Okay, so let me preface this post by stating that I have tried on 2 previous attempts to stop drinking soda completely. The first time I did so in 2009, I stopped drinking soda cold turkey for about three months successfully, before falling of the wagon. I followed it up in 2010 by stopping my soda intake for a record 103 days—-only to give in to drinking a can of Coke. It’s something that I am not proud of. My soda addiction is not healthy and has caused me to ingest many wasted calories. Last month, without really trying, I stopped drinking soda, and have been successfully soda free for a little over a month now.
Of course it’s still way too early for me to start feeling that I have triumphed over soda. I have been able to kick my soda addiction in the past, but it was short lived. Now, I am living day-to-day, patting myself on the back for every day that I managed not to drink a Coke or another type of soda. For me, this is monumental.
I was a heavy Coke drinker, drinking about 2-5 cans per day of Coke. I come from a long line of soda drinkers, the first being my father and his mother, my grandmother. I was told that she drank at least a liter of Pepsi every day of her adult life. It’s in me blood!
I have never liked diet soda, and don’t consider that an option.
Why do I want to cut out soda? Well, first off, it’s not setting a good example for my two kids. I want them to lead long and healthy lives, and soda is not healthy at all. How can I want them to be healthy when I am not doing so—I must lead by example. Secondly, all of those wasted calories drinking a beverage just floors me. I want to shed a few pounds, so cutting soda out is mandatory. The calories and the sugar aren’t good for weight loss.
It’s been hard, especially when I am around those who are drinking soda, but I have been hanging in there. I have found creative ways to feel sustained without drinking soda, and I have also learned to appreciate water.
Here’s what I do:
- Dress up my water: When I drink water (which is most of the time), I tend to “dress it up”. I add mint, or a lemon or two, or even cucumbers like they do at the spa. It gives it a “taste” and makes it enjoyable for me.
- Juice it up: I have also been drinking more juices, but they are so sweet, I usually water them down with H20. I will do a half cup of juice, half cup of water, and then use crushed ice so it’s more like a slushy. It makes me feel full too.
- Support please: Everyone who spends time with me knows that I am in the no-soda zone, so they encourage me, and make me comfortable when we are out and I ask for water or tea.
- Chew gum: Chewing sugar free gum has cured my cravings (for now) for soda. I don’t even think about soda like I used to.
Dropping soda completely is hard! I experienced massive headaches and was basically “withdrawing” from caffeine the first several days of not drinking it. Most people urge you to ween slowly away from soda, but the cold turkey thing worked for me. I am an all-or-nothing type of girl.
What are your thoughts on the No Soda Challenge? Will you be joining me? Are you addicted to soda like I was? I need answers! 🙂