Going Cold Turkey

I love soda. LOVE IT. Pepsi, Coke, root beer, Sprite, Dr. Pepper. Elixir of life. The bubbles of the carbon dioxide tickling my nose, the syrup tantalizing the sweet spots of my tongue, the acid sweetly burning my throat as I drink and drink and drink.

Addicted, much? Definitely.

I have a huge sweet tooth, but my main vice is soda. I don’t like alcohol, diet drinks have too much of an aftertaste, and I think the tar taste of cigarettes is disgusting, but wave a glistening bottle of Pepsi in my face and I’m drooling.

I’ve tried to kick the habit several times. The first time I tried to switch to caffeine free drinks because of my anxiety. This was during my college years when I was still as skinny as a toothpick.

Once upon a time when I was thin

That didn’t last long, but I mainly stayed with Sprite. At the time, Sprite was, what I thought, the only drink that could calm my stomach. And since I was nervous most of the time, Sprite was my drink of choice. On road trips to Houston, I would make sure I had a cooler next to me filled with ice and a 6-pack of Sprite in case I felt nauseated on the road.

I don’t know when I switched from Sprite only to the variety of darker syrup drinks, but it definitely wasn’t a good decision to expand those horizons.

As my medications changed and I started taking sleeping pills, I relied on caffeine to keep me awake. I’m not a big coffee drinker (although I get a tall decaf soy mocha from Starbucks every so often), so it was to the vending machine for a Pepsi or something else refreshing. I would get that sugar high and then crash. But I loved the sugar high so much that I wouldn’t quit.

Bottles upon bottles would collect on my desk at work and in the recycling bin at home. If we didn’t have any in the house and I had a craving, I would drive to the nearest convenience store to buy a bottle or two.

I was probably drinking at least 2-3 bottles a day. Add that to how I was eating overall, and I was packing on the pounds.

I was told by my doctor that the ideal weight for my height and age is around 120.

I am 170.

This is the heaviest I’ve ever been. I don’t fit into most of my clothes anymore. I have been asked if I am pregnant twice.

Me, Buddy, and Blue

There’s a part of me that wants to dress for the shape I’m in now.

The other part of me has decided enough is enough.

Not that I haven’t tried to lose weight before. I went to Weight Watchers meetings for a few months and lost a total of four pounds. Those pounds have found their way back, by the way. I initially liked the way the plan worked, but found there were still too many temptations for me. Have you had their Dulce de Leche ice-cream bars? I couldn’t eat just one. In fact, all of their snacks and protein bars and desserts were extremely tasty. And Prince Ambien loved them around midnight.

And I knew how many points one carbonated drink was, so I tried to work that in. It was too much temptation, and I felt bad about myself when week after week I would weigh the same or gain an ounce.

So I gave up. I fell off the wagon.

But I got to feeling so run down, so tired, that during the weekends all I would do was sleep.

So as of Sunday, July 17, I started to cut out as much sugar from my diet as possible. The main rule is NO SODAS. This is not just for losing weight, but for my overall health as well. I hope this will help my depression and anxiety, as well as my general mood.

As tempted as I am, I can gladly say that I am on Day 3 and have not given in. Even though I’m tired and my body is still adjusting, I’m proud of myself.

I just have to take it one day at a time.