Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week One: The Soda Jerk

For as long as I can remember, I've drank soda.  It started out as a treat on weekends and over time became a daily indulgence, escalating even further to one a day to two or three a day.  I've tried quitting it several times, unsuccessfully.  I was once able to convert from regular soda to diet soda, but I still drank two or three a day for about 4 years.  At first I was able to lose weight by switching (along with diet and exercise), but I noticed that every time I drank a Coke Zero, I got the munchies.  I did some research and found that there were other claims that the aspartame found in some diet sodas can cause hunger.  So I stopped drinking them and did manage to lose some of the weight I gained from the aspartame munchie syndrome.  But then I started treating myself to Dr. Peppers.  Big mistake!  One on occasion turned into one a day, then two a day and sometimes three a day.  I've been struggling with this Dr. Pepper "addiction" for about 2 years now.  Just a few weeks ago, I was drinking two or three a day, but tried cutting back to one or two a day, then one a day.  It was so hard.  Seems like when I thought I could get by with only one a day, something would happen, a sleepless night or a busy day, and I'd drink more "because I need the caffeine" I'd tell myself.  But it really wasn't the caffeine.  It was some other carbonated comfort the drink offered me.  I needed to quit.  Despite the caffeine intake, I was tired and sluggish.  I didn't like this feeling and decided to change.  I'd tried to quit sodas cold turkey in the past with no success, but this time, the difference would be not using diet soda as a crutch.  I can't really stand the taste of diet soda anymore anyway, but I knew I needed something to help with the transition stage.

A couple of weeks ago I got a cold and thought that since my taste buds were numb anyway, it'd be a good time to try quitting soda and drink ONE small diet soda in the morning after my cup of coffee, then water or tea the rest of the day.  It's been two weeks and two days and I haven't had a Dr. Pepper and I am no longer drinking Dr. Pepper Ten either, I only needed a few days of the one can in the morning to help me make the transition.  A good strong cup of coffee in the morning has helped and so has sparkling water.  I drink tea also, but since tea has also been a problem for me, as I can't seem to drink it without lots of sugar, I try to stick to one cup a day with one teaspoon of sugar.  So far, it's working.  I've started to get my energy back and I don't feel sluggish all day.  My stomach feels flatter...it may not be flatter, but it feels less bloated for sure.  I've been sleeping better too.  I'm happy with the results and proud of myself for finally making the change I've been needing to make for years.  It wasn't easy, but I did it.  I only focused on making this one change for a week and was successful.  I will work hard to continue this new habit.

But what next?  I need to walk.  So that's what I'll focus on next week.    

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