Everybody Else is Drinking It…
For no reason other than a dim sense that it was a good idea.
But more just because it was a challenge.
I liked that it was different.
So, I went cold turkey. No soft drinks. Just water, milk and juice.
This is years later…
I have a friend. A good friend, who I still spend lots of time with even today.
Now, Bill was an avid soft drink fanatic. I watched him guzzle down 2-liter bottles for breakfast. (Okay…that might be a slight exaggeration.)
And Bill did not like that I didn’t drink soft drinks.
One time, he even recounted how his Dad just didn’t understand why I was being weird about that.
This was pivotal. Receiving this stern feedback from a close friend.
You see, when we decide to make big changes in our health, sometimes the people around us don’t like it. Really, this goes for any big changes we try to make whether they’re related to our health, our wealth, how we spend our time or what we believe.
So, just by deciding not to drink Coke, Pepsi and all the rest of the sugar-water gang, I was suddenly out in the wilderness on my own.
(Being weird is actually pretty great.)
But you have to learn to enjoy the discomfort.
Have you ever changed and then been pulled back into your old habits simply due to the social sphere swirling all around you?
Throughout my teenage years, I maintained my no-soda discipline.
I also lived an incredibly active life–martial arts, basketball, track and lots of running around with friends.
It’s very easy to take health for granted when you’re young and your body is strong and vibrant.
However, aside from not drinking soda, I ate pretty much unconsciously.
Occasionally, I’d think about what I was eating and I’d notice that I felt incredibly full after most meals.
I thought about the food system that brought food to my family’s table and wondered whether the animals we were consuming had been treated well before they became our meat.
But, being at the mercy of my parents and their food-purchasing paychecks, I went right along with what we ate.
I did have one personal eating practice that went against the grain in my house: I liked to eat with chopsticks.
For some reason, this drove my Dad up the wall.
(I honestly still don’t for the life of me have any clue why my chopsticks usage was such a sticking point for him…)
I loved all things Asian including the food, the films and what I was slowly learning of the philosophy. Eating with chopsticks was another tiny detail that I can look back on and see a portent of big changes yet to come…