One Year Without Soda

A year ago, I finally stopped drinking soda completely. My husband has never liked soda, so he wasn’t a fan of me drinking it. After I had my fourth kid, I realized it really was just a bad source of very unhealthy sugars. I did not realize how addicted I really was. All I knew was that I needed to lose the baby weight and there was no way the syrupy carbonated drink was going to help.

Dr. Pepper Cans Healthy Topics Better Diets and Cutting Sugar
“Two Cans of DP” by snumark via Flickr

The first few days were very hard. I had a constant craving. I had gotten to the point where I would look for reasons to go out and pick up sodas if I was out or find fast food stops with my favorite drink (Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke). I didn’t realize I was hooked until I tried to stop. Since I was only drinking about one soda a day, it didn’t seem that excessive.

I have never had trouble cutting alcohol or anything else before. This was wild. I would hear someone else open a soda and immediately get an intense craving. I wold see billboards or think about a favorite meal and get that urge to get a soda.

Tips for Kicking the Soda Habit

At first, my best friends were substitutes. Instead of soda, I would drink Gatorade or wine or something a little sweet. Finding drinks that were sugary (but not as much as soda) helped me curb the intense cravings.

Another thing that helped was realizing when I would be most tempted. Eating fast food, pizza, fried foods, large pretzels or chips (really, anything salty) were all the moments I craved soda. By knowing ahead of time I would be tempted, I could either avoid the situation altogether, or find that drink replacement ahead of time. Beating cravings to the punch made them less powerful.

Eating Out Often Increased the Cravings and Fried Foods Especially -- Eating Better and Cutting Soda

I almost caved so many times. At first, I said I might go back to occasional drinks. But over time one week soda free turned into a month…and like a true addict, I knew one soda wasn’t going to cut it. If I had one, I would be back on the bandwagon.

Choosing Better Habits

It’s been a year now. I can’t believe how hard it was. Occasionally, I still have something spark a thought about how good a soda would taste. But for the most part, I’m not very tempted. I was shocked at how much the sugar impacted me.

Cherry Coke Product Label Litter Fewer Processed Foods and Eating Whole
“cherry” by Lettuce. via Flickr

I can now say: I’m not a soda drinker.

It’s a strange change in my identity. Between this, working out regularly and Curly Girl, things are rapidly shifting for me. The things I thought were part of me, aren’t. It’s a strange feeling. But so far, they’ve all been for the better. I used to think of myself as the girl that hated working out, loved soda and had (mostly frizzy) blonde beachy waves. I plan to cut carbs next, which will be another identity crusher. But it’s completely possible to become someone else in your 30’s. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

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