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Letting go of my Coca-Cola Addiction

Thursday, January 03, 2013

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I've enjoyed the cool refreshing taste of Coca-Cola as long as I can remember. I loved opening a fresh bottle, and seeing the smoke rise up. I poured some in a glass and heard that satisfying fizz sound ***wa-goooosh***. I drank that first sip, the carbonated bubbles still tickling my nose and felt that instant pleasure from the caffeine rush and the endorphins released in my brain.

I enjoyed Coke in all it's forms. As a teen, I experimented w/ Diet Coke, mostly because of my best friend's influence. It didn't seem to help my weight. I steadily grew chubbier throughout my teenage years, all the while consuming Coke at my favorite afternoon pit stop, Mickey D's. Fountain drinks, cans, 1- and 2-liters....I couldn't get enough.

I went through other soda phases....anything from Generic's like Big K or Faygo. Or drinking Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper exclusively. I started drinking only Sprite when dating my boyfriend (who later became my husband) because he didn't drink dark sodas with caramel flavorings.

A few times in my life I was able to give up Coke, but that usually lasted a few short weeks. I would indulge in a "treat" or say "I don't drink alcohol...this is what I do to relax on the weekend." And so the addiction would continue.

To be honest, after giving up Coke that first drink didn't taste very good. It tasted bitter and "off." But I would keep chugging away until the familiar caffeine and sugar rush kicked in and the endorphins did a happy dance inside my head. And then I was hooked.

Coca-Cola was really like a drug to me. Yes, sugar in itself is said to be just as addictive as heroin. I joked about the seedy origins of my favorite beverage. In the early days, Coca-Cola supposedly had cocaine in the special formula, which is what made it so popular. It is a fact that Coca-Cola contains extract from the coca leaf, which is the same leaf that can be used to make cocaine (though by a very different process). Coca tea is enjoyed safely in countries (such as in South America) without any drug-like effects. But getting back to the point, the combination of sugar and caffeine made it super-addicting, even more than coffee, in my world.

Last summer I started experiencing heart palpitations. Some were so bad that I thought I was literally dying of a heart attack. After a couple visits to the ER and starting dr. care, I decided to heed the doc's advice and give up caffeine. It was hard, but at that point I didn't want my heart to race or enter into full-blown palpitations every time I lay down at night. The pain outweighed my addiction.

I haven't had a Coke since probably October...not too clear on the date but it was definitely before I started Spark in November. It was a healthy change, and that small change was a catalyst for me to start making bigger changes. Such as, giving up fast food burgers and fries, which of course you can't have without a Coke to make it a complete combo. And now, the ball is rolling and I'm learning to let go of a lot of other things, be free of weight and most important bondages and self-destructive behavior.

I've drank other types of soda a handful of times since giving up Coke. I'm finding I don't really desire them either. Sierra Mist and Mug Root Beer hurt my tummy and the sugar makes me feel weird. (I have insulin resistance due to my blood sugar spiking too fast is a big factor). I'm learning to enjoy herbal teas and some black teas in place of Coke and coffee. I feel calmer and more relaxed, and I enjoy the interesting, full-body flavors of the organic, loose-leaf teas I buy at the natural food store. And maybe one of these days, I'll pour me a cup of Andean Coca tea.
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Coca leaf is not a drug:

51 Uses for Coke Ultimate List:

Coke Lore @ Snopes

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think it is great you guys were able to come off the coca cola. I have the same addiction. However, there is no mention of HOW you did it. Do you have any examples of how you stopped drinking it?


    1759 days ago
    Boy, can I understand this one! For me, though, it was Pepsi. The one great thing that happened when I went to Jenny Craig for a couple of weeks, a few years back, was that they got me off the Pepsi. It felt great to have those chains removed. I very seldom ever crave one, either. I did over Christmas and had a sip of my son's ~ and that was that. emoticon

    You are doing an amazing job of being Coke-free. Good for you. Keep it up! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1966 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/3/2013 10:48:02 PM
    I am addicted too, diet for me....I am cutting back.
    1966 days ago
    I can relate also.I admire your courage! emoticon
    1966 days ago
    Kudos on kicking the habit

    I, too, loved CocaCola for my entire life (50+ years of it) and never drank other soda beverages. I had attempted to quit the habit before and had to suffer thru massive headaches due to caffeine/sugar withdrawal. That effect alone always led to my going back to my favorite soft drink.

    When I decided to make this lifestyle change....I literally walked away from it and have not looked back. This time I am not even tempted to to go back. Amazingly, I did not suffer the withdrawal headaches this time.

    When I had the virus last week, my hubby was worried because I was not getting enough fluids. He was trying to help and he thought a CocaCola might induce me to drink something, so he went out and bought me a can of CocaCola.

    I saw that familiar red can, he popped the top and I heard that fizz and saw that mist rise up.......and.....NOTHING. It was terrible. I can't see why I drank them for so many years. It had to be the habit forming nature of the caffeine/sugar combo.

    I am so glad to be free from that calorie-packing habit.

    I tell you this so you will KNOW that someone truly understand how you feel and what it is taking for you to kick this particular habit.

    Keep up the good lifestyle choices!
    1967 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/3/2013 5:35:17 AM
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