Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bubbly Delight

I’ve wanted to write this post for a while, but it seems that every time I sit down to write, I loose my train of thought/cannot find the write words/end up with one really long incoherent run-on sentence→paragraph→page.

Alas, I am going to give this a final shot.

8 Weeks, 3 days, 2 hours, and 42 minutes ago, I stopped drinking soda.

For those of you who didn’t know, I was a diet soda fiend. There was just something so crisp and refreshing about cracking open a soda and feeling those million little bubbles zing all over my mouth and go down my esophagus with ease. (Cleary, I have given this a great deal of thought).

I would have to say that my soda habit got worse when I went to college. There was just something about having the diet Pepsi fountain write next to the milk and orange juice that made it seem acceptable to drink this bubbly delight morning, noon, and night. Oh yeah, plus I had about a bazillion dining dollars that I had to use my freshman year, and it ‘made sense’ to stock up soda (iahhem, mixers) and use the money up. Okay, so that was my excuse freshman year.

My excuse sophomore year? Well I lived in my sorority house. 22 girls….enough said.
One would think that when I moved off campus junior year and no longer had a meal plan or a chef, and would have to lug cases of soda multiple blocks to my house from the store, that I would have cut back. But no! The habit endured.

However, my habit reached it’s all time worst the summer entering my senior year. I didn’t move home for the summer, but rather stayed in Philly to work. In addition to my job at the hospital, I also was babysitting- a lot. Thus, my parents thought it was justified that I have my car in Philly so I could travel back and forth to the ‘burns to baby-sit. Aside from the amazing families that I saw on my at least 3x weekly trips to Delaware County, I also passed the amazing Tar-zhay, the ACME, the Genaurdis, etc. Are you getting where I am going with this? Oh yeah, I was stocking up and hitting the soda sales. I was truly amazed that you could get 4 12-packs for $10; at the grocery store near school, the bubbly delight was at least $5.59/pack. And thus, the habit endured. Now don’t judge me for this, but one day I counted and I drank 8 cans . Thank g0d it was diet, otherwise in addition to a beverage habit, I would’ve needed an entirely new wardrobe!

Flash-forward to July 2007 when I was getting ready for my move to the Big Apple.

One night, while my family was away on their tropical vacation and I was home with the dog, I made my dinner and had my 5th soda for the day. I was slipping through the channels and saw the infomercial for some tooth whitener. I didn’t give it much thought, my mom’s in the dental field, but I guess the infomercial did something to me. I awoke that night in a cold sweat that all of my tooth enamel had worn off and that I was going to need dentures to replace my teeth that were so badly ruined by the bubbly beverages I indulged in.
I have not had even a sip of the stuff since then. Although I know my dream was not quite realistic, it just got me thinking…the soda wasn’t good for my teeth or my bones. The fizz sucks the calcium out of your bones, the artificial sweeteners clearly aren’t that good for your long term health, and let’s face it… 7.00 for a 12 pack of soda in New York, the stuff really wasn’t good for my wallet either..

It’s interesting that when I drank that last soda, I didn’t know that it would be my last. I didn’t take the time to savior the bubbles, the crispness, etc. I sort of feel like an addict or alcoholic who is on that show INTERVENTION and gets whisked off to treatment, not knowing that their last drink and/or hit was their last. However, looking back on this experience I realized that quitting cold turkey was the way to go. There was no dread, no hesitation, it was quick and painless (well aside from the headaches I had during the first few weeks).

So what do I drink now? Soymilk (8th Continent Light Soymilk
), Crystal Light “To-Go” packs, and water. I also decided to give up caffeine, so it’s now very rare that I even chose to drink coffee or tea.

In summation (oh how my English teachers used to tear apart any concluding paragraph that ended this way), I’d just like to put in on the record that yes folks, my name is Kelly and I’m a recovering soda-holic.


O said...

Ok, Kel, I saw the "no soda" just loosely dropped in some entry a while back.
I commend your brave spirit for giving up the bubbles--oh, how I crave them!
But--REALLY--coffee too?? That seems a little over the top!
But good for you. It's a tough row to hoe but if anyone can do it, you can! Keep me posted on any other good substitures. I'm just discovering the joys of Splenda sodas after years of not being able to drink the diet stuff but there's more and more evidence that even that isn't a good idea...
Anyway. More power to you!

Anjali said...

I, too, gave up sodas about 6 years ago. Trust me, you won't miss them. And I gave up caffeine many years back, but recently allowed myself the once or twice weekly splurge of iced chais at Starbucks (and I'm sure I'll be pounding the hot chocolate in the winter).

I'm amazed, that after all of my past drink addictions, I'm quite content with, for the most part, drinking just water.

Once you've been away from them for a while, you'll really wonder what you saw in them to begin with! Keep up the good work!