I’ve been a coke fanatic for as long as I can remember. I’m talking Coca-Cola Classic here, not the illegal, powdery counterpart. Soda is something my mom never really denied us of, since she loved it also. We always had it in the house and it sort of became a staple substance in my life.
I’m addicted to Coke…
I think sugar, especially wonderfully carbonated deliciousness like Coke Classic, is just as addictive as the hard core stuff…you know, the powdery, white counterpart…which I’ve never had in my life, just for the record for those readers wondering why I’m bringing up cocaine….I only bring it up A) because of the obvious name similarity and B) because I truly believe that refined sugar is a drug.
I’m a one-coke-a-day (at least) type of gal. I can turn down Sprite and most any other soda (except Dr. Pepper) , but if there’s a Coke in the room, I’ll find it! I’m not proud of this fact, but it’s a habit I’ve fought for years. I’ve quit a few times, but always came back. I think my longest stretch was while pregnant with Lark. I didn’t drink any caffeine throughout my first and second trimesters, but started to allow myself some towards the middle/end. And I’ve had many tries at low-carb diets, elimination diets, and just general healthy eating, but always knew I’d likely go right back to that brown, syrup-y monster that kept reeling me in. Seriously, though it’s so good!
I really don’t want my kids to drink soda. I mean, I know they likely will at some point, but I want them to learn to choose better and not be dependent on it. I never really thought I depended on it or depended on caffeine for that matter. But I always preferred Coke to coffee (until recently) even cracking one open in the morning on occasion for that ‘buzz,’ but often didn’t even realize I was doing it. I’m conscious of the problem in that I don’t buy it for our household AT ALL because I know I would drink too much of it, and whenever I order one or grab one from the closest corner store I have that nagging voice in my head telling me to put it back, but I just couldn’t. I often turn to Coke when I’m upset or frustrated because it fills a superficial void. Ok, that sounds stupid, but it’s almost like drinking alcohol and getting a buzz and feeling a sort of satisfaction in it.
But I quit. Cold turkey. And I didn’t really make a big deal of it, I didn’t announce it to anyone, and I didn’t allow myself to fail…I told myself to give it one week. So I did. I find I’m quicker to quit things if I announce it for all to hear. I allowed myself only water, and the occasional coffee. I didn’t see the harm in coffee, since I don’t really drink a lot of it anyway and I’m more concerned about the sugar right now than the caffeine, but that’s another story…
In the first two days, my afternoons were absolute torture. I literally could not stay awake. The fatigue was debilitating and I had a huge crash every day after lunch without my usual fountain soda (the best kind) or my usual sweet afternoon snack. I’ve gone through sugar and caffeine withdrawal before, so I know the feeling, but I seriously didn’t think I was drinking THAT much Coke, especially when I see other people drinking much more than I do (yeah, I’m placing blame elsewhere and trying to justify my actions) but I was wrong. I’ve had so many health issues over the years, and I won’t get into all of that right now, so I wanted to at least try this and see what happened. But I wanted to give it more of an effort than I typically do, because I’m good at giving up and giving in, usually within a day.
So 7 days came and went, and with most withdrawal periods, it got better after a couple of days. I actually felt pretty good in the afternoons and couldn’t get ENOUGH water (I was/am likely dehydrated, but that’s beside the point) and on day 7, I allowed myself a can of Coke Classic at a 4th of July weekend get-together…
And you know what? It tasted absolutely awful. Atrocious, even and I could not, for the life of me, finish one can. I don’t even think I drank half. Now, mind you, this was a can and I think the results may have been different had I allowed myself a fountain coke, but still…these were miraculous results!
I’m now on day 15 of the original experiment and I haven’t even craved it, not once! I don’t even know how this happened. We have even been out to eat at restaurants, where I would usually order one and have it refilled about 1,927 times, but I didn’t want it. I ordered a peach iced tea once, just for a change (which isn’t any healthier than soda, I realize) but it wasn’t that good and I just wanted water. I do drink water, even when consuming soda regularly, so I LIKED water, I just didn’t LOVE water.
I don’t know if I can say I’ve quit forever, but it feels different than it has in the past. Maybe my thirties and the fact that my body can’t rebound from poor diet choices as fast anymore is a motivating factor. I’m really trying to re-evaluate what I put into my body, and not just for crash dieting purposes, but for healing my immune system that’s so badly in need of some care…
So maybe quitting soda isn’t that big of a deal for other people, but for me, it’s changing a way of life that I’ve practiced for 33 years and it’s probably going to continue to be a challenge. My kids depend on us as parents to set an example, and with as many health problems as my family faces, it’s time I made a better effort to change the family as a whole.
But that whole “is it soda or is it pop?” argument still plagues me…this California still calls all soda “Coke,” regardless of what kind, but I’ve adapted to saying soda so Midwesterners understand what I’m talking about, but without lowering my standards to using the word ‘pop’….IT’S COKE! Just sayin’….
What habits have you quit in your life and how long did it take to make it a permanent change?