Major Milestone: Celebrating Six Months Soda-Free

Monday, July 22, 2013
In a few days, I'll be celebrating a major milestone. I'll be celebrating six months of drinking absolutely no soda. Not a drop. Not a sip. Nothing.

Now, for many of you this may not sound like a big deal. For others, you know that this is major. Like monumental. Like climbing Mount Everest monumental.

It all started when I was a kid. I grew up on Sprite. As a child of the 70s, soda was my parents' drink of choice. Soda was en vogue in the 70s. Coke and Sprite were ever-present in our refrigerator. And just as it was cool to lather baby oil all over your body and soak in the sun all day, it was equally cool to drink soda.

My high school and college years passed in this same vein. Our college dorm fridge was ALWAYS filled with cans of diet coke. My roommate's mom would buy it by the case at a ridiculously low price at Wal-Mart, and we would happily slurp it up.

During my post-college years when I was working at my first job, it seems my habit became worse. I was working for an electronic publisher and my strict deadlines forced me to pull many an all-nighter. Since I wasn't a coffee drinker, Diet Coke got me through my long nights. I'd often drink 5 or 6 cans per day.

Diet Coke was my comfort food. It tasted good, and it made me feel good.

When I became pregnant, I kicked the Diet Coke to the curb. It was purely a treat that I enjoyed once per month, at the most.

But of course, once I had my babies, the Diet Coke became a permanent fixture in the refrigerator once again. I wasn't overly concerned about my little ones seeing me drink soda. I'd explain it as a "grown up drink".

Four years ago when I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, I embarked on a clean eating crusade. I cut all the junk food from my diet. It wasn't difficult. I knew I had to do it for my health. But the one thing I could not give up was my Diet Coke. My beloved Diet Coke.

It was my security blanket at a time when I was grappling with health and anxiety issues, not to mention parenting two young children. I needed my Diet Coke to get through these hard times. I was a junkie, and I needed my fix when times got tough.

And then Lent rolled around. What would I give up that was worthy of a true sacrifice?

Diet Coke.

For 40 days and 40 nights, no Diet Coke. Not a taste.

I got through it and did this for 3 straight Lenten seasons in a row. This past February was no exception. I stopped drinking Diet Coke on the first day of Lent. For the next 40 days and 40 nights, I continued.  I powered through each day without the help of my crutch.

And you know what I realized? I didn't miss it. I didn't need it. And, I felt better without it.

Today, almost 6 months after giving up Diet Coke, I still haven't had a drop. I am so far passed the point of no return now that I won't go back. I don't want it. I don't miss it. In fact, I am so aware of how bad soda is for my body that I have no desire to put it into my body.

I don't want this post to be about the dangers of drinking soda. I want readers to walk away inspired to make the change in their lives that they've always wanted to do. I want you to feel empowered to make a change, to make a positive impact on your life no matter how big or small.

If I can do it, you can do it too!

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