I’ve decided that it’s time to implement my plan to kick my soda habit.
Oh, I’ve given up pop (as we Minnesotans call it) a few times over the years, and even had some success in a 30 Day No Soda Challenge about six years ago. But I fell off the wagon. I used Diet Coke as a crutch to get through stressful situations and survive my Weight Watchers diet. I rarely spend money on things other than the necessities, so it was easy to justify this “one little habit.”
All that rationalizing lead to drinking 4-5 cans of diet pop every day and spending more than $40 a month on this habit. And it made me feel lousy. I simply cannot continue to spend 10 percent of my monthly grocery budget on a product with no nutritional value.
How I Plan To Kick My Soda Habit For Good
I’ve been a regular soda drinker since I was a young kid, and became a full-blown pop fiend in college when I would scrounge up spare change to feed a Mountain Dew addiction. I know that I’ll need a plan if I’m going to kick this soda habit. So here’s what I’m going to do.
First, I’m going to slowly wean myself off soda.
I don’t drink any caffeine other than soda, so I know that if I’m going to be able to handle the caffeine withdrawals, I’m going to have to slowly taper off the amount of soda I drink.
I’ll start off by dropping from 4 to 5 cans of pop a day to 3. I’ll do that for a couple of days and drop to 2 cans a day. Then after a few days, I’ll drop to one, and then I can drop to zero.
I will find reasonable soda substitutions.
During the transition, I’ll need to replace my soda with other beverages. I want to make sure that those beverages are better for me than soda and also cost considerable less. I will try some flavored carbonated water to help me with my cravings for fizzy drinks. I’ll use my infuser water bottle to add fresh fruit flavor to my water, and when I’m on the go, I’ll bring some packets of True Lemon to add a little flavor to my water.
I’ll try to prepare for situations that tempt me to drink soda.
I’ll bring my own reusable water bottles with me when I travel so that I’m not tempted to pick up a soda at the convenience store. If I know I’m going out to eat, I’ll try to sneak a peek at the menu so I know what non-soda beverage choices are available to me.
I will find activities to keep my mind busy.
I’ve broken up with pop before and the hardest part is pushing through the mental addiction to the beverage. I plan to keep myself busy during the first few weeks of no soda. I’ll make sure I go for walks, work on crafts, read, and color. I’ll be sure to do some cooking and baking and writing.
I’ll remind myself of the health benefits.
I know that there are many reasons why diet soda is not good for you. Even without the formal studies, I know there are bad side effects from drinking too much of it. When I drink a lot of soda, I find myself craving more sugary and fatty foods. I feel bloated, and I get body aches. My health is a priority for me this year, and I know that I will feel better when I kick my soda habit.
I will surround myself with supporters.
I have friends and family who have given up the soda, and I will be sure to lean on them for support. And I am sure that some of my dear readers will either join me in giving up soda or already have given it up and can offer me tips. (Hint, hint). I’ll make sure my immediate family holds me accountable for my beverage choices, too.
I will remind myself that I’m human.
My focus – at least in the beginning is progress, not perfection. I know I will have setbacks, or days where I really struggle. I’ll be sure to remind myself that getting through the tough times will be worth it all in the end.
I will reward myself for good behavior.
I plan to take a portion of the money I save from not buying soda and use it for mini-rewards. Mini-rewards could be things like workout gear, new music or books, or new kitchen tools. The idea is to use those mini rewards to improve my health.
My plan to kick my soda habit for good won’t be easy, but I know that for my physical and financial health, it’s a smart move worth the sacrifice.
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