Mar 2, 2011

Was the Journey possible?

I ended my last post by asking: "Could I quit drinking soda?" It was obvious I was drinking wwwaaaayyy too much. If I could just cut out this one thing, would that be enough to have an effect on my ever expanding waistline?

It in was mid-February, 2010 when I was contemplating this. My parents were coming up in mid-August. My birthday was a month away in mid-March. I decided if I gave myself sometime to prepare, I could do it. So I picked my birthday, March 24th as the last day I would have soda. I was going to quit at least until my parents were here. That would be 5 months.

From that day until my birthday I reminded myself constantly that, on the 24th I was quitting. Every time I cracked up another sweet, wonderful can of sugary happiness I marked it as being one closer to being done with it. And to not be wasteful, I spent until midnight of the 24th drinking every bit of soda I had in the house.

Well, I tried getting rid of it all. I hadn’t yet told anyone of what I was going to attempt. That way when I failed as usual, there would less people to mock me. I didn’t even tell Christy. I wanted to see if she’d notice the difference.

So she, not knowing what I was attempting, did a very nice thing on my birthday. She got me the gift she knew I would love the most. A 12 pack of soda. I had it all planned out to drink up my hoard by midnight of the 24th. When she handed me that lovely box of goodness, I felt like Monty Brewster when his friends made him a bunch of money while he was trying to get it all spent. (It’s a great movie… you should go rent it tonight…)

And that gift highlighted a big concern. How was I going to avoid soda? It’s EVERYWHERE in our culture. Go to any social gathering. There’s usually soda available. Here at work there’s a fridge with sodas available to buy.  Try getting something other than soda at a fast food place. Or a restaurant. Or a convenience store when driving. Yes, there’s always water. And I drink a lot of water during the day. But sometimes you want something other than water. And yes, there’s fruit juices. But I don’t like ‘em. Never have. I don’t drink coffee or energy drinks.

So I knew I had to plan carefully to avoid soda. The first part of my plan was to not have any soda in the house.  That’s why I engaged in my binge on the 24th,; to clean the place out. I also knew I would be increasing my water intake & my milk intake. But for my main alternative, I switched to something I knew I liked and that’s Tropical Punch Kool-Aid.  I drink it ice cold, and for a little bit of sparkle, I use a couple of cans of seltzer water when making it. I call it my nicotine patch. It’s still has some sugar in it, but it’s not as much as soda, and it’s not high-fructose corn syrup.

I had read a study where they fed two groups of rats an equal amount of calories, but the one group got it in the form of sugar, while the other got it in the form of the high-fructose corn syrup. The rats that got the sugar gained less weight than the other group. And the group that got the calories from the high-fructose corn syrup gained all their weight around the middle, where it does the most damage. I’ll probably have to watch my back now to avoid getting whacked by the Corn Grower’s Association…

So, did it work? Was I able to quit? Did I wake up with a bloody ear of corn in bed from the Godfather of the corn growers? We shall see...

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