 4km

 Princess Ann: 5km
Princess Ann from "Roman Holiday"

Snow White: 6km

 Ariel: 7km

 Princess Aurora: 8km

Belle: 9km

Princess Mia: 10km
Princess Mia from "The Princess Diaries"

Princess Anneliese: 11km

Sara Crewe: 12km
Sara Crewe from "A Little Princess"

Tiana: 13km

Princess Jasmine: 14km 

I started to think there were getting to be too many front on selfies, so I tried to be a bit more creative from this point:

Thumbelina: 15km

Xena: Warrior Princess: 16km

Princess Buttercup: 17km

Giselle: 18km

Rapunzel: 19km

Fairy Godmother: 20km

Cinderella: 21km

21km: done :)