This past month I was lucky enough to tag along with my wife on a Caribbean cruise that she earned through her Beachbody Coaching business. This was our first cruise so everything about the planning process was new to us and if you have sensed anything about my approach to travel from my ramblings, I am all about the planning to ensure success in fitness while on the road.
If you have not been on a cruise before, you plan for shore excursions. You plan what dining rooms you will be eating at each night, you plan your nightly shows and you plan…..your drink package. The options available among the drink packages is ridiculous.
- Just water bottles, we got that.
- Everything but alcohol, we got that.
- Beer, wine and well drinks, we got that.
- If its on the boat, you can drink it, we got that.
Heading into the cruise, I had two non-negotiables when it came to a drink package:
- It had to include bottled water
- It had to include sodas
Truth be told, I am mildly addicted to Diet Coke.
OK – more than mildly.
I probably drink close to 6 12-ounce servings a day if I am being completely honest with myself. So the thought of not having access to my beloved silver can was not something I wanted to deal with. So I bit the bullet and upgraded the Beer/Wine/Well package to include both bottled water and soda – potential crisis averted.
When we boarded the ship and entered our stateroom, we were greeted to our specialized Royal Caribbean insulated cups, with a special micro-chip that enables the soda machines to function. I already felt taken care of, the Diet Cokes could flow already!!
We had a phenomenal time on the cruise. We dined, we danced, we laid on tropical beaches, we snorkeled. We had the time of our lives but after 5 days, the wonderful crew of the Oasis of the Seas were pretty adamant that we needed to get off the ship. So the night before we got back to Florida I packed up all of my things, including my new insulated specially micro-chipped cup) and that is when it hit me.
I had not filled it with soda even once!!
Now my wife has been on me for years to kick the diet soda habit. I know it is supremely bad for me to add all of those chemicals to my body but until this point, I could not tell you the last time I had gone 5 days without a soda, including my stint in the hospital after my black belt test (read that story here). So I was left wondering, why could I do it without thinking on the ship but struggle for years on land? Here is what I came up with.
- Patterns are powerful – I did not have a routine on the ship. Everything was a new experience that required a new pattern. I noticed as soon as I got off the ship I was looking to hit the 7-Eleven for that silver label. I had to evaluate my habits (how I drive to work for example) to see where/when the Diet Coke consumption had become mindless and make it conscious again.
- I had options – On a cruise, you can get basically whatever you want…and get it everywhere. I have had to set myself up to succeed the same way. I drank more water on the cruise than anything else because I could get it easily (easier than the Diet Coke actually). Set yourself up to have other more healthy options.
- Make it difficult – I think this is the main reason for my lack of Diet Coke consumption on the cruise actually. The soda machines were not convenient to where we camped out. It was easier to grab a water than a Diet Coke. SO i am going to carry that over and not buy Diet Coke any longer for the house (again, making other more healthy options more convenient)
They say it takes 28 days to make or break a habit. At this point I am 8 days into this journey and have no intention of turning around. If I can do this, so can you. Whose with me? Whose kicking soda to the curb?