On August 27, 2015 I vowed to not drink soda for a year. This wasn’t the first time I had ever sworn off soda. I did it once in high school for lent (and immediately broke it on Ash Wednesday, but then turned around and went without for 100 days to prove I could). I did it again for another 100 days in 2014. Now, I’ve completed an entire year and am never looking back!
Before, I found myself using Dr. Pepper as a crutch much in the same way some people use alcohol when they get stressed out. Anytime work got super busy, I found myself grabbing one from the giant soda-filled fridge in the office kitchen. The taste was comforting and I felt like I had earned it because I was working so hard.
Giving up soda wasn’t easy. At least not at first. Keeping an “Ash has gone X days without soda” display on my whiteboard at work kept me accountable, but it didn’t make the cravings go away. My body had gotten used to that sugar boost every morning and afternoon. But after a couple weeks of replacing soda with water, I began to feel its benefits:. About a month into my year-long journey, I started keto, and saying “no” to soda became as easy as breathing. I knew that having one can of Dr. Pepper would tip me out of ketosis and would undo all the hard work I had done up until that point. I wasn’t going to let myself down like that. Not to mention, the longer I went without, the more I knew the strong carbonation would hurt my stomach and teeth.
One year (and two days!) out, I wish I had started sooner.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
If you were like me and found yourself dependent on soda and struggling to lose weight, I’d suggest giving yourself a timeline for giving it up, even if it’s just one week. Vow it off for a short period of time and power through it. By the end of that week, month, or year, you may not even feel the desire to drink it anymore, even after you’ve finished your goal. I know I don’t want to. My stomach gets all gurgly just thinking about it.