I Need Your Help

For years, I’ve been of the camp that if you consume everything you love in moderation, you’ll be happier and to some extent a healthier version of yourself.  I’ve been completely deluding myself, however, on what moderation means when it comes to one thing {well maybe a few things, but one thing in particular} diet coke {or pepsi, but DC is much more prevalent}


i probably had 3 of those delicious beauties {the drink not the burger} at this post half marathon lunch

My diet soda consumption has never been cause for {my} alarm but in the back of my mind I know it’s not any good for me.  And not the whole it’s killing you, it’s not killing you debate that’s currently going on on the internet — though I’d be lying if I told you that didn’t get me thinking about the quantity of soda I consume — but really, if I’m trying to get faster and and better at running, it’s important to put in the best fuel right?  And, above photo notwithstanding, that means cutting down my approximate 70-90 floz per day {yes you read that right} of soda to maybe maybe 12 oz per week.

That’s where you come in.

I’ve thought a lot about what motivates me to do anything and, to a great extent, it really is all the wonderful, inspirational people I’ve met online.  Here are some ways I think you could help:

  1. Tell me what you did to give up soda.  I know so many of you that have and I want to know the gory details of how it was done.  Lay it all out there.  Tell me about your new, go to drinks.  How did you make them {yes, I’m looking at YOU sparkling water} more palatable?
  2. Check in with me once a week.  On Fridays I’ll update you with {shameful} pictures of my soda consumption for the week.  Feel free to shame me appropriately.
  3. Help me devise an accountability system.  I’ve literally tried everything.  The problem with me and soda is that I’m so willful but it’s so accessible.  It’s like crack to me, I’ll give up anything to get to it when I want it.  Some fresh perspectives about things I could gain or lose with my new found soda freedom are welcome!

Of course, I’m open to any suggestions, support, encouragement or tough love you’ve got — so lay it on me.

Have you tried to give up one of your true, liquid loves?

26 thoughts on “I Need Your Help

  1. Gina says:

    I have the same problem, Lauren! I’ve been trying to cut down on the diet Pepsi, but I am so addicted to it. I get a headache if I don’t drink it, and a headache when I have too much!! I can’t wait to see what kind of advice you get/how you do it because i haven’t been able to quit the carbonated deliciousness yet.

  2. chocolaterunnergirl says:

    I have full faith that you CAN overcome this soda drinking problem!!
    I’ve never really had an issue since I was rarely allowed to drink it growing up, and we weren’t allowed as an athlete in college (I’m probably the only one who followed that rule!)
    I am a big sparkling water fan, AND I helped the hubs break his addiction!!
    So that being said, I will be checking in with you!! Xo

  3. nlpendleton says:

    Okay, my only piece of advice (am I qualified to give advice?) is to not go cold turkey. Dropping down right away to 12 oz. a week feels a little aggressive. Then again, I’m in the “I don’t deprive myself” group as well…but that’s my only thought. Maybe start out with dropping to 36 oz. / week and then go down more from there! 🙂 Proud of you!

    • lnrbailey says:

      NP — you are qualified because I love you (this also transfer to other necessary qualifications: operating motorized scooters, political consultations, etc). I think you’re right that 32 floz might be aggressive seeing as how yesterday I had already consumed about 100 floz whoops 🙂

  4. Sara @ Embrace My Space says:

    If you must know what helped me kick the habit, it was moving to the suburbs a.k.a. chain restaurant hell. We don’t go out to eat nearly as much as we used to and I don’t like pop at home. It doesn’t have that same effervescence that makes fountain pop SO appealing to me. The big killer for me was lunch time. I used to go out to lunch a lot when I lived in the city. I’d always get a healthy lunch but add on the fountain drink. Maybe make it about cost? If you have your bottle of water with you then you already have a drink – why spend an extra $2-$3 on the pop? You’d really have to trick yourself into that one! I think seltzer water with a squeeze of lemon and lime is a great substitute as well. When I’m out to eat I usually do that if I want something fizzy. Or I skip the fizz and go directly for booze 😉

    • lnrbailey says:

      Sar — I read this while eating my little kid lunch and spit PB&J all over my keyboard. It was awesome. Just what I needed. The problem is my job provides all the soda I can drink for the small price of working here so it’s harder to the $ thing during the day. This will probably be useful when we ARE out because as you’ve seen I can put away fountain DC like no one’s business.

  5. jbslidewhich says:

    I have to be honest, I went cold turkey and kicked caffeine as a whole in 2010 because my DC addiction was so out of control. I don’t think I could have eased out of it. There were headaches for about 3 days, but after that things were so much better.

    Flavored fizzy water is what helped me most, like La Croix (not sugary sweet, just some flavor.) Also, caffeine-free tea. After about a year, I added green tea back in. Given recent circumstances, one cup of coffee in the morning because the tea wasn’t cutting it. But really, I only drink a can of Coke MAYBE every 2-3 weeks now. I just don’t want it any more.

  6. Mandy says:

    I just sort of quit. Maybe one every other day, every couple days, down to none. When water gets boring throw in a lemon or cucumbers or strawberries. I will drink a small glass when I want some pop- coffee cup size. I had a diet Pepsi for the first time since Big Sur & it made my heart race— no more. You can do it! 😊

  7. Jenny says:

    You can do it! I gave up soda in high school and haven’t looked back since. I actually gave up soda for Lent one year and I honestly think knowing I “couldn’t” (shouldn’t) drink soda for 40 days is what helped me kick my habit. Think of it as training for a race. In order to be fit for a race that is weeks away, you need to run and be healthy in the weeks leading to it. I definitely suggest a mental time frame of when you can’t drink soda (say for the next 3 weeks). The first few days will be the worst, but the days following won’t be so bad. At the end of that time frame, treat yourself to a soda, it probably won’t taste the same or you’ll be a better judge of when to consume a soda.

    Oh and remember to reward yourself! Made it a few days without a sip? Buy yourself a something special! Good luck! You got this!

    • lnrbailey says:

      Jenny — that was a very thoughtful response. Thank you. I love the time bound aspect which I’m going to do. I also love the idea of having other treats, which I will happily brainstorm this evening 🙂

  8. Jenereesa @ ScootaDoot says:

    You can do this! I recently gave up drinking coffee because… well, I realized that I didn’t really need it. I was doing it out of habit and I didn’t even necessarily LIKE it that much. So I cut it out. As for soda, I occasionally have it when I’m out for lunch but I stick with mostly water and lime (my favorite!). I have the utmost faith in you! And if you need a pep talk, tweet me. 🙂

  9. Brittany says:

    I, too, am a DC addict. I looooooveeeee it. But, since I refuse to cut out my AM java, and want to get into the habit of only consuming one caffeinated beverage per day, I’ve been trying to cut back. La Croix is delicious, but it can be pricey. Schweppes makes naturally flavored seltzer (try black cherry!) and Dasani just release a line of canned, flavored sparkling water. I like cans because the big bottles go flat before I can finish them.

    I often just need that “fizzy bubbly slightly sweet” when I’m thirsty, so seltzer works. But I’m not going to fool myself into thinking I’ll never have diet soda, EVER. I mean, I work next to Burgatory, and nothing goes better with a burger and fries!

    • lnrbailey says:

      Completely agree. I think I need to go off of it totally for 30 days and then allow myself 1 soda once and a while 🙂

  10. Running Bear says:

    Late to the commenting game here, but here goes. I used to drink lots of diet coke, now barely any. I slowly weaned rather than cold turkey. I entered in with intentions of reducing, not eliminating, but now I’ve essentially eliminated and have not missed it.

    Biggest thing was frugality. My wife helped me here quite a bit, she’s way more frugal than I am and she loves water. While diet cokes with free refills are not too too costly, they do add up. So I switched to water. Usually with a lemon wedge if available.

    Sorry, no real secret or magic solution, but over time I just drank less and less until it was gone. Sometimes water feels too boring, and I kinda have to yell at myself to get over being bored and just drink it.

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