Now For The Real Diet Challenge

On Monday I wrote about crossing a year without beer. It was a massive accomplishment, particularly as our lifestyle has always centered around events and places where drinking isn’t just accepted but expected.

While I’m proud of the achievement, thanks to COVID it really wasn’t that difficult. Now it’s time to ratchet it up a notch and stop drinking soda.

I have a long history with soda

While I didn’t start drinking a lot of beer until I was about 30, soda is a different story. It has been my primary drink for most of my life.

From the time I was little a Coke was my favorite after-dinner treat. By high school I would drink cans of it at lunch, on weekends and just about any other time I was thirsty.

When I was flying out of Maui we would often go up to 16 hours a day without so much as a break for food. As a result I would carry soda with me in the plane and could, on a bad day, go through a full 24-can pack of it in a single day if I really needed the caffeine.

Fifteen years after my last passenger flight it’s still a big thing for me. I don’t drink as much but I have a 20oz bottle most days and can have 2 if I’m having a bad day.

I’m addicted

The fact is, I’m addicted to soda. I can quit for a week or two at a time but that’s usually the limit. When my anxiety is high even a day without it can give me a massive headache and bring about a near panic situation where I simply need it.

I come up with excuses to have another. I engineer meals where I can order it. I get panicky without it. I simply am well past the point where I can quit and I need to change that.

Attempts to quit

I’ve been trying to quit drinking soda since we moved to Florida in 2015. At the longest, once in 2015 and once earlier this year, I made it about 3 months without one.

I’ve tried tea, seltzer water and everything else ever suggested to me, even beer with meals, to avoid soda and nothing works.

On Sunday, before I started this pledge, I had 2 20oz bottles of Coke and a large Coke that came with my dinner.

A year without soda

This week I’m making a pledge to go one year without soda.

I don’t know how well it will work but I’ve gotta do something. Even as I type this I’m thinking about soda and really wishing I had one. It won’t be easy but, if I can make it work, it will be worth it.

Wish me luck.

3 Comments

  1. Consider yourself cheered on all the way from Australia – after so long it won’t be easy, but you can do it, Chris!!

  2. Hi, Chris! You have my sympathy! I’ve been trying to quit Coca-Cola for years. So far the best I’ve been able to do is reduce my intake:
    1) my husband buys us the “mini-colas” for at-home use. I think they’re 7.5 oz. each, which reduces the amount of Cola I drink, As for caffeine, Two of the mini-cans have less caffeine then one 16.9 bottle of iced tea, so that means caffeine withdrawal headaches aren’t as strong and don’t occur quite as often.
    2) When we do drive-thru meals I order a Medium Coke “with extra-ice” (we’re in Texas), as the restaurants in our area are notorious for making a huge urn of tea at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning and not replacing it until 12+ hours later. Stale tea! Yuck! The Cokes are more consistenet in flavor and the extra-ice takes up more space, reducing the amount of Coca-Cola needed to fill the cup. Plus, I hate watered-down Coke, so usually throw it out part way through drinking it.

    Still drinking them though. Not good for a diabetic so I’ll keep trying.
    with sympathy and prayers for you!
    Laura S.

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