Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Quitting Soda: Day 0

Guys, I have a problem. In the grand scheme of things, it could be worse, but still, I have a problem. For about as long as I can remember, I've really enjoyed soda, especially Dr Pepper. I like the taste. I like the caffeine boost. Not as big of a fan of the higher calorie count but I don't really like the taste of diet sodas so it's a trade-off I've just kinda accepted. I think that acceptance of an overall worse experience for better taste is exactly why it's time for me to quit.

Which isn't to say I haven't tried before. I've tried to quit several times for a multitude of reasons. Last year it was for Lent in solidarity for my wife giving up sweets and my brother giving up alcohol. Last December I attempted to have a head start for the new year (before I got super sick and the carbonation was the only thing that would soothe my sore throat). I tried to quit for the new year. Each time I've slipped up, and I think there are a few reasons for that.

Mainly, there was a lack of accountability. And I don't mean lack of people to be disappointed in my poor choices, but more of a lack of honest accountability to myself. No specific notation of when I started, how many successive, successful days, nothing. For that particular reason, I'm writing this.

I've tried substitutions. I've tried switching to diet. Didn't like the taste. I've tried sparkling water. Really didn't like the taste. Of course there are sports drinks like Gatorade, but the truth is I'm not an active enough athlete for it to be necessary either (not to mention the amount of sugar in Gatorade as well). Instead, I think the better alternative would be just drinking more water, something I should be doing anyway.

Another reason I think previous attempts didn't really work out was the fact that they weren't really motivated by a desire to actually do better. Sure, there was lipservice to it in the New Years Resolution, but that doesn't really work as a motivation. That "resolution" was met with a shrug and a, "Well, I guess that's as good as anything," which doesn't really cut it. I did it because felt like I had to, rather than because I wanted to. Instead, I think the motivation needs to come from within, which in this case would be a desire for better health, especially for the future.

Admittedly this is part of a sort of late-20's crisis. I'm turning 29 in October. I'm not getting any younger. While 29 is hardly old, and in terms of addictions mine could be worse, the truth is bad habits are bad habits, and while mine isn't illegal, it's still not good for me. And in terms of becoming more healthy this is only the first step of many, but I'd also be willing to wager that it's the hardest. May as well get the hard stuff out of the way early.

So today is Day 0. I designate that because I finished off what soda I have, and that's it. If you ask me if it's the last ever, or if I'll someday feel comfortable about having the occasional one, I don't really know. Studies vary on how long it takes to form a new habit (21 days, 66 days, a year, whatever), so instead, I'm just going to shrug and say that I'm leaning on those cravings just going away after a while. It's not going to be easy, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.

For the next 30 days, I'm going to be writing and posting daily updates based on how it's going. Hopefully each one of those 30 days ends with positive news, where I can come home and say that, no matter how tempting it was, I made it. Will it? I dunno. But I'm going to try. And if I fail, I'm going to try again. Because the only real failure is if I just give up.

Anyway, I'm up later than I should be for as early as I have work. Good night everyone. Wish me luck.

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