A Hard Habit to Break

This month marks the one-year anniversary in which I gave up drinking soda (insert applause here please).

Image courtesy of chayathonwong2000 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of chayathonwong2000 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.