I Tried A 20-Day Soda Detox And Here Are The Results

I Tried A 20-Day Soda Detox So You Didn't Have To

The results are so surprising!

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As an avid Diet Pepsi drinker, I definitely would say I have a little bit of an addiction. I probably drink two big bottles a day. And while I didn't think it was doing anything to my body, recently I've been noticing a lot of extra bloating and discomfort. I started doing my research and began to realize that maybe it was all of the chemicals in my favorite drink that was doing this to me! And, since I'm trying to make March a month of mental and physical health, I decided to give it a try.

That said, I have made a few guidelines to make sure that I still enjoy the process as much as possible. You may say it's cheating, but I say it's knowing your limits. I know it would be impossible for me, a college student, to go caffeine-free for 20 days. Plus, I would hate every second of it due to caffeine headaches.

Still, I want to limit what I drink as a way of knowing what's in my body. I came up with the following: coffee, tea, skim milk, and water. That is what I'm allowed to drink until I board my plane for spring break on March 25th. I'll be documenting my experience every few days; keep reading to see how I'm doing!

Day 1:

I woke up with a need for caffeine. While there was an open Pepsi bottle on my desk, I chose instead to empty the rest and throw it away so I wouldn't be tempted to drink it. I made a cup of coffee. It hasn't been much of a struggle yet because I drink coffee most mornings anyway, so we'll see how I do later on. Overall, I'm not even sure if this challenge will work because I still use artificial sweeteners in my tea and coffee (Splenda), but they aren't the same sweeteners in my diet soda, so we'll see! So far so good!

Day 2:

Is it sad that I already miss the carbonation? This article was almost really sad because I caught myself walking to the vending machine when I got home, automatically searching for my next sip of caffeine. But I caught myself before it was too late! Instead, I went home and filled up my water bottle.

Day 5:

I've been noticing I tend to not drink anything instead of replacing when I would drink soda with water. I wouldn't say this is a conscious choice, but I need to make a better effort of choosing to drink water, even when I don't feel super thirsty.

Day 8:

Today was the first day that was actually a huge struggle for me. I definitely missed the carbonation and the sweet chemical taste of artificial sweetener! It was a real struggle, especially when I went to the vending machine for a snack and had to resist a delicious-looking Diet Pepsi staring at me through the glass!

Day 14:

I felt a bit uncomfortable today because it was the first time I went out to eat since I started this challenge! I wanted something other than water, but because literally, all I drank was Diet Pepsi, I ended up picking flavored water. It wasn't at all what I wanted, but I'm sticking with the challenge!

Day 17:

My throat has been sore the past couple days, and I can't help but think of how nice the carbonated drink would be to clear out my throat. But because of this, I have been drinking a lot of water, so it is actually probably better for me!

Day 20:

I am proud of myself for finishing up this challenge and sticking with it the entire time. I have definitely noticed that I feel a lot less bloated and have a flatter stomach when I'm sticking with water.

Overall, this would be a great experience, and while I don't think I will continue to never drink soda, it has moderated my perspective. Clearly, drinking so much of that processed substance was harming my body, so in the future, I'll make sure to really cut back on that. Not because it's trendy not to drink soda or because it's a conversation starter, but because it makes me feel better and is better for my body.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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