We used to be inseperable. Me and the 20 oz bottle. Me and the ice cold can. Walk in the door at work first thing in the morning and pop open a can. Lunch? Another can. Mid afternoon...cans all gone, time for a bottle from the vending machine. Looking for something after dinner...one last can.
No more. Nada. Nothing. Zip.
It's been 3 or 4 months since I just decided THAT'S IT. NO MORE DIET PEPSI. I'm not sure the exact date. It was a concious decision but not one that I noted on the calendar although I could have, it was a definite date. It wasn't a "oh, I'll have one less can today." It was more like "ok, I'm done."
My girls gave up pop years ago. Sure they'll have an occasional glass at a restaurant...but not very often. They've also been telling me for years that it was SO bad for me. Did I listen? Nope.
But one day early this fall I decided I just didn't want to drink it anymore. I'm not going to bore you with all the reasons why diet pop (or soda...if you're of that persuasion!) is so bad for you. I'm sure you either know or suspect. I will tell you what giving it up did for ME.
I won't lie. The first thing that happened was that I had a headache. That's a MAJOR understatement! Total monster headache for a full week to 10 days. I held out though. I knew I could do it. Finally the headache subsided and life was good. No more dragging those big, heavy cubes of 24 cans home from the store. No more squeezing cans into my lunch bag in the mornings. No more scrounging for crisp dollar bills or quarters for the vending machine. Right away I decided, "wow, this is actually going to SAVE me money!" I hadn't thought about that benefit before.
Anyway, day after day I substituted a bottle of water (reusable water bottle!) for the syrupy drink that once sat on my desk. Soon I noticed that I wasn't making the trip down the hallway to the little girls room quite so often. Cool. I also noticed that without that sugary taste in my mouth I was less likely to indulge in other sweets (and my office is FULL of them unfortunately!). Almost immediately I dropped 10 pounds. Now remember I was drinking DIET Pepsi...but giving it up still made me lose weight! Amazing!
After about 6 or 8 weeks I noticed that I felt less fatigued and depressed. My mind felt clearer and I was able to cope with things better. I didn't really connect it to the absence of the Diet Pepsi at first. In fact I may have never connected the two things but I ran across a blog post about giving up pop and it mentioned the corelation. Duh, I thought. Makes sense.
Another benefit was that I no longer felt bloated and gas-y (sorry!) all the time. Since I have acid reflux (yeah, probably a result of so much pop!) it often felt like I was pouring fire-in-a-bottle down my throat. And, pop with my pizza? Ouch. I was never sure which made me feel worse...the fire or the bloat.
It didn't take long until I really no longer even desired the once-tempting liquid. Sure, every once in awhile when someone at work pops the tab, I feel nostalgic for a swig...the cool can in my hand. But I just smile and think "nope....I don't need or want it."
I must admit though, I haven't been completely perfect in my NO DIET PEPSI quest. I think I've had maybe 2 or 3 cans since I officially gave it up months ago. Today was the latest slip. Actually I can't really call it a "slip". Afterall, it's not like you can accidently guzzle a can of pop. Call it a weak moment. I was doing a little last minute shopping on my way home from work. As I was walking through the second store my mouth was so dry that I could hardly swallow. Instead of searching for a machine with water, I just grabbed the Diet Pepsi that was in the case in my checkout line. It was SO cold. But the first sip reminded me that I'm SO OVER IT. It didn't even taste good anymore. I drank about a third of the bottle on my drive home...and immediately felt bloated (and regretful). Wouldn't you know it, there was pizza on the table when I walked in the door. What used to be a routine combo had totally lost its appeal.
Yep, back to water for me.
Now if I could just give up chocolate!