I did not drink soda for five months

Five months? That’s it?

You might think it’s pretty dumb, and not to mention “easy”, but it’s not as easy as it seems. A little backstory here. My diet used to consist every food in front of me (with a few exceptions, like a normal person – ew, raisins) and would crave for soda the minute I wake up. So there’s that. Late last year, I was pretty much troubled because I realized, I was drinking more soda than I was drinking water throughout the day. It’s bad, because I am terrified of diabetes. Terrified. I have had diabetic patients in the past, and I have family who have diabetes, and I have witnessed every hardship they have to go through every single day, and I did not want that.

My diet wasn’t really helping though, because I’m not exactly the picky eater type. Whatever is available, I’m fine with it. Not too hard to maintain, this girl. And my soda thing started to worry me. So I decided to, at least, try to stop drinking soda. Of course, it had to be gradual. It might have been ten times more difficult if I just stopped drinking soda abruptly.

It wasn’t so bad.

One month in, around November, I realized, I stopped craving for it. I know it’s nothing huge, but it was pretty surprising how I changed my routine from wanting soda for breakfast to just drinking really lots of water as soon as I get up in the morning.

And here’s the thing. I had really bad skin. I had bad breakouts, my face would always feel either too dry or too oily, breakouts were crazy often. A few months after I stopped drinking soda completely though, I think my skin actually improved. When I read about it, sodas are actually associated with telomere shortness, increasing cell aging just as much as smoking. What? Mind blown.

It pretty much helped with my energy as well. I did not like working out, because I used to always feel really sluggish, and I thought, there would always be a tomorrow. But when I quit soda, I would always find time to work out everyday, no matter how little workout it was, as long as I knew I’d be burning even just a bit of calories. It was fun.

My orthodontist suggested that I avoid fizzy drinks because it’s the most common cause of cavities. I didn’t really care at first, because hey, it’s soda. But then later on, I realized, it was true. Soda can cause teeth discoloration and even cavities, not only because of the sugar that it contains, but also because of it’s acidity that could cause the erosion of the tooth’s enamel. At first, I tried to just adjust. I used straws when I drank soda so that it wouldn’t touch my teeth. Or I would brush my teeth instantly after drinking soda. But it wasn’t really the same as just quitting soda altogether. It’s so much easier to just not drink it.

And I wasn’t as worried about my heart as I was when I kept on drinking bottles after bottles of soda everyday. Fizzy drinks are not good for your heart. And if you did not know, I have Essential Hypertension (since I was 18 years old) and my blood pressure wasn’t as good before because I would always drink either soda or coffee.

“Previous studies have linked sugary beverages to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes, but the new study is one of the first to show that drinking too many sweetened beverages can increase blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is considered a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.” 

Actually, when I was too lazy to drink coffee (coffee lovers would understand, good coffee needs a tad bit of preparation), I would drink soda. It was easier that way. But then, hey, my heart wasn’t happy with my thing for soda. So I had to stop.

How did you do it?

I kid you not, it was not NOT difficult. In fact, it was so difficult for me that I had to struggle the first couple of weeks. There were times, in the early weeks, when I would crave for soda so much that I had to go somewhere just to preoccupy myself.

So five months? And you started drinking soda again?

Yep, classic Mary. I just tried drinking soda again the other day, and it tasted like the most rewarding soda I have ever had in my entire life. So, now I will have soda just as sort of some reward or something like that. I will still avoid soda as much as I can though, but I won’t be as strict on myself as much as the past five crazy soda-less months. It was great whilst it lasted.

Moral of the story? Try something you think is difficult to do, but you really want to achieve. Start with something simple. Anything small will go a long way.

Do you drink soda? What’s your favorite one?
Mine’s Cherry Coke 🙂