There once was a time when I was a Coke addict. I couldn’t make it through a day without sucking down copious amounts of the brown stuff. But over time, it began to wear on me, so I kicked the habit. It’s been four months – so far, so good.
I’ve actually had a love/hate relationship with Diet Coke for years. I’d stop by the gas station on the way to work to grab a fountain drink. I’d often have one sitting alongside me at my desk. And I’d have it with lunch. Unfortunately, what started as a enjoyable habit quickly turned into an addiction.
I was drinking tons of the stuff, and I wasn’t sleeping well thanks to all the stimulants (and who knows what else) coursing through my veins. It made me snore something fierce. I had a horrible time waking up in the morning. And if I didn’t get my fix during the day, I’d feel run down, impatient, and irritable. Oh, and don’t forget that nasty headache…
But the solution was easy. Just have another Diet Coke.
Unfortunately, it got to a point where my Coke fix didn’t always work. In fact, it was somewhat cyclical. I’d start out fine. I’d slurp down a Diet Coke, and I’d feel like I was on top of the world, and it would continue like this for awhile. But over time, it would get to the point where I’d feel like crap no matter what. So I’d quit. Then I’d have some a week later and feel great. Lather, rinse, repeat.
My addiction was also contributing to poor eating habits, as I’d often go out and grab a quick lunch just so I could have a few glasses of fresh, fountain-y goodness. A couple slices of pizza here, a burger there… My nutrition was suffering.
So one day I woke up and decided to quit. For good. And it sucked. It took me about a week to detox, but I was still craving the the good stuff. After another week or two, the cravings gradually subsided.
This was back at the beginning of April, and I’ve had Diet Coke exactly twice since then. Once in mid-summer while on vacation, and again this week when my wife and I went out for lunch to celebrate our wedding anniversary. And guess what? I don’t really miss the stuff.
Instead of hitting the fountain on the way to work, I fill up a 32 oz stadium cup with ice water and drink it in the car. I still go out for lunch on a regular basis, but I’m eating much healthier. The key here is that pretty much any “unhealthy” restaurant serves combos at lunch that include a soft drink. If I go and drink water, I feel like I’m getting ripped off, so I just don’t go.
Instead, I hit a local deli that’s about a five minute walk from my office. My standard order is turkey on wheat with lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, and a bit of honey mustard. Mmm, mmm, good. And I have a glass of ice water on the side.
Since quitting Diet Coke, I sleep better, I no longer snore, I wake up refreshed, and I’m way less grumpy and irritable. What’s not to love?