I have been on a mission to stop drinking soda for quite a few years. I used to work in the beverage industry and having access to cheap or free soda was part of the gig. So naturally, it became quite a habit and even became something I would turn to when stress was rising. Higher stress meant I was heading to the soda machine. It was a trigger.
I used to be a two 20oz bottle a day drinker. I barely drank water. Looking back, I can't believe I didn't keel over from dehydration. It was the reason my lips were continually chapped to the point they would be on almost constant fire. I blamed the two 20oz bottles a day on the current position I was in. Higher stress so I frequented any caffeinated beverage I could find. As I moved through the ranks at my job, my soda intake went from two regular 20oz a day to one diet soda a day. Hey, I was all about the caffeine.
When I got pregnant in 2012 with my son, I reduced my intake quite dramatically but I didn't cut out completely. However, after I left my job to be a stay at home mom in 2013, I didn't want to take this soda habit with me. I also couldn't afford it if I had to pay full price now!
I started reducing my intake from one a day to one a week. One a week was the habit for over a year. While I was going through this no soda journey, I was also learning more about health and trying to implement healthier ways into my family life. I eventually got to the point where I could no longer drink diet soda because it tasted just awful. But that once a week regular soda with "real sugar" was heaven.
That's where I stalled even though deep down I just wanted to be done with it! Soon that once a week moved to every now and then but I just couldn't kick the habit! However, late 2014, as my wellness career was evolving, I was preparing a presentation on health, commitments, and choices. I couldn't get up in front of people talking to them about making better choices if I was still wishy washy in my own life. So that was it. I decided I was done.
But it wasn't for good.
No, I was off the bandwagon for quite a few months but as my current pregnancy progressed, that sweet tooth also reared its ugly head. Now, I was just begging for some sugar no matter what I tried. I tried increasing my fruit intake, tried increasing foods high in fiber, tried flavored waters but I just wanted a soda!! So I started giving in again. Not every day but more often than I should. I was preggo for goodness sakes and I know how important nutrition was. I mean, I take high quality prenatal supplements, but cheating with a soda didn't seem to phase me. (insert hand slapping forehead)
My husband's employer recently had a wellness seminar and they created a visual of how much sugar was in that 12 or 20oz container of soda you were consuming. I sat there looking at the baggies of sugar, completely grossed out. There was NO WAY I would sit there and eat that much sugar for a snack so why is it ok to drink it? As soon as I got home, I took out our kitchen scale and figured out how much sugar was in my favorite flavor. The picture above is a sandwich bag size and the post it and marker are there for illustration purposes. It still grosses me out...
There are so many different types of sugars and sweeteners used in products. I'm not an expert by any means but if this is one way I can reduce sugar in my diet just by eliminating a product that I don't NEED then I am kicking this habit--for good!