NANCYANNE55   83,705
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The Evolvement of Moderation

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I have heard a lot of people say that a life of moderation is key in keeping balance between real life and fitness. I completely agree, but I've come to find that my view of moderation has had to change as my fitness journey has progressed. What used to be moderate for me would now be considered excess.

The changes in what I considered "moderate" happened gradually as I progressed. I'd stall and realize I had to take an honest look at what I was doing, then figure out what must change to get closer to my goal. This usually involved giving something up. (Okay, I was "substituting" one thing for a healthier option most of the time, but the fact is that I had to give one thing up in order to substitute it with another.) My definition of "moderation" had to change once again.

It's a natural process that you will have to go through, too, as you get more fit.

When I started my journey to weight loss at almost 200 pounds, a small serving of dessert every day was moderation. I have found that at my maintenance weight a serving of dessert perhaps every week or two is now moderation. At the beginning of my weight-loss I could eat almost every food I'd eaten before I was trying to lose weight, just in controlled amounts. Now I have had to abandon many of those foods on all but a the very rare occasion to maintain the health I have worked so hard to achieve. This has been hard for me to accept, but I have had to wrap my head around the fact that if I do what I used to do, I'll look like I used to look. Worse yet, I'll be as unhealthy as I used to be. Not cool.

I miss ice-cream with magic shell. I miss baking several times a week and eating it, to include sampling the dough/batter/frosting. I miss my Chili Dog Pie recipe and my Grandma's biscuits. I really do. But if I continue to indulge in these things regularly I won't be able to maintain my current level of health.

I guess I've decided that I'd rather live a longer life enjoying these foods hardly ever than live a shorter life eating them as often as I'd like.

It's your call. It's your body. It's your life. I'm not judging you. But if you want to continue to see the fat come off and/or the muscle come on, you are going to have to adjust your definition of "moderation" as you progress. I'm sorry if I'm the bearer of bad news...... I didn't make this rule up.... It's just the way it is.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKMAN6797 5/16/2012 3:41PM

    Excellent blog!
I, too, miss so many of the foods I ate when I was obese but those foods were the reason for me being in the state I was. I have accepted this. I will indulge in these foods every blue moon but I have come to realize that if I wish to continue on my weight loss journey I have to eat healthy. Quite honestly I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished and relish in the fact that I still can achieve more! I am taking my body to a point that I have never dreamed of and I love it! I love to pay this thinking forward but I realize that not everybody thinks like me. I will encourage but I won't push. I save all of the pushing for me!
Thank you so much for your thoughts, they are thought-provoking!


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TERRIMMIX 5/16/2012 9:58AM

    Sad but true. I'm having a hard time getting my calorie range where it needs to be because my metabolism is so slow and broken. It's probably actually less than the Sparkpeople recommended range, but I'm experimenting to find the sweet spot.

The upside though is that when you do have that occasional treat or those baked goodies you will truly savor them and appreciate them as something very rare and special.

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CARENMARLA 5/16/2012 8:20AM

    I totally related to this. My "moderation" changed as I lost weight and got older. In my 30's I could eat "moderate" amounts of bread, rice, pizza and pasta and still lose weight. Now, in my mid 50's, fruits and vegetables are my main carb source. I can easily get over 50% of my calories from these without eating anything processed. I also have to exercise more vigorously to maintain my weight than I did 20+ years ago. .

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BERRY4 5/16/2012 1:31AM

    Guess this is part of the journey... Thanks for putting it out there, and confirming what I've been coming to a SLOW understanding of.
-- It probably explains why I added 12#'s back on after coming w/ in 5#'s of goal weight. I didn't realize that what I was doing in moderation needed to significantly CHANGE.

Less is now more. Still adjusting. Still in process!
Thanks for making the point! emoticon

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HDHAWK 5/15/2012 5:09PM

    I completely agree Nancy. The longer we're on the fitness journey, the more things change as we go along. We gain more knowledge and learn what we can live with.

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HISARTIST 5/15/2012 1:21PM

    Amen. The hardest thing I've had to come to grips with is that I HAVE TO delete the carbs, especially the breads and deserts...even in "moderation". I've learned that my body can function fine on less carbs and higher (healthy) fats, and if I want to keep the level of fitness I've gained (and the look), or for that matter push it further, I HAVE GOT TO STAY AWAY FROM THIS STUFF!!! Sad thing is that although I've figured this out for me, most of the people in my life haven't, or don't care about how these things impact me and it can make for some very challenging times (like family outings or visits to the parent's house). I know my willpower stinks, so I've chosen to keep these things out of my house. My new norm. Anywho, I'm glad that you have shown me that I am not the only one who has had to make these changes, and I'm also thankful that I have you as an example of the fact that it can be done, and that you can reach your just have to learn about the "new" you. Thanks for this blog!! Just what I needed to read right now!

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FITNESSMONSTER8 5/15/2012 1:03PM

    I have definitely had to change what I would consider moderation along the way. It's so worth it though to see your body change for the better.

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    YES! I completely agree. What I considered 'moderation' before losing almost 100 lbs I'd consider excess now as my body honestly needs fewer calories to even function. As well, like you said, I won't be able to maintain my current fitness level/weight loss if I indulge in treats on a regular basis anymore.

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Video Blog Link- How I came up with my latest workout split.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Warning: This is longer than I typically like my vlogs to be and a lot of info.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRP1114 5/15/2012 1:37PM

    Love your blogs! Great info. I like the way you switch up the mags workout suggestions. Thank you for sharing your new plan. Can't wait to hear how you come up with the next one when the 8 weeks are up!

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K-GETTING-FIT 5/4/2012 11:15AM

    I love, love, love your vlogs! Just stumbled across them and bookmarked your YouTube vids. Great information and inspiring for a relative newbie. Thank you for sharing and wish you continued success!

Have a great weekend!

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ROCKMAN6797 4/4/2012 2:41PM

    A ton of good information! Your explanation of your thought process has provided me a starting point to incorporate more splits into my current weight lifting program. I agree that the idea of varying the splits is a good way to battle repetition and fire up different muscle groups.
Thank you of sharing!

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DIVEGODDESS 4/2/2012 8:23PM

    Great info!

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CICI510 4/1/2012 2:41PM

    Awesome! Very informative. :)

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Video Blog Link: Designing a Workout Split, part 2

Monday, March 26, 2012

Again, please tell me what you think:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

K-GETTING-FIT 6/9/2012 8:01PM

    This was awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing:) Just finished a round of LiveFit and want to take a break and kind of do my own thing before trying another round and have had a heck of a time figuring out how to split it up. Felt really lost. Difficult when you have been following another plan that was designed and you simply follow. Remembered you and your blogs/vlogs and wow. What a tremendous help.
Thanks again and have a wonderful rest of the weekend and week ahead. Time for me to get my notebook out and plan:)

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IMKELRAE 3/28/2012 10:48PM

    Thank you for explaining what "push" and "pull" meant. I was so confused before but now it all makes sense to me. I keep thinking about what you said in this vlog when I'm in the gym and now I'm deliberate in my workouts. I never realized that I needed to work my large muscle groups first so I don't tire out my supporting groups before it's their time to shine (e.g. triceps, biceps). Please keep up the posts and blogs.
p.s. your arms rock!!

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ROCKMAN6797 3/26/2012 11:25PM

    Wow, a wealth of information. One question, how much time do you spend for each muscle group? Does one involve more time than the other? Thank you.

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IMKELRAE 3/26/2012 10:34PM

    I've heard people say to work upper and lower separately. Is there any harm in doing quads and a large major upper body part in the same session? I'll be watching this one again. There was a lot to absorb. I like it though :-)

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Video Blog Link: General Rules for Setting Up Your Own Lifting Program

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This is part 1 of a 3-part series:

I'd love to know what you think!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKMAN6797 3/26/2012 11:11PM

    Thanks for the information, I definitely am going to have to read those past blogs!

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DIVEGODDESS 3/25/2012 11:37PM

    As usual, great blog!! emoticon

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IMKELRAE 3/24/2012 9:11PM

You're a wealth of knowledge! I learn so much from you and it's nice to hear these things from another woman who might not "love" all the exercises but who understands their importance. Keep putting up the vlogs, and I'll keep watching.
Thank you!

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BOB240 3/24/2012 8:38PM

    A good well presented video.

IMO, for people at SP, talking about splits is too advanced and many here simply don't have the core strength to use a split effectively. I would do something different (in fact I did if you read the early part of my blogg).
Keep it simple

Three days a week do

1] Bench
2] Deadlift
3] Bench press

warm up with 8 reps then up the weight to about 90% of your capability and do 3x5.
There is sense in emphasizing progressive overload.i.e aim to increase weights/reps each session.

This is all you need. Forget the small arm exercises they are close to pointless in the early stages.

As ever.. form..form..form....

The cardio warm up idea is interesting, I must admit I do cardio first. However that means that only me and you do this. All other lifters in the universe, lift then do cardio...

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SCOUTMOM715 3/24/2012 7:34PM

    Thanks Nancy, I learn so much from you. I really appreciate all the info you provide. Have a great weekend! emoticon

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From Diet Soda to Water

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

This is a tough one, isn't it? Learning to make your main beverage (or your only beverage) water. Seems we all get hooked on diet soda at some point. I'm even going to venture a guess that a majority of the people I know struggling to lose weight are diet-soda-aholics. And since there is no 12-step program for this addiction, I thought it might be handy to share how I managed to kick my own heavy diet soda habit.

I think most of us begin drinking diet soda because it has a sweet taste and no calories. We like sweet. And we figure without calories it can't derail our weight loss efforts. No harm in a diet soda once a day, is there? Then we start drinking two. At home. And then make it our regular beverage when we drink out. And then we have it "only after noon" EVERY SINGLE DAY! And next thing you know, breakfast is over and your seeking out that sweet fizzy taste fix that only a diet soda would give you.

Of course, you wouldn't dream of drinking a regular soda with sugar in it because that.... THAT would make you fat. But this diet stuff? "Hey", you reason "It's got water in it and my body needs water. And it's not giving me any calories, and my body certainly doesn't need any of THOSE! And lookie here- It doesn't have sodium, or caffeine, either! I'm doing something good for my body by making this diet soda choice!". Yeppers- I've been there too, and said all of these things to myself, and more. (My favorite line I told myself when ordering a bacon cheeseburger and fries with a diet soda was "If they made a diet burger and fries, I'd order those, too." I was the champion of excuses!)

Then a little lightbulb went off; "If there is no sugar, little sodium, and often no caffeine in diet soda, what IS in there? There has to be something, or else it would be.... well...... water." And the answer to that question? In a word- Chemicals. What good were chemicals going to do me? Because here I was, being careful with my diet (I was drinking diet soda even after I'd made significant progress in my weight loss), and still bathing my insides with chemicals via diet soda. Not exactly the healthiest thing I could do for a body I was trying to make healthier by every other means.

Sadly, it was time to start the very painful process of breaking up with Mr. Fizzy.

The first thing I did was move from diet soda to those fizzy flavored waters they sell. (The peach was my favorite!) This went on for probably a year or more. Then I started reading that carbonation (which makes the fizz) can cause calcium to leach from the bones, which in turn causes the bones to be weaker and more prone to breakage as I age.

Since being 80 and incapacitated with a broken hip didn't sound appealing to me, I ditched the carbonation and went with the flavored waters, no fizz. These stood in for a while. But then I started taking a look at the artificial sweeteners and some of the purported side effects from them (my aunt, who has Parkinsons disease, often wonders if her copious drinking of diet sodas didn't help her condition along), and figured it wasn't worth the risk to have those coursing through my body all the time,either.

So then I started drinking iced tea with artificial sweetener in it, but watered it down. A lot.

Eventually I managed to get it so watered down that the tea wasn't really tea anymore- it was just dirty water. At that point I let go entirely and went to strait water.

This doesn't mean I don't ever have a diet soda anymore, because I do. On occasion I'll have one as a treat, usually when I go to the movies with my family, who are all munching on candy. It gives my mouth something do to, and I don't feel completely left out. (Please don't ask me how I can feel left out when we are all starting strait ahead at a screen in the dark- This concept alludes me to this day. But the fact is that it happens.)

And when I go to restaurants I will often get a glass of unsweetened tea and sweeten it with Stevia packets I carry in a baggie in my purse. Stevia is the ground leaf of the Stevia plant, which is sweet. Much preferable to saccharine, sucralose, or any other artificial sweeteners, since Stevia is ground directly from a plant. Depending on the brand you buy (I use Stevia In The Raw), it can taste a tad bitter, but I can't stand unsweetened tea, so Stevia it is. And yes, I have turned into a baggie-carrying, chemicaly-paranoid fanatic.

Paying homage to my "if they made diet burgers" excuse (above), I'm using the "If I could hand them organic chicken to make my salad I would" excuse for the sweetener.

Anyhow, that's my story of how I kicked diet soda and my reasons why. Maybe you are inspired. Maybe you are (I hope) thinking of artificial chemicals in a different way. And maybe you are rolling your eyes. But regardless, I hope you tell me what you think!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIEC69 1/21/2014 3:54PM

    Thank you for your post. I quit drinking Pepsi Max 2 weeks ago. I had tried before but without any success. However, I feel this time is different. I do not crave it as much as I thought I would. Also, I feel less bloated and I don't have the crash by mid-afternoon ! So, those are all good reasons to continue.

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MJZHERE 8/26/2012 7:43PM

  Well, diet soda has been one of the last things to go - even tho I don't even like the taste anymore. And I am getting stevia plants to grow because the cost of unprocessed stevia (it is the green leafs crumbled) has sky rocketed in the past few years (dd grew it along with a half acre of organic produce several years back and it thrived).

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NETGNAL 8/26/2012 5:40PM

    Thanks for sharing.

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BROCKJUL 4/14/2012 12:09PM

    Since I function in Zombie Land most of the time due to working 3rd shift and only averaging about 3 hours of sleep a day- I figure I'm drinking about 6 cans of Diet Dew a day, maybe more!! I never thought that it may be the cause of my salt/sweet cravings I have a lot! I've tried cutting back before but I got such a headache from caffeine withdrawals I'm assuming that I resumed drinking it. Time to muddle through the headaches and remove that from my diet. I'll save at least 8 or more dollars a week not exactly sure.
Thank you for this blog and all the information you provided! emoticon

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RETURNTOTHIN 4/12/2012 2:16PM

    Since I'm "older" and I know that caffeine is a stimulant for my bladder, I was so "proud" of myself when I drank decaffeinated soda or coffee, but like You, I started reading the ingredients and realized that there were so many chemicals that couldn't be good for me. I found Zetia which i have once in awhile (a soda with stevia), but haven't had a "regular" soda in like forever and I don't have those "bladder surges" that I was so prone to. Thanks for a great blog... Today I make 3/4 strength green tea and drink it chilled with a little stevia... who knows, I may change to plain water this summer!

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BANKER-CHUCK 3/17/2012 9:07PM

    I used to drink 4 to 5 Diet Pepsi/day. I now limit my pepsi to 1/day to none. I do however drink a lot of Crystal Lite at home and water while working out.
Great Blog.

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SCOUTMOM715 3/8/2012 10:29PM

    I just love reading your blogs! I too was a diet soda-aholic, but when I started my spark journey I decided to give it up "cold turkey", it made me crave chips, pretzels & other junk food when I drank it. I stayed diet soda clean for about 6 months and then started to have one on occassion, but by the end of January of this year, I was back to drinking one every day and the cravings for the junk were coming back, so I recommitted to not drinking it again, it been 2 weeks (i made it through those 1st few days of wanting one so bad). I love water & I feel so much better! Thanks for sharing your story! emoticon

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DREMARGRL 3/7/2012 9:17PM

    I just stopped, too. I do have a Diet Squirt rarely. I love green tea, white tea and coffee. I fasted for three days drinking just liquid to get my self-discipline back on track. After that it was smooth sailing. So happy that you ditched the stuff that will corrode a nail! Have a good night, Nancy, and keep up the good work.
xo MaryAnn emoticon

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  Oh how I can relate!

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NURSENIKKI6 3/7/2012 4:30PM

    Great information for the soda lovers who need to kick the horrible habit! I personally have almost always hated soda because for some reason my body never developed the skill of burping so with any carbonated beverage I get a very large and uncomfortable bloat.... or even worse flatulence! haha. So soda has been my arch nemesis since I can remember and I can only think, Lucky me! Right? I however do see the appeal of soda and can understand why everyone enjoys them so.

I do have a problem however. I can only drink bottled water.... being the cheap and resourceful person that I am I feel bad for all of the plastic bottles I go through but I am in the transition to developing better habits and going for the filtered tap water stored the in fridge in recyclable bottles..... we are all a work in progress. Thanks for sharing!!!

Spark On! emoticon

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HEALTHDUDE 3/7/2012 3:57PM

    Nice blog Nancy.

For me - I just stopped. In fact, I stopped putting alot of poisons in my body shortly after reading 'The China Study', by T. Colin Campbell.
In short it's a text book study of the american diet vs. the china diet. There is a movie/documentary that came out in 2011 called Forks Over Knives (on netflix) It's a MUST SEE, and it will wake you up to what's going on in the relationship of diet and health. It's a life saver. It saved mine.


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*ERICA* 3/7/2012 12:55PM

    You never cease to amaze me Nancy!! What a great blog! While I dont drink soda. Dont even keep it in the house. And occasionally when we go out to eat and feel the need for a soda, i dont finish the whole thing bc its just too much for me.

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MILLER*TIME 3/7/2012 9:19AM

    What an EXCELLENT post, wow this was awesome. I drink diet soda all.the.time. and i use the exact excuses you listed in your blog. I need to just let it go!!

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IMKELRAE 3/6/2012 9:05PM

    Thankfully, I've never had that habit to kick. Thank you for sharing how you overcame it. Good luck to those who still need to.

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-CHERYL 3/6/2012 7:12PM

    I was lucky, growing up we had milk or sweet tea in out house. Soda was for pizza night or the few times our family ate out. I have no issues drinking water, I prefer it actually. I'll have a soda once in a while. My dh on the other hand, over a 6-pack a day habit. So bad! I had him drinking Fresca for a couple months but he's back to the evil Pepsi!

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ROCKMAN6797 3/6/2012 6:03PM

    I, too, was a diet soda-aholic! I had a 2 liter per day habit that I kicked to the curb over two years ago! I will have the occassional diet soda with a mixed drink but other than my daily two cups of coffee and my weekly glass of orange juice I drink only water. If I do desire something sweet I will use a flavor packet but, quite honestly, I am addicted to plain water! And among the many benefits of water I am most impressed by how it has postively affected my skin! It feels so healthy! Finally, nothing quenches my thirst after an intense workout session than a bottle of cold water!
Thanks for blogging about this magical elixir, I hope it opens the eyes of those who think they can't give up their diet soda. As a former extremely heavy user I say it can be done!

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BERRY4 3/6/2012 5:24PM

    I followed a similar course of withdrawal that you have described. -- I still wish I had listened to dh when I was pregnant w/ 1st child & nixed the diet soda for afternoon break every day. It just seemed to be what I "needed" to get through the rest of the day. Crazy how our minds are such a key component in what we do!

Now I'm there w/ sugar in general. I can't imagine a week w/out sugar in some form. And it doesn't help that it is hidden in so many places--even "healthy" foods like yogurt. (That is the one source I have tuned in to. Did you know that some servings of some yogurts have as many grams of sugar as a regular soda!?! -- And don't tell me it's just milk sugars!)

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to share a portion of your journey! step at a time, moving the direction we want to be heading!

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SANDRAREGINA 3/6/2012 5:06PM

    I have been drinking Diet Coke for years, not for the calorie reduction, but because I'm hooked on the bitter aspartame aftertaste. How lame is that?
However, I've been working hard to limit them to a once and a while treat. Its working so far during the winter - water and unsweetened hot tea are my go-tos - but in the summer when I'm hot & thirsty & craving the fizzy? Wish me luck!

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    I hate the taste of artificial sweeteners, so I was always a full calorie soda person. Then my dentist told me if I didn't stop drinking sugared beverages, even in moderation, I would continue having new cavities - and the $200 bill for them - every year at my checkup. Somehow that did it for me. I do still have a soda once every couple of weeks but 98% of what I drink is now water or unsweetened tea.

I almost wish I could have a similar experience with unhealthy foods to scare me off those, too....

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KIMMAS82 3/6/2012 4:04PM

    Great blog!! To me, quitting diet soda is a lot like quitting smoking. You really have to be ready for it. You have to have passed the point where you know you should quit and get to the opint where just looking at an ash try completely disgusts you and you can't beleive you are still smoking. I'm there with soda, like you I get it very rarely, but I've got a mean energy drink habit that I'm having a hard time shaking. I'm not at the point where I look at them with disgust quite yet. I'm just at the point where I know I should quit. (I quit smoking YEARS ago!)

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