Soda Fast, Part II

Yummy, yummy soda!

With the dawning of the new year, and remembering how svelte and energized I felt with my first no-soda experiment, I decided to give it another whirl.  And, I did fairly well (in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that there was one tragic day of reprehensible backslide, wherein not just this but all my resolutions fell into a shameful tailspin of debauchery, gluttony, and (eventually) remorse.  But other than that…).

The ultimate results were about the same.  After a few days of headaches, and feeling tired enough to go to bed literally all day, my energy levels evened out, and I started feeling pretty good.  When soda urges struck, I drank water or, if it got really bad, this calorie-free generic brand Crystal Light-type stuff that we have around the house.  It’s not the same, but it helps the intensity of the craving pass, as does just the passage of time.  Cravings don’t last forever.

They don’t, however, completely go away, and the urges don’t get any less intense as time goes by.  I can tap into an ice-cold Mountain Dew jonesing as intensely on day thirty as on day one.  Ahhh, Mountain Dew.  Why do I love you so?

I exercised more and harder, which was also one of my resolutions.  I feel like I “need” exercise more when there is no caffeine around, to boost my energy, help my mood, and give me something to look forward to/be happy about.

As a result of both of the above, I feel pretty good.  And by “feel” I mean “look,” and by “good” I of course mean “H-O-T!”

But I wasn’t kidding about all my resolve disappearing in short sucession like so many dominoes, even with seemingly unrelated New Year’s goals.  Every goal (at least of mine) involves self-control on some level, and loss of control breeds more loss of control, I guess.  Or maybe letting down your defenses at all makes way for an overwhelming “Ah, screw it” attitude in general.

Some people say “it’s not a goal if you don’t write it down.”  Well, I didn’t write down my soda goal, so maybe it doesn’t count.  I don’t think I believe in all that.  When I walk by a perfectly chilled Red Bull display and see the condensation dripping seductively down the side of the little silver can, the fact that I have “hey, don’t drink that” scribbled on a Post-It somewhere isn’t going to do crap in terms of changing end results.  I guess I need more will power.

Last time someone suggested moderation, and I guess I can see that.  My problem is, it’s not (for me) a difference between no soda and one can of soda in a day.  If I drink one I want seven.  That’s just how it is.  I don’t want it to be all or nothing, but I think my reality is either nothing or too much.  Still, I am looking for that balance.  And not just with soda.

How about anyone else?  What are you giving up?  How’s that going for you?

8 thoughts on “Soda Fast, Part II

  1. I’ve given up sugar and grains for about the last three weeks. It’s been going well, except this last Sunday I indulged in desserts at two different social events. Luckily, it made me feel absolutely horrible physically. I say luckily, because I’m hoping if I make that connection enough times–this food makes me feel horrible–my cravings for it will be reduced. We’ll see how it goes 😀 For me, too, abstinence is the way to go. If I try moderation, it just doesn’t work for me.

    I try to find strategies to help me, rather than relying on willpower. Willpower has been shown to be notoriously weak. Think about our environment over the last several thousand years. People didn’t have to have all that much willpower because they didn’t have to say no to all kinds of foods. They pretty much had to eat whatever was there. While today we have dozens of decisions to make every single day. When you test a system that much, it’s bound to fail at some points 🙂 I fall back on being able to have a different treat if I feel deprived and overwhelmed. Like I was at a birthday party last week. I watched everyone eat cake and ice cream. On the way home, I bought a small tub of cut fruit. It’s something usually too expensive for my tastes, but it was serving more than just its pure food function.

    • Thank you, Misty! Excellent, excellent points!

      I think we all need to indulge sometimes. I think it’s good for you, on some level. And it’s bound to happen. Better to give in on a couple of small things (i.e. your two desserts), than one big thing.

      Also, like you, I am, on some level, kind of glad when I feel guilty or horrible after giving in. I think that’s crucial to the process. Feeling gross halfway through fast food or a decadent dessert is just motivation and a reminder. I’d be more concerned if I didn’t feel that way.

      And I completely agree, particularly with these types of goals, having a similar replacement is crucial. Your fresh fruit example is perfect. A little bit expensive, so you still get the thrill of doing something you are not supposed to, but a good alternative and something you can feel great about.

      Thanks for your insights.

  2. Generally speaking, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, and I can’t remember the last time I actually wrote down a specific goal I wanted to accomplish. I have a bad attitude when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. I figure, why set myself up for failure? I think I have developed this attitude based on past experiences when I probably used to make resolutions and never saw them come to fruition.

    I still like to make goals though, but I don’t like to confine myself to strict schedules or deadlines. This is just my personality though. That being said, I have decided to give up a few things as of late. I am no longer going to use white flour or white sugar in my cooking/baking at home. So far it is going well. I have been making all my bread for almost a year now and have discovered “white wheat” (not to be confused with white flour), it’s 100% whole wheat and not as dense as regular whole wheat flour. But before I get off topic, I have to say that even though I am making these changes in my home, I don’t plan on becoming overly religious with it. For example, when I go to someone else’s home to eat, I’m not going to make a fuss over whether or not they are using whole wheat or other unrefined foods.

    When it comes to Soda, I am very thankful this is not a big problem for me. In fact, Mt. Dew is my least favorite kind of pop. For a while I was on a Coke kick, but it seems to have passed. Why isn’t just knowing how bad something is for you enough for our brains to tell us to stop?!

    Drink less Mt. Dew! Go to the gym more! 🙂

    My unofficial, unwritten goal for this year is to be able to do a “real” push up.

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