Health / Life

Day 14: No Diet Soda Challenge

I’ve been doing alright with this challenge, although I did fall off the wagon again this weekend. Only once though. I was tempted to drink more, and heard the rationalization in my head, “You’ve already relapsed and drank some pop yesterday, why not again today?” Or, “You could just drink diet Pepsi on the weekends.” Good thing I was able to see those thoughts for what they were and abstain.

Towards the end of this week, I started noticing some changes in my body. Off and on, I’ve had headaches varying in intensity, which I originally chalked up to the changes in the weather. A film on the roof of my mouth appeared and my lips became chapped. Again, I thought my chapped lips were due to the change in the weather (it became very windy and cold.) Except they aren’t quite chapped, because I’ve not been able to get rid of it with common treatments. Usually a good slather of Vaseline will heal my chapped lips, but it hasn’t. Today, I made a scrub of olive oil and sugar and it only helped somewhat. My lips and roof of my mouth really feel it when eating. Also, today I noticed some tenderness (no pain) under my chin/jaw.

I’ve been contemplating what the cause of this could be. Since I’m not eating any new foods, it shouldn’t be a food allergy. Then it hit me. These symptoms are part of what I experienced when I went vegetarian several years ago. (I’m not currently, but did it for about 6 months.) I didn’t experience any weird symptoms right away, but rather several weeks into it.

During that time,  rough, itchy patches appeared on my face, as did a film on the roof of my mouth. At first I thought it was a reaction to dairy, even though I wasn’t taking eating or drinking much more than before I went vegetarian. After discussing it with someone, they mentioned it could be my body’s reaction to the change in my diet: symptoms of detox.

My current symptoms all make sense now, especially considering the tenderness near my jaw (lymph nodes). It’s possibly due to the omission (for the most part) of the chemicals and aspartame from the soda, but it could also be that I’ve been eating a lot better. This challenge has also morphed into me eating much less fast food,fat,  fried foods, and sugar. So there’s probably some detox of those things going on as well.

I was raised to be very aware of the body and I’m thankful for that. It helps immensely in situations such as this, where medical attention is not needed, but the body is trying to say something is off. It gives me even more resolve in quitting this carbonated poison and in how powerful the food we eat is to our health.

I have vitamin C tablets that I take when I feel a cold come on, so I’m going to take this in the next few days. Tomorrow it’s back to the gym, so I’ll be sure to sweat it out really good to help my body through this. I may head over to a health food store too to see if anything there can help.

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