This month marks the one-year anniversary in which I gave up drinking soda (insert applause here please).
Honestly, I never thought I could do it. I was hooked on the junk. I was drinking at least one a day, sometimes more, and I could have easily had many, many more. I drank it anytime – morning, noon, or night. I didn’t care! I just wanted that gloriously sweet liquid, ice-cold and ready to give me that sweet sugar buzz I craved. I was productive when I drank soda, I was a go-getter! I also dropped like a sack of rocks at the end of the day when my buzz wore off. Sugar crash, you might say? Sugar crash and burn.
I know one soda a day doesn’t seem like a lot, but things really were getting out of hand. I had to do something. So one day I was standing in the kitchen, talking about it with my brother, and I decided I was just going to do it. I had tried to wean myself off of soda in the past, but it just never stuck. So this time I was going all in, cold turkey! If I could do this, I could do anything! (cue the inspirational music!!)
Day 1 was great, no sweat! I can do this in my sleep. Which is good, because by Day 6 all I wanted to do was sleep. My head hurt, I was exhausted, and frankly not such a joy to be around (shocking, I know). I went from consuming soda, to it consuming me! I thought about it all the time, and everywhere I went, sure enough it was staring me in the face.
But the days got easier. I gained back my energy, wasn’t so tired all the time, and actually felt better. The longer I went without it, the less I wanted it. It also helped that my brother threatened to rip my arms off if he saw me drinking it. Nothing like a little sibling bodily harm to keep you in check. I have to say though that it helped. Every week that went by that I didn’t drink soda he was so proud of me. That felt really good. I think if I had started drinking soda again he would have been more disappointed than me. I still thinking about drinking it sometimes, but after 365 days of going without it, why would I want to ruin that?
One-year after giving it up, I’d have to say it’s one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. It really is the first conscious decision I have made about my health that I have followed through with, and I couldn’t be prouder of myself. In those moments when I feel like giving up—when things aren’t going perfectly and I’ve eaten more than I should, or exercised less than I should—I remind myself that if I was strong enough to give up soda, I am definitely strong enough to make other healthy choices. Like maybe learning to like broccoli. No forget it, I will never learn to like broccoli.