For several years now, Sara has not had any pop to drink. This drastically cut down on the amount of pop I was drinking, since it mostly wasn’t in the house. She also convinced me to stop ordering pop at restaurants when the kids were around, to set a good example. Although sometimes this kind of killed me, I am definitely on board with trying to give the kids some good, soda-free role models. We see plenty of role models sucking down soda like there’s no tomorrow, trust me.
None of this ended up being all that hard, because I found a lot of other things to drink, such as coffee, a million different kinds of tea, milk, wine, Sara’s homemade cocoa, smoothies, the occasional white Russian, etc. (to say nothing of water). I’m much happier with this variety of things, I actually feel kind of foolish for being stuck on pop for so long.
Nonetheless, I steadfastly held on to my 4 cans of diet, caffeine-free Dr. Pepper for my lunch at work (one could argue that I was already hardly drinking pop at all). It’s a vast understatement to say that I enjoyed those cans of pop. I would look forward to them for hours, and often, it would be the only thing about my lunch that I enjoyed. I didn’t just love that can of pop per day, I was IN love with that can of pop. Sure, it was chalk full of the most god-awful chemicals on the planet, but it’s only 4 cans a week, and it was basically my last big vice.
And thus it continued for many years.
Suddenly, one day I took a few drinks and I just thought, “Ugh, this tastes like corn syrup and weird disgusting chemicals.” Seriously, it was just that abrupt. One day I loved it, the next day it was, “it’s not you, it’s me”. I soldiered on for a few more days just to make sure, but no, I just didn’t have the taste for it anymore. It was just too sickeningly sweet all of a sudden. At last I realized, if I was no longer enjoying this cloying cocktail of chemicals, what in the world was I drinking it for?
I could see having a pop now and again in the evening or if I went out to eat. On the other hand, I don’t see any reason to invite that particular demon back into my life. If I’ve gotten it out, what would the draw be? I enjoy so many other drinks more.
Now, it’s not totally all fuzzy unicorn rainbows. There is some downside.
Years ago, I had mostly eliminated caffeine from my diet. Now, it has come back with a vengeance, mostly due to drinking caffeinated coffee when decaf is unavailable. It’s even wormed its way back in at home, where I usually make “half-caf” coffee. Additionally, I put cream and sugar in my coffee or tea, which means I’ve picked up an extra calorie or two that the diet pop wasn’t giving me (say what you will about super-unnatural chemicals, but our bodies refuse to process them on principle, so there’s that). Also, I wonder if I’m teaching my kids a different lesson by always having a steaming cup of joe in my hand, rather than a pop.
Well, one problem at a time. For now, it’s sayonara soda.