Soda free!

See this girl from the end of 2002 drinking a delicious Vanilla Coke?

Me drinking Vanilla Coke, 2002

Yeah, that used to be me. My name is Aubrey and I’m a former soda junkie.

I grew up with a strange history with soda. As a kid, my parents only let me drink soda on the weekends, so I’d eagerly wait all weekend to drink all the cans of Coke or Sprite that I wanted. As I grew older, my parents stopped enforcing that rule, so I drank as much soda as I wanted. Granted, I never drank more than 2-3 cans at any given time, but still. That’s more than I ever wanted to drink!

Enter college. I worked in a grocery store, so I’d come home with buy 1, get 2 free 12 packs of the store brand soda. I kept up the habit pretty cheaply my first year of college.

My soda intake slowed my sophomore year, when I changed jobs and started working on campus. But, it ramped back up my junior year when I moved to Indiana and found myself faced with soda fountains at food courts open much later than the cafeterias at my first college. Whew, I drank a lot of soda.

My desk in my dorm room, junior year. Lots of soda and candy.

My desk in my dorm room, junior year. Lots of soda and candy.

In 2002, during the summer between my junior and senior year of college, I switched to drinking diet soda, for the most part. (The Vanilla Coke in the picture above, obviously, was the sole exception.) It took about a year for the transition to be complete, but I figured ‘hey, I’m not ingesting all that high fructose corn syrup, at least!’.

Yeah.

I’ve started drinking a lot more soda since starting my new job in January. I’d get a soda from the cafeteria and a 20 oz after lunch, and I soon found myself feeling sluggish and sleepy in the afternoons. This puzzled me, as soda never had that effect on me while in college. Perhaps it’s me getting older? I’m not sure.

Of course, throughout the years, I’ve tried cutting the habit. I’ve tried many times over the years, but I always returned to my biggest vice.

Drinking a Diet Coke with Lime in 2007.

Drinking a Diet Coke with Lime in 2007.

This time, I wanted to stop.

I’ve read many articles about how soda is bad for you. A quick Google search for the phrase “Is soda bad for you” returns millions of results, saying everything from how soda doesn’t do much for your body to an article claiming that “soft drinks kill”. I’ve read these articles for years, and I never knew who to believe.

I finally figured I didn’t need the phosphoric acid or aspartame in my body, so about two weeks ago, I cut soda out of my daily routine completely.

The first week was not so pleasant. I went through caffeine withdrawals and had dull headaches for the next few days. I didn’t remember going through such a withdrawal the last time I tried quitting soda in 2004, but, again, maybe it’s the age thing. Who knows?

Then, last Sunday, a week ago today, the headaches lifted. And I felt fantastic. I hadn’t been soda free in such a long time; I had forgotten what it felt like to NOT be kind of tired in the afternoons at work. I feel much better in general not putting all those chemicals in my body. Also, I am saving money by not buying a soda or two every day at work. I love it.

Now, I know. It’s only been two weeks. But I’m hoping and confident I will keep this habit kicked. I feel much better now that I’ve stopped drinking soda!

Have you ever tried giving up soda?

5 thoughts on “Soda free!”

  1. kc

    yep! I’ve been a diet coke junkie for… oh… 7 years maybe? this year I decided to stop. I’ve been mostly soda free for months now… I still drink *maybe* one every 2 weeks or so, but I don’t like it as much now! a lot of my “symptoms” are often associated with diet sodas… so I thought maybe I’d feel better if I stopped drinking them. to be honest, I really don’t feel any different. like I said, they just don’t taste very good to me now, but I still have all the other symptoms. I do feel better about not drinking it though, and mostly drink water or tea instead now… so I figure it is better for me! but I was hoping it might “cure” me hehe.

  2. Linda

    I gave it up for Lent a couple of times. Once just giving up cokes, then another time giving up all junk food in general. I usually only have a coke on the weekends, so I don’t feel too bad about that. I admit after giving them up cold turkey that it was much easier just to have one every once in awhile instead of multiple daily (nowadays I only have one a day, if I have one).

  3. kc

    yep! I’ve been a diet coke junkie for… oh… 7 years maybe? this year I decided to stop. I’ve been mostly soda free for months now… I still drink *maybe* one every 2 weeks or so, but I don’t like it as much now! a lot of my “symptoms” are often associated with diet sodas… so I thought maybe I’d feel better if I stopped drinking them. to be honest, I really don’t feel any different. like I said, they just don’t taste very good to me now, but I still have all the other symptoms. I do feel better about not drinking it though, and mostly drink water or tea instead now… so I figure it is better for me! but I was hoping it might “cure” me hehe.

  4. Abby

    I used to drink much more pop than I do now. I typically drink water, although sometimes I’ll have a Diet Coke with lunch. The thing for me is that the caffeine started keeping me up at night! If I drink anything with caffeine past 3 or 4 in the afternoon, it keeps me up. And since it’s pretty impossible to find diet, caffeine free drinks in vending machines or typical restaurants, I don’t drink much pop anymore. (I will occasionally buy it at the grocery store, but usually it either costs too much or I don’t feel like lugging it up the stairs!)

  5. starlakitty

    i have tried time & time again to give up pop and it’s just so hard for me. i am drinking a diet coke as i type!! i love tea but i don’t know what it is about pop that just lures me back each time. i ran track & cross country in high school and rarely drank pop and it stuck w/ me until i graduated HS and move out and lived on my own. my boyfriend at the time drank a lot of pop too. i switched to diet a few years ago but the next stop is to let that go too! it’s much healtheir to drink water or tea!

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