There were lots of foods and drinks that came quite easy for me to give up when I started this journey, with one exception--DIET COKE. I had always been a big fan of diet drinks from way back in the days when TAB and Fresca were considered the quintessential diet drinks. But that all changed in July 1982 when Diet Coke hit the stores shelves-- from that point on, I was hooked.
I was not a big coffee drinker in college. Keep in mind I grew up in the pre-Starbucks, pre-coffee house age. Coffee was coffee. Of course you could choose between decaf and regular coffee, and if you wanted to add a hint of cinnamon or hazelnut, you could indulge in a little smidgen of flavored non-dairy creamer. So in order to meet my caffeine requirements for studying I would drink my beloved Diet Coke.
I would have a Diet Coke early in the morning and throughout the day. I would occasionally drink water, but once again, bottled water was not the norm in vending machines at the time. When I became pregnant in 1987 I did give it up. There was something about not knowing how aspartame would affect my pregnancy. Sadly though on the way home from the hospital I had my husband stop by our local McDonald's to pick up a Diet Coke.
For the next 20 plus years, not a single day went by without me nursing a Diet Coke. My addiction was so bad that my local convenience store workers knew me by name. In fact it wasn't uncommon for me to go in and buy a Double Big Gulp the minute I was done with my workout at the gym in the morning. Now you may be wondering why I didn't buy it by the can. Well, for some reason the can was not the same as the fountain. If I had my choice I always would choose the fountain version over the can version any day. Was there really a difference? I have no clue, but if an establishment did not have the fountain version, that would be the only time I would pass up my drink of choice.
When I started my journey almost 5 years ago, giving up candy, cookies, chips and all the other tempting foods was quite easy, but my Diet Coke well, let's just say that took me a lot longer to give up. But on January 1, 2009 I decided it was time to let go of my Diet Coke habit--a habit that had me drinking well over 100 ounces of diet soda in a single day. I had read the research stating that those who imbibed in diet sodas would crave sweets more so than those who did not drink them. I am not too sure if I fell in that category, but I knew that if I was really going to embrace healthy living, for me, the Diet Coke had to go.
It has been 11 months since I had my last sip. I went cold turkey and I haven't regretted a day since. I did suffer from headaches during the first few weeks, but by the end of January I was holding my own. I now drink water and unsweetened ice tea occasionally. Not only do I save $3 a day, but I feel so empowered by not allowing a food or drink to control me. I realized I am more in control than I ever gave myself credit.
Since you started your journey, has there been one food or drink that you have not been able to give up, but would like to? Would you go cold turkey or would you slowly wean yourself off?
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