Kicking the Soda Habit
I once thought I had an addiction. It was an addiction that I couldn’t even fathom kicking: the drinking soda habit. Drinking a 20-ounce Coke (I’m definitely not a Pepsi gal, it has to be Coke) at least twice a day was part of my routine for the past couple of years. Sometimes I would substitute a regular lunch for a 20-ouncer and a soft pretzel. . . .ahhh, carbs and caffeine. You can’t get healthier than that, right? Wrong.
I knew with each bottle of Coke I consumed that I was pumping more than 300 calories into my body. Empty calories that weren’t doing anything remotely near healthy for my diet. One soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar (that’s 100% of our recommended daily intake) and plenty of high fructose corn syrup. What I loved about my soda habit though was that it made almost everything I ate taste better whether it was popcorn at the movies or a sandwich at lunch. I also loved how full it made me feel. I stupidly convinced myself that drinking a Coke was curbing my appetite.
When I would tell people how much soda I drank they would cringe. I got lectured on how it ruins your teeth, leads to the breaking down of your bones and especially how it packs on the pounds. One friend went so far as to emailing a list of websites devoted to how bad soda is for your health. One fact in particular from these websites made me pause: soda can clean your toilet, eliminate rust from a car bumper and remove grease from clothing. Yuck!
The bottom line was if I wanted to lose weight, I’d have to kick my soda habit. It wasn’t easy at first. I got headaches that I’m assuming was from not having the caffeine. I felt lost without saying “I’ll have a Coke with that” when I went out to lunch. Day by day it got easier and after almost three months of breaking my daily routine of guzzling Coke, I’m happy to admit I don’t miss it. The cravings from my soda habit are long gone. I’m certain a percentage of the weight I’ve lost so far is due to changing my beverage choices. Now my beverage of choice is water —something I never believed I would crave, but I do now.
So if you’re reading this and you’re thinking I’d never be able to give up soda, think again. Try it and you just may surprise yourself.
Parting thought: Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. — Chinese Proverb
Written by a former Vertex Fitness Trainer