It’s a standing joke with James and I that one of the first impressions he had of me was that I drank A LOT of diet drinks and he was right. He came to pick me up for our first date and before I even opened the door to him he had spotted my recycling box over flowing with cans of the offending drink.
I’m not really sure how my addiction, yes I really do think it was an addiction, started. My memories of loving sugary fizzy drinks goes right back. They were always a treat, sipping cherryade made in the soda stream through a straw, brings back happy childhood memories of giggling with friends.
And I even once laughed some coke out of my nose in front of a boy I though was cute and watched as it carried on fizzing between us on the table. You would think that would have been a turning point, but oh no!
As an adult my addiction swapped to diet, ever aware of the calories I was consuming I turned to the ‘safer’ version! I tried cutting down and would inevitably end up back in the cycle of drinking too many cans and even hiding the evidence. “Oh I only drank two cans today’ I would say in my defence. But really it would often be the first thing I drank.
I would crave that sweet, fizzy coldness to the point it would affect my mood. It’s the caffeine I would tell myself, but even coffee didn’t quite hit the spot.
I’m not really sure what it was in the end that prompted me to go cold turkey, but at some point early this summer I did. And I have now be clean of diet fizzy drinks for 4 months! I do feel better for it too, even if it is just the knowledge that I stuck to my guns on something and proved I have willpower.
So how did I do it?
Well, I researched breaking addiction habits, yep really! I thought about what it was that I enjoyed about the drinks and how they made me feel. I like the cold, fizziness, the hit of caffeine and that it feels like a treat.
I also realised that I was rewarding myself with a can!
Cleaned that toilet, yep have a can. Sent some email replies, oh you deserve a treat now!
This knowledge is what helped me break the cycle and I prepared for it!
I bought myself fizzy water and decided my treat drink would be a cold coffee (it was during the never-ending heatwave we were having) it might well be a hot chocolate now. I got rid of ALL temptation and awoke ready to change my life!
So I swapped to drinking fizzy water and when I felt myself craving a diet drink, usually early afternoon, I would allow myself a cold coffee.
The first few days were relatively easy, fired on by a desire to change and a huge amount of willpower. Then I hit a bit of a slump about 3/4 days in. I missed my old friend, my companion, it really did feel a bit like a break up. Dramatic I know but I started questioning my reasons behind why I was doing this.
We all know the ‘possible’ health risks with drinking diet drinks and the added chemicals, but I also wanted to see if it helped with my bloating and my body holding onto those few extra pounds. So I made myself carry on to see if there was a difference.
When I hit the 10 day mark it was a real shock that I had actually managed to do it and that was the real turning point. It became something that I didn’t want to go back on any longer. I didn’t want to undo the hard work of switching my habits and I really didn’t want to give in.
About a month after quitting I had a sip of a diet drink from one of my eldest at a McDonald’s treat and realised I no longer liked the taste. Handed it back and thought to myself. You’ve beaten it! it was around this time that I also stopped needed to cold coffee treat fix mid afternoon.
And now I wonder if I ever really did like the taste of the diet versions at all or whether I just thought I did?!