#SayYes, Don't Just #SayNo
Updated: Feb 3, 2019
For the 31 days in January, I joined a community of friends and colleagues who are part of my village in what we call the New Year H20 challenge. For the entire month we commit to only drinking water as our beverage of choice. That's right coffee drinkers, no coffee, no tea, juices, milk or alcohol for 31 days! The purpose is to cleanse, hydrate and fuel the body with the substance that is most important to our physical health. The benefits are monumental and substantial, ranging from clearer skin, to clarity in one's thoughts, deeper sleep and even weight loss.
So, I'm sure you're asking, ok Erica, that's cool. But what's the grand lesson in this? Well, what I learned about myself on this H2O Challenge is that I am REALLY good at sacrificing and saying "NO" to things not good for me when I commit. Add to that my sense of responsibility to the others in the village who posted daily on Facebook about their caffeine withdrawls,, their desire for a drink of Merlot after a long week, and I double down on my commitment- IN SOLIDARITY! When others are down for a good cause with me I will NOT be the one who lets other people down and cheats. So yes, I am proud to say that I went 31 days drinking only water. For the third year in a row I SAID NO to all those other beverages and did not cheat. #Winning. (And yes, all the physical benefits are real)
However, despite the fact that I did not cheat, I actually failed at the other purpose of the challenge which was to INCREASE the daily water intake. In addition to denying my caffeine cravings, I was also supposed to #SayYes to drinking more water than normal, which of course would make the benefits of the challenge exponential. On this, I dropped the ball miserably, and of that I'm disappointed in myself.
What I learned about myself in this is that I'm not really good to saying yes to me. I was ok when I was saying no to alcohol and that morning cup of joe and I bore that cross like a martyr telling strangers and friends when hanging out "Oh, I can't have that drink. I only drink water in January." But what I wasn't doing, which I should have been, is counting and tracking whether I was doing MORE of the good stuff that my body needed.
Why is it easier sometimes to say no to the donut, but not YES to the gym? Why is it so easy to say NO to working after 11 pm, but hard to get up early and say yes to morning prayer and meditation to start your day off with your mind right? Maybe it's just me, But I think it's that our minds are wired for the negative and wired to protect ourselves from the bad, But it takes INTENTION and is a CHOICE to say yes to the good that's available to us.
So, here I am, having had my first cup of coffee after a month, and no lie, it was pretty satisfying. But on February 1st, once the challenge was over, I made a new choice. Rather than simply indulge my desire for that cup of java, right before I took that first sip, I drank 20 ounces of water. My goal is to continue not just to #SayNo but also to #SayYes to what's good for me, and watch the blessings and benefits flow.