Confession of a Diet Soda Addict

Image from Oh Happy Day

Hello, my name is Lori, and I am a diet soda addict.  My addictive substance of choice is  Diet Dr. Pepper with a squirt of cherry and vanilla and lots of ice, but I’ll settle for Diet Coke, and if I’m really in a pinch than Diet Pepsi…and it is always best in the form of a fountain drink.  It is a daily 32-44 oz. indulgence.   

It is sad and a bit embarrassing as well.  After all, I run marathons and relays up and down mountains.  Also, I’m a Mormon and caffeinated soda is a gray area in our religion and I prefer to stay away from the gray.  But I have also packed soda with my camping gear, carried it onto cruise ships, and made sure I have a stash to last the weekend.  I have started and stopped drinking soda half a dozen times in the last few year.  I can stop, I just don’t seem to last long without it, and I feel like an absolute addict.  Not a physical addict, but an emotional one.

For me, soda is my daily “treat.”  It helps me keep my weight down and still enjoy something that feels slightly sinful.  In fact, my daily soda habit started about 5 years ago when I was going to Weight Watchers.  Diet soda became my tool of choice in my weight loss journey.  I lost 17 lbs., but I gained a bad habit along the way.  And I’m ready to kiss that habit goodbye.

Why?  Here are a few of my reasons:

*I spend too much time in the bathroom.  Do you think 20 trips a day is excessive?  My BFF’s are public restrooms!

*I’m wasting money on soda…and toilet paper.

*I suspect that even though I drink diet soda, my dental issues stem from all the carbonation.

*I sleep better when I don’t drink soda, even though I don’t usually drink any late in the day.

*I feel groggy in the morning if I’ve had lots of soda the day before.

*I can run faster and longer…important for a marathon.

*There is absolutely NO BENEFIT to drinking soda…and if there is don’t tell me because I will probably use it to justify my next soda binge!

*I keep hearing/reading/learning about recent health findings that link diet soda to heart problems, cancer, and weight gain.  Just look at this…

Infographic from Term Life Insurance via Shape

Are you a soda addict, too?  Then it is time for you to quit.  We can do it together, and that will make it easier for all of us.  Here are a few of my tips:

*Find a healthy substitute, like Cucumber Mint Lemon Water.

*Cut back gradually to avoid feeling yucky…or go cold turkey.  I’ve done both.

*Write down how you feel when you drink soda so that when you’re tempted to start again you will have an instant reminder of how yucky you feel.

*It is okay to have an occasional soda, like once a week or after a ten mile run…unless you can’t stop once you’ve started, then choose a different reward, like a long nap.

*Smile and wave as you pass by the public restrooms that have played such a big role in your life.

Now it is your turn.  Any tips for breaking an unhealthy addiction?

*Do you refer to your drink as “soda” or “pop” or “soda pop” or something else?  I called it “pop” until I lived in New Jersey, then I switched to calling it “soda.”  I’ve even known some people who referred to any kind of soda as “a coke.” 

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