My first day without Soda…

My name is Debi and I am definitely a soda addict… not in the funny “she’s addicted to soda” kind of way… like I literally think I might die if I don’t get at least one… like “it’s noon and I’ve not had my soda today – I better go get one”.

I’d think it was funnier if it was just a habit, but my body is literally addicted to it. It’s not caffeine either – I’ve tried drinking coffee instead, and as soon as I am done with the coffee I go looking for a soda.

Of all my weight loss endeavors, all the flour I’ve traded in for oatbran or sausage I’ve traded for chicken, or the hours spent in a gym despite soreness or injury or just plain tiredness… the soda is the one that kicks my butt.  I read article after article about how BAD it is for my body AND my figure and by all rationale it should have been my number one priority to kick this habit, but as an addict the behavior is not rational.  You can see it, read it, say it a million times and your addict brain will not let the information sink in…

Although I do have some fairly reasoned arguments for not giving up the bubbling acid… about 12 years ago I started getting migraines.  The kind that make you wake from a dead sleep to puke – the kind that send you to the ladies room to get sick instead of at your desk at work… 20 days out of every month.  So bad that the doctor was giving me samples because my insurance would not dispense enough migraine medication to last a whole month.  And after a few years, trying chiropractic, massage, electrical therapy and finally epilepsy medication (which oddly helped a lot)… after getting off birth control and some other medications… we finally got them under control.  And since that moment I’ve not wanted to disturb the delicate hormonal balance that might be keeping them at bay – so I panicked if I didn’t get my daily dose of soda.  And rightly so because any accidental day I might not have one until 1 or 2pm brought with it the dull ache that turns into a migraine.

When I started my “diet”, I got 3-4 days of migraines… presumably because of some withdrawal of carbs or sugar or something else I was suddenly no longer eating.  So it makes sense this will happen if I stop drinking soda… I just hope it’s a 3 day thing, not the jenga piece that causes the migraine tower to come crumbling down!!!!

So today – Sept 3 – is my first day with no soda.  Honestly this is only because I promised myself one soda-less week before a contest was over with and this is the last week of the contest.  I do not like going back on self-promises.  It’s a little weird for me though… dieting was HARD (IS hard) – you deal with cravings and just plain “oh man that would taste good right now”… but this is different.  I am not a smoker and only a social drinker – I have not dealt with “addictions”.  I went through small panicks today – not like “oh gosh I sure would like a soda” but like your body just wanted to get in the car and drive past a Sonic without even telling your mind why it wanted to do that.  Small thoughts in the brain “ya know you might die if you don’t go ahead and get a soda” which you dismiss as silly of course, but it still seems like it just might be true??

I’ll let you know how the week progresses…

I do have to say, this is similar to what any sane, intelligent person might have to go through for whatever it is that is their addiction – be it twinkies or cigarettes or soda or chicken pot pie – and it’s not a fun thing when you realize you’ve got to make a change.  It can be not just physically painful but emotionally painful too.  We laugh if someone else’s addiction isn’t the same as ours – how silly that person just “can’t live” without their Snickers – you say as you cling to your diet coke or your Starbucks.  Doesn’t mean the change doesn’t need to happen, just that we might be a little more sympathetic, maybe even helpful!, when someone is struggling :)   And especially in the realm of fitness and losing weight, there are gonna be more than a few battles of this kind!  Just remember … YOU ARE STRONG!

**UPDATE – I am now 7 days without soda!  hooray!  The headaches subsided about day 4 and it hasn’t been that bad otherwise – except the things that are habit, like filling up at the fountain station when you eat out… and water and tea are getting pretty boring.  I think I’ll have to wait at least a month to see any body changes but surely my insides are thanking me right?!

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