Congratulations to all of you (over 200 event attendees!) who ditched soda for 2 weeks during the Spa Week Daily Challenge presented by Joy Bauer. Whether you quit cold turkey, lessened your soda intake significantly, or were inspired to choose alternative beverages that treat your body better, you have taken a step in the right direction. Congratulations to everyone who saw or felt a difference in their health, weight, mood or overall lifestyle. It is no small feat to give up something that you love and rely on like a cool can of pop. Bravo! First, here’s Stephanie’s Soda-Ditching Journey: I love diet soda for many reasons (most of all, the caffeine) and I was super reluctant to give it up for 2 days, let alone 2 whole weeks. BUT, as a perpetual people-pleaser with oldest-child syndrome, I didn’t want to let any of you down by being a cheater. So I swapped soda for an iced-latte with skim milk in the am and forced myself to keep a big bottle of water at my desk. I’ve noticed I don’t feel so bloated and that I am less irritable in the mornings and I have been falling asleep faster. I did have a few headaches, more like pressure, from lack of caffeine, but this passed with a small afternoon coffee or an iced green tea. Stephanie (in yellow) and all her friends love soda. Ditching soda for me clicked when I realized the biggest reason I love soda isn’t because of the taste. It’s because, mentally, I associate having a soda with taking a break. In my hectic world of work, friends and family, every time my body shouts “SLOW DOWN,” I reached for a soda, cracked it open and relaxed in the cool, bubbly goodness of a few glorious seconds where it is all about me rewarding myself with something deliciously sweet. I noticed I crave soda the most on my lunch break and after work—two times I am actually craving an escape, not soda. Think about it, every time you take your first sip, isn’t your reaction supposed to be, “Ahhhhh?” (Just like in the commercials). I guess the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? I was really happy to see so many posts on Facebook about everyone’s success and struggles, I checked back about 4-5 times a week to see how everyone was doing and if anyone was struggling a bit, like me. It was refreshing to see such honesty and determination from all of you! Thanks for making the journey that much more fun and meaningful! Here are a few of our friends’ trials, tribulations, successes and struggles: Diamond T. I wanted a soda soooo bad, but I had a water with lemon instead!! GOOOOO MEEEEEE!!!! Pattie H. So far so good! I bought a case of seltzer instead of soda at BJs today. I’ve been drinking water, iced tea, and seltzer. My son is very surprised….a good reason to keep going! What am I teaching my kids? 🙂 Celia J. When I tried before I had headaches….but eventually they go away. I can do it: we can do it!!!! Colleen L. I miss my diet coke 🙁 Libby I. Made it through day 2! 🙂 Ice water with lemon is doing the trick! 🙂 Gretchen E. It’s going to be a challenge I started drinking soda in my bottle as a baby. Jackie B. My hands will be shaking for that Pepsi, but I am gonna hold on :O) Ginny S. I still am soda free! I like flavored water or tea! Thanks for the challenge. Kimberly S. Day 13 without one y’all!! Here lately, I don’t even think about it, and I started back to school this week!! Normally, I HAVE to have a diet dr.pepper every morning for school. Haven’t done it!! Just water mostly or unsweet tea. Kendra S. So hard. Coke is my panacea. Still weening and caffeine headaches are taking their toll. Elizabeth P. Day 9…just coffee. I think I can do this thing. Now for the good stuff; it’s time to pick 2 representatives of the Spa Week Daily No Soda Challenge. Two lucky participants will be rewarded for your participation in the journey with $50 SpaWeek Gift Cards. Drum roll please…. And the soda-ditchers are… Libby Baines Isensee and Elizabeth Harless Pickerill! Congratulations to EVERYONE who participated – consider this a big step in the right direction for your health and longevity. To the two gift card winners, please email stephanie at spaweekmedia dot com with your address and phone number within 3 business days to claim your prize. Be sure to look out for the next Spa Week Daily Challenge, to be announced next week: Monday, August 8. Keep up the great work!