I realized that earlier this week, I celebrated my one year anniversary of when I quit drinking soda.
I’ve tried to quit drinking soda several times before and it just never stuck. I would always get a killer headache about a day or two later and fold. It used to make me feel so defeated — how did some sugar and caffeine have that much of a hold on me that I just couldn’t say no!? To be clear, I used to drink Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper (usually one of each per day). I don’t even want to calculate how much sugar I was drinking each and every day.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have had a few sodas in the past year. Mostly when I’ve been hungover (worst. feeling. ever.) and need a rush of sugar to convince myself I feel better. But the soda never tastes that great and doesn’t make me want to fall off the bandwagon.
So, yay. Yay to no soda, yay to finally breaking that addiction and yay for making my dentist much happier about not slurping up sugar all day long.
As today’s Friday Five with Running on Happy, and because it’s about that time of year where people make goals like to stop drinking soda, here are the five things that helped me break my habit.
1. Know your why
I think the thing that helped me the most was being honest with why I wanted to quit drinking soda. I started calculating how many calories I was consuming each day just because of these non-filling, sugary drinks and it made me not want to drink another drop right that minute.
And I also thought about how it didn’t make me feel that great when I drank soda and really, the reason why I was drinking it was because I had told myself that I “deserved” it and it was a “treat” — for either a good or a bad day. That realization made me realize how I could stop the habit.
2. Mind over matter and TELL EVERYONE
Now, it’s not going to be easy. I’m not going to make it sound like it is. Soda is EVERYWHERE… sometimes it’s easier to find than water! But, you need to get your willpower muscle ready and be ready to say no. One of the things that helped me stay accountable and strong? Telling everyone that I was trying to quit drinking soda. For me, there’s nothing worse than telling someone that I’m going to do something and never getting it done.
3. Find your replacement
Yes, it’s important to know how you are going to replace your addiction. For me? It’s La Croix. Which was not my favorite thing in the world when I started drinking it. Well, let’s be honest. I hated it. I tried so hard to love it but going from Mountain Dew to La Croix… not easy.
But now, La Croix is like my treat. I drink a few a day (it’s just sparkling water after all!) and on those days when I’m really stressed out, my mind immediately goes to “ugh, I need a La Croix for this.” So at least I switched that mentality.
4. Always have water
I always always always have water with me (in my super sweet custom Hydroflask! Love this thing.). That way, when I’m thirsty, I’m less likely to start going to the dark side and thinking about the soda I want to drink. Plus, I learned that I would crave soda when I was fake hungry, so staying hydrated keeps me away from fake hunger (where you think you’re hungry but really, it’s just thirst).
5. Celebrate your accomplishment
Duh. Always celebrate.
Seriously, though. TELL EVERYBODY. Brag about your accomplishment! Nothing makes you feel more inspired than when you can congratulate yourself for progress. It’s a BFD to quit drinking soda, so treat it like that.
Are you a soda drinker? If you’ve quit –> how long since your last one?
What do you think is the toughest thing with quitting a food addiction?
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