Gettin’ Physical, Physical

2. Go soda free for three months

I usually only buy 100 calorie cans of regular strength Coca-Cola, and I don’t drink a Coke everyday. But, one of my favorite pleasures is a bubbly fountain Coke. Recently, those all-in-one soda machines started to descend on my favorite fast food joints. Nothing tastes correct coming out of one of those. A may have ordered and paid for food at a restaurant only to turn around and be confronted with one of these machines. I left. Without my food.

I started this challenge on Ash Wednesday to coincide with Lent. Previously, I gave up soda for Lent in 2010 and 2011. This time, the entire 90 days was challenging. Within the first week, I wanted to break down and have a Coke. I rationalized that I could just start the clock over again! I have plenty of time to find 90 days before November 18! About two weeks into the challenge, I downloaded a countdown app for my iPhone and this helped tremendously. Everyday, I could see the number of days left in bright red on the front of my phone. It was encouraging. I wanted to cheat, but quickly snapped out of it because I had no desire to start the clock over again. All those previous days would be a wash!

To deal with the cravings, I started subbing 100 calorie slim cans of Perrier Pink Grapefruit. They were light, refreshing and contained the all important bubbly carbonation for my taste buds. But again, I wasn’t drinking one of these a day.

I broke the fast with a Coke out of a can at lunch during work. Very anti-climatic. I should have waited until I could enjoy a delicious fountain Coke, but those are becoming harder to find. After completing this challenge, I realized I never wanted to develop an addiction. The pangs during the 90 days were present, and I was by no means hooked to Coca-cola. I could only imagine the withdrawal actual addicts go through.

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