My Soda Addiction is Slowly Killing Me

Let me introduce you to my MUG. It's looking pretty worn, dinged up and well used. It's a 44 oz mug that holds my addiction.

I have been giving this a lot of thought this past month and feel like I need to vocalize those thoughts to no on in particular, but maybe to help me sort out a bit of how I'm feeling.

First off, I have been a Dr. Pepper drinker for years and years. Ever since I discovered it in my youth, to when I was pregnant with my son and it was the only thing that settled my stomach (that and Pringles potato chips). I drink a mug full every day with the exception of Sundays and some days I make up for it by hitting 7-eleven twice. So out of 365, I've probably averages one mug full of my addiction every day. I figured out it as only about 550 calories...but that adds up. Just a mere 189,800 calories a year...not to mention that averages out to about $383.25 in refills. Now this is even counting the number of drinks I order at restaurants or cans full I drink when camping...I'm talking about just my mug.

Yes, I know you're out there saying, "why don't you drink diet Dr. Pepper?" Well because, I figured it's  a lose-lose either way...sugar vs aspertain. But why now, why even bother writing a post titled "My soda addiction is slowly killing me"?

Because I've been challenged to quit the stuff, and I know I can. I've done it a few times. But then I come back to it and sometimes I drink even more. The other reason why...I can FEEL IT making me fat, tired, bloated...sometimes it upsets my stomach at the end of the day and of course it's partially to blame for me being over-weight.

I know, I know...all you non-soda drinkers are saying, "yep, that's why I've been telling everyone for years." Or you're part of the group saying, "I stopped drinking soda years ago and never looked back."

Well I'm week, I love the TASTE of it so much and if you find the right place to get the right mix of carbonation, syrup, sugar and water it is Heavenly (Corner 22, Bountiful, Utah....best darn mix EVER). Oh and I don't like it in the bottle or can...I drink a lot less, it's the COLD, ice filled much of Dr. Pepper that I love.

But recently I've noticed my ankles swelling. After some research and self diagnosis I came to the conclusion that the soda is not helping. I have honestly always prided myself on my small ankles, even when my weight is out of control and I can barely paint my toe nails because my stomach is in the way. But with this recent development I'm FREAKING out. I love my ankles it's the last part of me I consider "skinny." And they're leaving me...what if the swelling is just fat settling down there because the sugar from my soda has no where else to go??

So there then the taste and that momentary rush of goodness at the first sip...I KNOW my body is saying in slow ways, please stop killing me. Help me recover and I promise you that you can recover from this addiction. I know it's not drugs, alcohol or prescription medication...but an addition is an addiction and I've never heard of a "positive" or "good" addiction, have you?

What's my plan? 
 I "want" to quit, but I'm afraid I will not stick with it...again. I will miss they yumminess in that can and sometimes I'm okay "drinking" my calories. But I want my ankles back and I want to stop feeling BAD for something that only tastes good for a minute.

A friend recently sent this to me...no trying to be mean, but because she genuinely cares about my health. She's a nutritionist and I figured knows what she's talking about:

What happens after you drink one can of caffeinated soda pop

  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
  • 60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • 60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
  • 60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth. 
  • So there you have it, an avalanche of destruction in a single can. Imagine drinking this day after day, week after week. Stick to water, real juice from fresh squeezed fruit, and tea without sweetener.


Michelle said...

I need to stop drinking pop all together too. I limit myself to one can a day.. most times successful (except for lately). Sometimes I need that caffeine boost. I don't drink/like coffee or tea. Maybe we can help each other. :)

huntla1 said...

I wish you luck and know that if you are ready that you can do it. You can't doubt yourself though. If you do, you leave that door just a little bit open and soon you will run blazing through it looking for you next fix.

You can do it! Just do it!

Randi said...

I had to do this back in May because I was diagnosed with an ulcer. It was hard but I do want to live pain free so I stopped. For me the hardest was the lack of caffine and the headache from it. Good luck on this and you can do it!

Janet said...

I am totally with you on this... I am not way over weight but since 6 kids and I can tell I have too much tummy and top of thighs as well. I have tried stopping before but I really do love the taste and drink it every third day and when I do not I get horrendous headaches. I also go through stages of less and more. I love to have one when we eat out and value meals get me with the drink as well. I do not have other vices but this is definitely one. Keep me posted maybe we can encourage each other. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" God bless!

KristyLee said...

Just want you to know that I am proud of you for not drinking that crap any more! Stay your course, you know it really is killing you!! You go girl!

Marcie said...

I have complete confidence in you Lori!!! You always come out on top when faced with a challenge! My weakness was diet coke! I have to admit that I do have one ocassionally, but when I do, it's a treat. Soda in general is just NOT good for you...PERIOD! I'm right there with you cheering you on girl!! You can do this thing...YOU CAN!!!

Unknown said...

Lori - you CAN do it. I quit smoking after forty years {and we all know how bad that is for you} but what to remember .. one day at a time; one hour at a time; find things to take your mind off your addiction -- want a pop; do a puzzle {I found it better to do something new versus something I used to do while "drinking my pop"}. Good luck -- you CAN do this -- I promise!

Kim said...

You go girl! You can do it!!! Maye you can try slicing some oranges into water for something a little different. It's not the same, but it can help, and different it good. Just keep talking your way through it, and post when you are having a hard time. We are all here for each other to help when we need it. The first few days are the hardest, and remember it's just headgames, and you are stronger than that. Hang in there. :)

christi said...

i use to work in an office and would buy diet coke by the case and store it behind my door. it was not unusual for me to drink 6 or more cans at work. back in my 20's i noticed if i drank soda everyday i would gain weight each week, then have to dance it off on the weekends, i also noticed if i drank water or unsweet tea i didn't gain weight, so i gave up regular coke. i know aspertane or whatever they use isn't good either. in my 40's i said woa, that is just too much soda, even if it not sugar there is alot of other stuff in it. i, too noticed i no longer had skinny ankles. so i have slowly weaned myself down to one can a day. i like unsweet tea so that is no biggie for me. i like water and sometimes i will get a 32 oz glass of icewater and throw in a pack of crystal light or something just so it has some flavor. another thing i found out is my ankles were holding fluids because my blood pressure was rising. so, check with your dr. to see what the ankle thing is to make sure it's not something besides all the sugar. be ready to be mean with out caffine for awhile and go for it. pick a day or special occasion to treat yourself to a dr. pepper. that way your not cheating ... it's a planned thing. go girl!

Marie said...

I, too, am addicted to Dr. Pepper! I, too, have stopped for a time, but always come back. I, too, need to quit! Let's encourage one another!

Tammy said...

I too, am addicted. It's Diet Dr. Pepper for me. I have allergies and my throat itches. The burn of the carbanated liquid the first thing in the morning is instant relief and I love the taste. I kicked cigarettes 22 years ago, but this my friends is just as strong.

Mel said...

For me it's Coke Zero. Love it. But it's that aweful aspartame that makes my husband cringe everytime I order one. I also love Perrier or "sparkling water". Well, we recently bought one of those soda makers. Love it!! One of the syrups they make is comprable to Coke Zero and it satisfies me. AND it's sweetened with Splenda. No aspartame or phenylaline. When I need a fix I just fill up a bottle with filtered water, carbonate it, add the syrup of choice and I'm good! And I can also make my "Perrier" drinks! I know they make a diet Dr.Pete syrup. Maybe you would like the taste and then you don't have to completely give it up. Just an idea. Just stay focused on the goal. You'll do great! I'm rootin' for ya!

Auntie Em said...

It's scary when you read what the sugary drink does to your system. I now limit myself to a small glass of a clear pop, like Sprite, to eliminate caffeine, but to cut down further I like to have some icy water and I add a slice of lemon or an orange. Even adding a teaspoon of sugar to this if it helps is way less sugar than what is in a can of pop. Stick with it. It's going to take a while to get rid of the craving for the caffeine and sweeteners but your ankles will thank you.

Unknown said...

You an me both my dear...I keep saying I should cut the DP from my life all together, ban myself from 7eleven, and not be allowed to order anything but water at restaurants...but then I have that "kind of day" with the kiddos, and I just can't help but chug 'er down!
Is there a DP anonymous? If not, there should be!

Lady J said...

Wow! Thanks for providing this...I've been urging my husband to cut out soda. I know how hard it is, I was a two-big-gulps-a-day gal in college. Now, I have my coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day. It helps that our drinking water tastes great! Good luck and don't give up!

Anonymous said...

I have osteoarthritis and wonder if pop contributes to my aches and pain.

Featured Post

Inspired by Pinterest: Easter Project Round Up

I am so excited to share some of my favorite Easter craft ideas. I've linked to the original blog post that features the video that show...