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