A Soda-Free Life?

My good friend D and I are instituting No Coke February to try to kick our soda habit for good. (Though I do wish it was November so we could be doing No Coke November. Much better ring to it.)

But these pounds are not going to lose themselves. I’ve written about body acceptance after baby and while I still do believe that weight loss shouldn’t be a new mom’s top priority, now that my “baby” is a year and a half, it’s time to get serious about those last few lbs I’ve been ignoring.

Thus began my great plan with D. It’s so simple but has been really effective since we started it six weeks ago: We write down everything we eat, all day, and text it to each other at night to be accountable. Now that it’s become a habit, if I am thinking about an extra snack or latte, I ask myself, “Do you really want to send that to D tonight?”

It only took me a decade to realize that depriving myself of my favorite food and drink has a boomerang effect. It’s ALL about portion control and moderation. Hello, what took me so long? But there’s one issue that still needs addressing.

My Coke addiction.

Yes, I mean Coca-Cola, and it’s funny that I’m hooked on the stuff considering the fact that I am a former Diet Coke drinker. After a good 12 years as a diet soda devotee, I woke up one day and decided it was time to stop pouring chemicals into my body. (See a theme here? You really figure stuff out in your early 30s.) My amazing nutritionist, Keri Glassman, also deserves credit for helping me kick the habit. I haven’t had a Diet Coke, or any artificial sweeteners, in 2+ years. I’m proud of the switch and don’t miss them at all. In fact, if Dunkin puts a Splenda into my decaf iced coffee instead of a sugar by mistake, I can’t stand to drink it and wonder how I ever did.

But here’s where things went awry: While pregnant with baby K, I had horrible heartburn, and my father-in-law once mentioned that regular Coke can help with stomach upset. Boy, does it ever. I probably had a Coke a week during the last weeks of my pregnancy.

After K arrived, I still had a Coke whenever my stomach bothered me, as well as on other occasions, like when I was eating something salty, or could feign some stomach upset in order to feel okay about drinking pure sugar. Before I knew it, Coke had taken the place of Diet Coke and I found myself hooked once again.

What is it about this stuff? I’ve seen the videos about how well it cleans your toilet (so who knows what it’s doing to my insides) but just the sight of that red and white label sets me up for single-minded obsession. And don’t even get me started on a fountain Coke in a clear cup with ice and a straw. Carbonated BLISS.

Hello, gorgeous

Hello, gorgeous

This is where my little health club with D has come in handy. I thought I was drinking a Coke a week, but once I started writing down everything that went into my mouth, it turns out that I was closer to once a day. A 12 oz. coke is 140 calories. Of SUGAR. No redeeming qualities when it comes to nutrition.

Thanks to our plan — which we’ve dubbed B.S., for Bitches Shrinking — I’m down to just an occasional Coke now, as a treat to myself. Instead of a glass of wine with dinner, I’ll have a Coke with lunch, maybe once every couple of weeks. But D and I are curious about what will happen if we cut it out for a full month. No Coke, no cheating.

It’s pretty convenient that this falls on the shortest month of the year, but hey, it’s a start, right? My hope is that a month without Coke will help me move to a life without it. Here goes nothin.

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  1. R Thomas Berner says:

    Smart move. Wait until you’re metabolically challenged (old) and then you’ll really watch everything. We eat our main meal at noon and share a bowl of popcorn for dinner. Happy hours is something we do for special occasions, but not every day.

    Good luck. You’re on the right track.

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