I’ve been a huge drinker of soda (or “pop” as we call it back home) all my life. Mello Yello was the first and only addiction in my life…with the possible exception of sex and pie. Mmmmmm, sex and pie!
[ahem] Anyway, I’d like to take you back to August 1st, 2008. I was watching television and having a Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper…maybe my second in 20 minutes or so, and my drink just tasted too rich. It wasn’t that this particular can of Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper was richer than any other, I just noticed it more clearly. It wasn’t just that brand, either. I had noticed the same deal with my cherished Mountain Dew. Too thick.
So I decided to take a break. I didn’t have any sort of timeline in mind, but I just stopped drinking it. I started drinking a lot of that Propel powder to put in your water to give it flavor and it was working out just fine. Cut to the last day of August. I had gone a full month without. I had been out for a bike ride in Santa Monica and it hit me that I could really go for a root beer float. “What the heck?” I thought to myself. I’d been good, so I got one on the Promenade. After my treat I reflected on the past month. It was actually pretty easy to go without Mtn. Dew, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi and all their carbonated friends. After about 10 minutes of actually THINKING about it, I decided to go for a year. I had 3 cans of Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper in the fridge and decided to chug them, but halfway into my second one I had to stop. Even after abstaining for a month that stuff was too rich. I tossed the rest and began my soda free journey. After a couple of months I didn’t even need the Propel anymore. Straight water would make a fine beverage whenever I needed it. When I would go out to eat with friends, if I was feeling CRAZY I would get an Arnold Palmer. It’s interesting how different Iced Tea and Lemonade can taste from restaurant to restaurant.
Upon hearing of my self imposed challenge, people ask me if I feel any better. The answer is simple: nah. I feel the same. I HAVE lost about 25 pounds, but most of that was in my four months of depression after my wife left me [so that really doesn't count - and I'm eating reasonably healthy again so no worries, kids!].
The big question for me is what am I going to do on September 1st? Am I going to dive right back in there and start chugging away? Or will I keep riding this wave of healthiness indefinitely? I honestly don’t know the answer, but if I was a betting man I’d put 20 bucks on me enjoying a nice root beer float again…and I’ll make sure it’s A&W this time [sorry, Barq's, you just aren't the same].