Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. Let's jump right into it....
So for the last two months, I have been on a water only challenge. That means no soda, juice, alcohol, tea, or smoothies. Technically smoothies should not count since it’s just blended fruit and fruit is fine however, I use fruit punch as a base for my smoothies so that’s out of the question. Nonetheless, the challenge has not been drinking the water, the challenge has been switching out what I normally get when I am out for water.
For example, I am a huge movie buff but let me tell you, popcorn at the movies with a water is like death on Earth to me. Water is so overpriced at the movies it’s ridiculous but above all else, I have been drinking juice/soda at the movies for 26 years. That’s a long time to break a certain habit.
The lifelong science nerd in me was interested to see how I would respond to the change and overall I learned a lot.
Mentally: The transition for the most part was fairly easy. The only time it got hard was when I went to Applebees. I always get a mango lemonade. My desire for fruit went through the roof. I stopped drinking orange juice but oranges were fine. I ate pineapples practically everyday since switching to the water only challenge.
Physically: I believe overall, I lost weight (some days I don’t feel like I did). A water only system definitely makes you want to go to the restroom a lot more often. TMI I know…. In moments after being hungry after dinner, I turned to water and fruit to snack on, compared to chips and juice. I was proud of myself for changing in that area.
Socially: My friends, family and coworkers did a GREAT job of holding me accountable. It wasn’t like I was planning to back out but I did have a slip up where I was at a function that only had tea and soda. I began pouring Sprite into a cup not thinking about the water challenge because I didn’t see the water displayed. As I am pouring the Sprite, my coworker says “what are you doing?” and I’m like “getting something to drink”. He looks at the cup so I look at the cup and it dawns on me he is talking about the Sprite. I instantly scream “oh crap”. Luckily, I did drink any soda but we did have a good laugh about. There were a few times I had to turn down bar invitations because that’s just too tempting but I managed and found other places to hang out. My parents have been awesome with supporting the challenge. If they pick up carry out when I visit them, they always stop and bring me a bottled water.
Financially: With the exceptions of the overpriced movie theater, you save a lot of money ordering water. When I go to restaurants, I usually spend between $17 and $21. It’s weird seeing bills under $15 now but I like it. Since switching to this water only challenge, I know I have saved over $150 when I eat out or grocery shop.
Although I wouldn’t consider soda and juice an addiction, I have a newfound understanding of what people go through trying to change major lifestyle habits. Telling someone not to smoke after doing it for 30 years is hard. Imagine if someone told you that you could never have coffee again and you love coffee. Or if someone told you that you could never have bread again (I might pass out). Sticking only to water helped me a lot but it didn’t come without some moments I wanted to relapse. If you want to better understand someone you know dealing with an addiction, I encourage you to give something up for 2-3 months and see how you feel.
Moral of the story: So moving forward, I am glad I did my water challenge. I learned a lot about my willpower and found some new alternative healthy choices in the process. I definitely will make water and fruit a part of my life moving on. What challenge would you like to try?
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.