Everyone is different.
We have different genetic makeups, different endocrine systems and metabolisms, different levels of exercise and fitness, different sleep habits, different support structures, different stress levels and stress management, different weight issues and hormone levels, different ages, different food addictions—and that is just the tip of the iceberg!
For these reasons, I have found other people’s stories about how they lost weight, or whatever, very frustrating.
With this in mind, I am offering my method for getting off the soda pop highway. It worked for me, but you and I are different. Hopefully my story will help you discover the key to giving up soft drinks—a key entirely specific to you!
I have always had a sweet tooth. It runs in my family, either because of genetics or social construction.
My husband gave up dark sodas years ago and is only drinking Sprite or sparkling water mixed with juice drinks now. But I stayed steadfast and always ordered Coke in restaurants.
We never used to have Coke in the house. But then came children. Two of them, the second not a sleeper. I stayed at home. I got no sleep. I began drinking a tin of Coke a day just to stay awake. A full tin was too much (tremors, anyone?), so I switched to the mini-cans. Some days I even had two.
Enter fat. Enter bad skin, including spots on my arms and thighs. And stand back if I didn’t have my Coke for the day! Not to mention, I hated feeling out of control of my choices. I hated my addictive nature.
Through support and information from my trainers at the gym, I decided to take back my life.
The first thing I did was cut back. I decided one Coke mini every other day was OK. I substituted juice drinks where needed.
Next, I progressed to every three days, then a week, then a month.
This took about three months, until I considered myself an addict still, but clean. The cravings were gone.
Next, to give up juice drinks, much as I had done for Coke, I substituted with Lipton Nestea Green Tea (processed, with sugar, in large bottles).
Better than juice drinks? Maybe, maybe not, but it was available in most eating establishments, so it was a great stepping stone away from Coke until I was able to quit sugar altogether.
Next substitution: water and coconut water. This took a little more chutzpah.
Exercise helped with that too, because drinking large amounts of water after a workout enables you to form an attachment to your water bottle and you get used to a sugar-free drink in your mouth.
Furthermore, advice from my trainers on where and what kind of coconut water to buy also helped make the transition from processed drinks to a more natural option. Coconut water has natural electrolytes—a great boost following a workout.
The result? I have been sugary drink-free for a month now.
Some people believe it’s OK to have a soft drink or soda occasionally—a “cheat,” if you will.
But much like alcoholism, I am a sodaholic and one drink might just be enough to take me back to a place where the drink controls me.
I refuse to allow that to happen. I order a green tea instead if I feel a craving, but never ever a Coke. I have worked too hard to take that kind of chance.
Christy Roe is a mother of two, an elementary school teacher, and a super keen CrossFitter who lives in Australia.