NEWS FLASH ** DIET SODA IS BAD FOR YOU
Does anyone not know this? Is this breaking news for anyone?
I’ve known diet soda was bad since I was a kid. I remember reading Gilda Radner’s autobiography in my teens, and she blamed her cancer in part on her diet soda addiction. Yes, she believed it was an addiction.
And I can see why. My family has been supporting the diet soda industry since I was born. My mother, a dentist, did not allow sugar soda. However, as a fellow diet soda drinker herself, she couldn’t keep us kids away from it for long. By 14, I even remember drinking Diet Pepsi for breakfast. I remember the cans collecting in the recycling every day. All of us were 3-5 sodas a day drinkers. It was toxic. It was disgusting. It was addictive.
Honestly, though, it wasn’t a problem I cared to deal with. I had so many other issues going on; things way more stressful than a few sodas, right? Money, relationships, life… these were legitimate concerns for me. While I knew soda may be a poor choice of beverage, it was not a mountain I was ready to climb.
And, fair enough, right? I have a lot of friends and family in that same boat right now. I hear them order a diet Coke and I secretly cringe. Because I remember the addiction. I remember the chemicals, the artificial sweetener that I still crave on occasion, and how bloated and disgusting each can of Diet Pepsi (my vice) made me feel after. But they’re not ready to climb that mountain yet, and I get it.
I wasn’t ready until last year when I decided to remove all the toxins and chemicals from my daily nutrition and completely cleanse my body for 30 days. I went into the 30 days reminding myself that it was only temporary and that this wasn’t goodbye to soda forever. Because if I had told myself that, I’m not sure I would have tried it at all. Similar to other addictions, just the idea of the permanence was too overwhelming to fathom. One day at a time.
In my healthy living coaching, one of my key tips is to find replacements for foods/drinks you’re eliminating. I provide my customers “easy buttons” so you don’t feel deprived at all. For soda, this is critical. Replacements can include La Croix or just plain bubble water, mocktails, or fruit-infused water. There are so many options out there, it’s actually really fun to explore new alternatives to soda. No, really. It’s fun… I promise!
In my 30 day cleanse, giving up soda became easy once I replaced the habit with healthy choices. Soon, the healthy choices became the habit. Do you know what I lost as a result? Bloating, headaches, my sweet tooth, and my soda addiction. Yes! By the end of 30 days, even the idea of picking up a soda sounded gross. You heard me right. Even after my 30 days and giving myself permission to drink diet soda again, I chose not to. Seven months later, and I still haven’t!
Sometimes that craving for aspartame still comes over me. It hits me like a lightning bolt, generally when I am hungry, extremely thirsty, or I see someone drinking it and my throat immediately dries. And it’s not just for any soda. A Coke or a 7-Up can’t satisfy that craving. That can only be quenched with that toxic, deadly aspartame. It’s terrifying. When the craving hits, I try to focus on how far I’ve come. I think about the consequences of the diet soda, and how I’m only feeding the beast. And I reach for my easy buttons instead, and the craving goes away.
If you’re ready to climb that mountain, though, I would love to help. Shoot me an email at celesteydodge [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ll tell you more about my healthy living program and what 30 days looks like. A total cleanse for the body. Don’t be afraid… this might just change your life!