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Giving Up Soda Pop (For Good This Time)

Last week, I embarked on a self-bettering journey. I decided to finally give up that sugary, carbonated beverage that my tongue so craves every day. Drinking soda, or as we Michiganders call it, “pop,” was my ultimate vice. Some people only drink pop every once in a while, but for me, it is an actual addiction. I’ve even joked about joining Pop-oholic Anonymous meetings. I truly would consider joining if such a thing existed.

I’ve tried giving up pop on a number of occasions when I was younger, but it never stuck. Eventually, I just gave up trying altogether.

“Why even try?” I thought. “I’ll just end up giving in as usual.”

Then last week, I made an impulse decision to try again. I had no stressful events coming up, so I figured I might be less likely to give in to my soda pop cravings. If you’re anything like me, then you tend to give in to your temptations more when you’re stressed out. Normally after (and during) a long day of work, I couldn’t help but crack open a cold, fizzy can of pop. However, because I had no foreseeable stressors that week, I figured it might be easier for me to make an attempt to quit drinking pop.

One Week Without Pop

I started last Wednesday. Since then, the “diet” has mostly made me feel sleepy and out of it. On the third day, I actually developed flu-like symptoms. The entire day I was feeling cold, experiencing intense bouts of chills, even though the temperature in my house was set to higher than it usually is. This only lasted for a day. I still insist that the chills were withdrawal symptoms, but no medical diagnosis has been made so I'm unable to prove it.

On the fourth day of the road to a soda-less life, I was especially irritable. I found myself snapping at everyone and everything. I figured it was best to try and stay away from most people that day.

On the seventh day of my saga, I was dead tired, even after copious amounts of sleep. Gulping down my latte helped for a few hours, but the jolt from the caffeine didn’t last much longer. My grogginess and depression were overwhelming to the point where my mind was foggy and I had trouble concentrating on anything.

“You can't cave,” I thought. “You've made it a week already. Just a little bit longer and it will get easier.”

I didn't cave... and today was a little bit easier.

How I've Managed to Persevere

Some of my family and friends thought that my symptoms would be over by now, but I knew better. Giving up anything you’re addicted to is hard, and I was fully expecting to endure a rough few months ahead. Here's how I've been hanging in there:

– I've replaced my regular intake of soda pop with flavored water. If you enjoy piña coladas as much as I do, you might like Sparkling Ice's Coconut Pineapple flavored beverage. The refreshing drink has no calories or sugar, and is full of antioxidants and vitamins. Best of all, it's fizzy like soda pop! That's just one healthy alternative you can try.

– Whenever I feel too groggy like I can't make it through the day without a long nap, I drink a latte. I try to limit my coffee intake as is, but it's helpful to drink coffee or tea if you start to experience caffeine withdrawal headaches.

– I've also been drinking a ton of plain water (yuck). Although I've never enjoyed the taste of it, it's helping me to stay refreshed throughout the day.

Throughout my venture, I've received tips from my friends and acquaintances about how they were able to nix soda pop altogether. If you're looking to give up an unhealthy habit, I'd highly recommend seeking support from your friends and family members. It's as simple as making a Facebook announcement that you're giving up soda pop (like I did). Then you watch the likes and encouraging comments roll in and you feel so much more motivated to try your best. You would be disappointed with yourself if you backed out now, so keep going.

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