Some long time readers have heard this story before, so feel free to skip this one if you have, but you know how it happens, someone asks a question and you realize there are folks who walked in on the middle of the blog-stream. So... as a reminder / reinforcement to myself, as well as to let the newbies in on this part, here goes.
In 2008 / 2009 the doctor showed me the results of tests showing significant bone loss in the two years he'd been monitoring. At the same visit, he observed that my blood tests continued to show high levels of calcium. In short, while I was getting enough calcium in my diet and with my supplements, it wasn't translating into bone. Very disturbing.
So he sent me to a specialist, who diagnosed a problem with my parathyroid glands. At the time, I was drinking five or six cans of diet soda a day, and trying to cut back. By the time all this diagnosing was completed, and I got scheduled for surgery to correct the parathyroid problem, I had managed to get myself down to three a day, but I loved my bubbles. Some people don't like the bubbles, but that was the attraction for me.
Anyhow, surgery was successful, and I was reading how the carbonation in beverages was linked to bone loss! Well, duh! My continuing to drink the bubbly stuff was kind of analogous to a lung cancer patient continuing to smoke. So... I cut back further. I allowed myself ONE a day. At work, after my first break, or after lunch was my special treat time.
I set myself a Spark goal, and gave myself a "goal met" for every day I had no more than 1. We all know about the stupid motivational tricks of Spark... they work. I found myself not drinking soda at home on the weekends. Days with 0.
At Christmas dinner, 2009, which was December 27th, due to a huge snow storm, I had what I was determined would be my LAST diet cola. And I started giving myself a star sticker on the calendar for every day I made it with none. At first it was easy... it was Winter and I was substituting coffee for my beverage treat.
I was concerned about the hot weather, but somehow I made it through. I debated with myself about allowing one on the 4th of July, but my Higher Power intervened and my sister forgot to buy any for the celebration that was at her house. Lemonade was just fine.
By the time I reached a year, I threw myself a virtual party, stopped using the stickers, and sometime in the second year I just became an ordinary person who doesn't do bubbles. BUT... I still celebrate the anniversary of becoming carbonation free.
Now, for the benefits, since you've walked through the process with me:
1. Bone loss quit happening. This is HUGE!
2. Surprisingly, I noticed during food lapses, when I got full, soda used to clear up extra space and extend the binge. I found my lapsy - bingy behavior stopped sooner. Maintenance of a healthy weight became easier... and keep in mind, what I gave up was not the sugary soda, but the diet soda.
3. And of course, there is the infamous grocery bill. Soda costs $. It's an expensive habit. So is coffee, but it was a fair swap.
Some people are sensitive to artificial sweeteners in bad ways. I have not observed myself to be one of them, but if you are, this could also be a benefit.
So, without the bubbles? Life's still good. In fact, for me, it's better. If you're considering this as a goal for 2013, it's a good one... Spark on!