Going Without

What would be the hardest thing for you to give up for an entire month?

Facebook? Sex? Alcohol? Smoking? Soft drink (soda for our internationals)?

For me, alcohol and coffee would be two of the hardest, probably right behind Facebook. Someone should probably invent a Facebook-Free Fundraiser! It would make soliciting sponsorships that much more difficult, but it could work? I’m not sure I’d survive.

I digress.

A friend of mine drinks 2L of Coke Zero a day, under the justification that Coke Zero is better than regular Coke. That depends what and who you believe. Coke Zero is sweetened with Aspartame and Acesulfame Potassium, two artificial sweeteners which it seems, and many believe, are worse for you than real sugar! She is always tired, feels “puffy” and overweight and suffers from depression. Their budget is also very tight. The solution should be right in front of her face, right? But her addiction is just as bad as the next smoker or alcoholic’s.

I have challenged her to cut soda out of her diet for one whole month to see if it has any effect on her health, sleep, weight, moods, not to mention finances! But while I sat here telling her how she should live her life for the next month, I thought about my own life. My diet is in no way, shape or form perfect. I, like others, have my vices. Usually alcohol or coffee. And hot chips. And cheese.

Again, I digress.

So in support of my friend, I’ve signed up to participate in Ocsober. Only I’ll also be doing Ocoffee*. That’s right, no alcohol and no coffee for the entire month of October. My youngest sister has already said, “See you in November.” Not because she thinks I’ll be boring for not drinking alcohol or coffee, but because she thinks I’ll be cranky. It’s entirely possible I’ll be both.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 3.49.41 PM

Not sure if my profile pic including a glass of bubbly is *I*ronic or *mor*onic.

So what is Ocsober? You can read more about it here at the website. Essentially it is a fundraiser for Healthy Harold which is a health/drug & alcohol initiative which visits schools around Australia teaching kids about making smart choices when it comes to health, especially drugs and alcohol. An incredibly worth cause, in my eyes!

I’ve blogged before about my inclination to drink too much booze. I’ve also talked about the drinking culture that is rampant in Australia. While I think this could be a difficult challenge, giving up alcohol for a whole month, I am ready to face it. If not to prove it to everyone else, then to at least prove it to myself. And in the process, I might just kick both habits for good, and end up raising money for a really great cause.

If you’d like to participate, head to the Ocsober website and register today! And since today is October 1st, best forget about that wine** sitting at home in the fridge!

If you have  few dollars you could spare this month, even just $4.50 that you might spend on coffee one day this week, please consider using it to sponsor me through my page here.

*totally made that up and it is not a real fundraiser, but deserved a mention

**or beverage of choice. Ocsober is not about giving up the alcohol you USUALLY drink, it’s about giving up alcohol, PERIOD! Make the healthier choice!

Linking up with Jess for IBOT, since my original IBOT Post, Shit Aussies Say, was accidentally scheduled to publish at the wrong day and time. And folks, IBOT stands for I Blog On TUESDAY, which means the post you submit must should be published on Tuesday!

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55 thoughts on “Going Without

  1. Good luck! I did Dry July and really struggled. I think it was my inner rebel that struggled the most lol! You know that little voice inside that as soon as you are told you have to fast, tells you that you will starve to death, I think I struggled with that the most.

  2. Good on you Aroha! I should give up coffee…but there is a coffee machine on my kitchen bench and she is an evil temptress…Good luck with your month, and I will send some support your way. xx

  3. Good for you – I could easily give up alcohol but the coffee would kill me. Even with pregnancy, I only managed the first 3 months, then was back on to one a day (which for me IS giving up)

  4. Hey, this is great Aroha. What a great idea. Can’t wait to hear how it goes. I am guessing the first week will be the hardest. Love the words of your sister… Aren’t sisters the best 🙂 good luck x

  5. Good for you! I don’t think I’d have any trouble giving up alcohol for a month, it would be a bit of a non-event really – but giving up coffee? That would be a challenge.

    I was just doing some research on aspartame yesterday and a study published earlier this year has suggested a link between diet softdrink and depression. There also seems to be a whole lot of anecdotal evidence of a link, there’s a story of a girls who was addicted on the fedup website here: http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/depression#Update

  6. Good for you! I don’t think I’d have any trouble giving up alcohol for a month, it would be a bit of a non-event really – but giving up coffee? That would be a challenge.

    I was just doing some research on aspartame yesterday and a study published earlier this year has suggested a link between diet softdrink and depression. There also seems to be a whole lot of anecdotal evidence of a link, there’s a story of a girls who was addicted on the fedup website here: http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/symptom-factsheets/depression#Update

    Might help your friend to know?

  7. GO YOU!!!! I had heard of Ocsober and that it was a fundraiser but didn’t realize it was for Healthy Harold! He came to my school in term 1 and the kids love him!!!

    • yep, my 5 year old loved him too and still talks about him. He just mentioned him tonight actually because we were talking about how good water is for you. my son has said no to juice in favour of water 3 times in the last week, and i think i have healthy harold to thank!

  8. I am bit like you, alcohol and coffee are my vices. We regularly cut down for a month or so and then it slowly creeps up again. There is no way though I would give up my one coffee a day! Good luck, healthy harold is a great thing to raise money for.

    • I think you could! 😉 But you don’t have to. I chose to ditch coffee as well b/c I only drink soy coffees and soy isn’t that great for you, so it’s really the soy milk I’m cutting out, not the caffein.

  9. Good on you!!
    I gave up coffee both pregnancies and after the three day headache actually felt pretty good.
    I gave up sugar for a month a little while back kick started with a juicing detox for a week, very sick, grumpy woman for a few days but then felt fantastic!!
    I have read a lot on sugar and was just reading in a national geographic about sugar and sugar addiction, it can be scary stuff. I hope your friend goes well, Coke can ruin your teeth too.
    Give up facebook! Wow that might be very difficult – do they have support groups?? hahaha

    • I hope my friend goes well, too! I am not sure how she’s doing, though she says she’s just had water so far. I think it’s day 4, so she may be having some withdrawals. It’s day 3 and I am struggling. Pretty sad!

  10. That’s a really great initiative! Good on you Aroha to give it a go. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol and I don’t think it will be hard for me to stop but I can’t imagine giving up on coffee.

    • it’s been harder to give up on coffee, well, on both really, than i thought it would be. i’ve been having tea and chocolate milk! and i just baked banana bread. so i’ll probably end up gaining weight!

  11. Well I did Feb Fast and felt great for it, and then cut back heaps. Unfortunately it does creep up on you though, so Ocsober is a greta way for me to get control again!
    I love coke zero too but boatman has looked into side effects and depression and the inability to lose weight are two things I really don’t want!

    • So are you doing Ocsober Jess? Yes, coke zero has worse stuff in it than coke! If you do want something, pepsi next seems to be sweetened by stevia which is supposedly a “natural” sweetener.

  12. oh go you! Brave and bold move to give up coffee and alcohol in the same month but I imagine the glow of the new you will keep you focused solidly on that finish line. I’m with you – I love the idea of a total cleanse, and there’s no underestimating other’s addictions no matter what they may be – I’m totally in awe of the quantity some of my mates vacuum chocolate and yet I’m sure they would raise an eyebrow if being a fly on the wall one night after a stressful day and a wine bottle lands in my lap. Wishing the strongest of will power this month – I know you’ll nail it.

  13. Good luck Aroha – it does seem every month compels us to do something. You are very brave though. Hate to say it but I’ve just had a beer after getting home from work on a hot day. But I will try to give up wine for the month and invest some of that with your good cause.

    • i think the first week will be hard and getting through this first weekend will be hard, too. just going to stay away from all friends/parties/get togethers for the whole month! I’m not strong enough!

  14. Good on you for taking action, Aroha! I’m going to give up coffee when I go to Indonesia next month – for a month. I have a feeling it will be extremely soul cleansing. Can’t wait to hear how you go! x

  15. Good luck !!!! If I had read this earlier today maybe I would have given up Coke Zero but seeing as I have already had some today it probably won’t work too well !!!
    Happy to chat if you find you are getting cranky – lord knows I have had my share of cranky days !!!
    Love, hugs and positive energy for a great October !
    Me

    • I’ve been reading about coke zero – have you read anything about it? it’s really scary. please have a look. it’s mostly to do with the artificial sweetener. pepsi next has a natural sweetener – stevia – if you want something fizzy. xo

  16. All I can say is Goodluck. I have given up drinking before and at the moment am only doing it on the weekend – and sometimes not at all (and I was a big drinker). For me it would be tea. I have one to start the day and end the day and not sure how I could change that habit.

    • I think tea is fairly harmless, so no need to go worrying about giving that up! but yes, it’s only day 3 and I’m struggling. I hope I can go back to just weekends or even less come November.

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