April: Only Drink Water

First, an update on March. I’ll write a little more about my process for getting rid of stuff and post the list of everything I let go of in my life in a later post in a few days.

March went very well. Better than planned, actually. I found this challenge somewhat easy for most things and very refreshing. My wife and I also used this month to Spring Clean our entire apartment. That was a very helpful addition! Our apartment feels so great with less stuff and less dust and clutter. If you are thinking about getting rid of your clutter I would highly recommend pairing it with some deeper cleaning and organization.

I got rid of more than 31 items, which was my goal, but I technically broke my rules. I wanted to get rid of one thing every day. Instead I used the weekends to gather 7+ items to donate, toss, or sell. I actually preferred this method over my original plan. It allowed me to keep up the energy I had while cleaning and didn’t take my energy during the week. But more on that later.

April: Only Drink Water

This is also not a huge challenge for me, so I am adding in a few things. I do drink some fruit juice in the morning, but other than that it is almost always water. My only weakness is the occasional soda or lemonade when we eat out. That will all be cut out this month and replaced with water.

Along with my water challenge, I have a few more things that will coincide with future challenges. I was recently diagnosed (again) with GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (basically acid reflux) which causes dysphagia for me. Basically, if I eat something that includes one of the “trigger” foods, the acid in my stomach decides it wants to take a trip up my throat. This causes a stricture in my throat that makes it difficult to swallow food and drink.

I have 3 options: just deal with it, eat very slowly and live with the pain and embarrassment; take acid reflux medication for the rest of my life and risk damaging other parts of my body; or completely change my diet and lifestyle, excluding everything on the “trigger” list.

I have opted to take the medication for several weeks to get it under control while I work on changing my diet and lifestyle. This includes things like taking walks, not drinking fluids during meals, and avoiding things like mint, saturated fat, caffeine, processed meats (and too much red meat), etc. I will be writing more about this during the month.

Along with only drinking water, I hope to slowly make some of these changes in my life to cure my acid reflux and dysphagia for good. I will post updates here and on Facebook and Twitter so you know what I am doing during the month. If you suffer from this condition (over 50 million Americans do) then please follow along to learn how it goes for me. If not, these are still some great lifestyle changes that we can all make regardless of whether we have GERD.

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