About a year and a half ago, I was addicted to Red Bull.
Now I know that language may not sit well with you, “addicted” to anything that’s not considered a hard drug. But whether it was because I was hooked on the caffeine and other ingredients, or because I have issues controlling what I consume, or both…the fact of the matter is I classified completely as an addict. Not just to Red Bull either, but also to soda.
Upon reflection, with a bit of math, I worked out that in the 6 month period where I was at my worst, I was averaging 1.7 gallons of soda per week and just shy of 1 gallon of Red Bull every week.
Yeah thats right. Almost 3 gallons worth of Dr. Pepper and Red Bull in a single week, for an estimated 24 continuous weeks. My anxiety and depression were at an all time high and my weight was getting out of control.
In November 2016, I dropped Red Bull completely, and went down to 1 can of soda every Saturday. I started working out regularly in March 2017, however…….
Between November 2016 and February 2017 I lost 57 pounds. In conversation with people since then I’ve skewed that number a bit, because I was embarrassed to say how heavy I actually was. I can now say with 100% truth that I was 272lbs, the heaviest I’ve ever been. Since I started working out I dropped to 215, and have been able to maintain that despite a few things. One of them is Monster.
When I dropped soda and Red Bull, I tried picking up B-Vitamins to keep my energy going. But it was still crazy hard to stay motivated and in some cases to even stay awake. It was the height of allergy season for me, and the constant presence of Benadryl in my system meant I was incredibly sleepy and lethargic throughout most of my work day. So I did some research into “if I am going to have an energy drink, which one should it be.”
I found Monster “Zero Ultra” the in February 2017, and almost immediately started drinking it daily. It fit just right with maintaining my energy levels and more importantly, I was able to fit it into my new diet. It’s still bad for me, and I drink it way more than I probably should. But I’m not drinking 1 gallon worth per week, and the primary thing I’ve learned during my diet change is this:
It’s not 100% about what you eat, it’s about when you eat it, how you eat it, and how it effects your body in particular. Everyone has a different chemistry set in their body and you have to figure out what works for you. It’s hard, but thats the way it is. So far, Monster works for me and I’m not doing the same thing I used to do with Red Bull.
I’m not spending my last couple of pennies before payday trying to get one. I’m not sneaking one into the groceries, trying to hide it from my Wife. I’m not drinking 3-4 every day, or getting mood swings when I don’t have it in my system. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, demanding a Monster.
Control. I have control. And even though I’m not yet at the weight I want to be, or on the diet that I want to be on, I’m still maintaining a better lifestyle than I was. That’s the lesson I have for you today.
You don’t have to be perfect. Just be better.