Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 Days and Nights Without??

As a personal challenge, I always try to give something up for Lent even though I am not Catholic.  I started doing this about 5 years ago just to see if I COULD go 40 days without.  For the first few years, it was fast food.  Hello, my name is Heidi, and I am a fast food addict.  Mind you, I have now switched over to salads and I carefully research the caloric content of every item I order, but I think it's the fast part I'm most addicted to.  No muss, no fuss.  A hot meal instead of all cold cuts and greens.  This year, instead of giving up fast food, I have decided to give up soda for Lent because I want to be able to keep McDonald's salads and Subway in my diet to help me avoid some of the pitfalls of the last couple of years.

Granted, I only drink diet soda, but I have read enough articles saying that just because you drink diet, does not mean you will lose weight.  Well, I am going to put that theory to the test.  I don't really see how drinking zero calorie beverages can cause you to put on weight, but I am willing to try almost anything once.  I should mention that I probably currently drink 4 diet sodas a day.  Yep.  I'm not much about moderation.  Sad, but true.  The idea of going without the flavor and pep of caffeine in soda has me a little worried.  I will try to keep you posted on the challenges and benefits of my little experiment.

My mom tried very hard to talk me out of giving up soda.  She said just last night: "Maybe you should reconsider.  How else will you get through your days?"  That may sound dramatic to some of you.  To help you understand her concerns, let me tell you about me.  I have 2 jobs, I go to school and I try to hit the gym 4+ times a week.  Sometime in there I find time for my family, my boyfriend and myself.  Am I concerned that the pick-me-up from soda is going to be a detriment to my sanity?  Oh yeah.  But why go through the pain to give something up if you won't miss it?

Have you given up anything that you love, completely, in an effort to lose weight?  What are you giving up for Lent?


  1. I have a few articles for you to read...


    1. Wow- That was disturbing. I am not sure I can give up diet soda forever, but this does make a terrific case for it. Even after my 40 days without, I am going to try to keep my consumption to a minimum. Thanks for the great article!

    2. After 40 days of not drinking soda, you won't want to. It tastes like straight syrup!!!

      Stacy Teague

  2. Pepsi is my crack!! Lol. Haven't had one in months but when I see one its all I can think about. I stopped with soda when I found out you can use it to clean the battery acid off your car battery. I was like whoa whats that doing to my guts!. Good luck deary, this is a tough one, but you can do it.

    1. Shani, My crack was always high-octane Dr. Pepper. Tough to give up. Good for you!!

  3. Dear Heidi,

    Your post raises some interesting issues.

    Firstly, congratulations on giving up soda for Lent. I think it would be extremely beneficial for you to give it up altogether and 'treat it as a treat' (e.g. drink it once a month) once Easter is over. I think this is the best you can do for your health. It can be done; I haven't had Diet Coke for the past 2 months after realising that drinking junk just doesn't go with my healthy, athletic lifestyle (started running a year ago).

    Secondly, your mother's reasoning is rather worrying. How can you get through your days? There are many ways of keeping up your energy levels! It may sound silly, but are you getting enough sleep? There is no better way of getting through one's days than with a good night's rest. Many people think they don't have the time to sleep the 6-8 necessary hours, but how many hours do we spend watching TV in the evenings? How many hours do we waste on the internet? Also, what about getting a natural energy boost from, for example, green tea? Not only does it wake you up, but it is known to be extremely effective for weight loss when combined with healthy eating habits.

    Healthy eating habits, in my humble opinion, are really the key to permanent weight loss and overall well-being. I was rather concerned to read this in your post:

    "This year, instead of giving up fast food, I have decided to give up soda for Lent because I want to be able to keep McDonald's salads and Subway in my diet to help me avoid some of the pitfalls of the last couple of years".

    From this I gather you firmly believe McD and Subway salads and sandwiches are healthy choices. These and many other chain restaurants have spent millions over the past few years to convince people like you they are healthy establishments. This, I am afraid, is very, very, very far from the truth. Have you ever come across the nutritional information for the McD salads -excluding the garden salad-? You'll be unpleasantly surprised.

    As part of Lent I think you should give up all your old eating habits and dietary preconceptions, read this and put it to the test:

    Not only will this book open your eyes with regards to the horrors of the American food industry, but it will hopefully radically transform what you cook, how you eat, and ultimately how much you weigh.

    Good luck!

  4. PS Plumbers use Coke to unblock pipes.

    Do you really want to be drinking that?

  5. I gave up soda from just before Thanksgiving until New Years (only had 1 in all that time). It was pretty hard at first, but I drank Emergen-c (which is fizzy and fairly healthyish) when I really wanted a soda and that helped the cravings. It's also got some 'pep' in it, which helps!

    I find that I can't just give things up--I need to replace them with something else or I fail hardcore.

    For the past few years, I've not been giving anything up for Lent, though I considered it this year. Maybe sweets or something. After, uh, we break out the giant red velvet cake in the fridge....:)

  6. I think it's awesome that people are so passionate about this topic and we can all relate with the struggles of weight gain/loss. I really like the idea of a sounding board where I can voice thoughts/struggles/hilarity without being judged. I don't even know where to start with my thoughts. I've felt that BMIs were a joke (I've always hated math-why should this be any different?) that fad diets are nuts (or should I say protein), and that even though the simple motto of "get rid of more calories than you take in" sounds easy enough, I don't think the person who made that up knew how truly delicious wine is and how tough it is to stop at one. (One more-maybe!) Ok-enough with the jokes. I would love to hear what others have dealt with! Thank you for your bravery posters!

  7. I'm late on the topic, but one "fast food" salad I've found to be delicious and healthy is the arby's roasted chicken salad (sans the bacon it comes with). I'm picky about my lettuce and tomatoes and they have yet to disappoint me.