I am a former sugar addict. I drank diet soda regularly from elementary school until I was in my late 30's. It was so easy to tell myself that the chemicals in the drink were no big deal, despite the mounting evidence that there are numerous health issues associated with consumption of this beverage. I loved the sweet taste in a cup of ice with a straw. It was relatively easy to limit myself to one can each day, but when it came to giving it up completely, I just couldn't find a way to do it. I was working as corporate wellness coach and a colleague would often half jokingly shame my unhealthy, hypocritical habit. I knew he was right and that I needed to take action. The final straw was the day my kids came home from school, drank my soda and hid the cans in the recycling bin. If I wouldn't let them drink it, why was it acceptable for me?
Habit changes can be difficult, but you can win.
I decided that I needed a substitute for the soda that I looked forward to drinking each day. I work in the health field and wanted something that brought additional health benefits. I chose kombucha. Kombucha is fermented tea. It has probiotic properties, low sugar and fizzy composition. No, it doesn't initially taste as sweet as diet soda but I really wanted to “walk the talk” and stop monetarily contributing to the soda industry.
Kombucha is much more expensive than soda, and it required me to make an inconvenient stop at a health food store. This made me develop an appreciation for the drink as well as my efforts in my behavior change.
It took several attempts, but I eventually only allowed myself to drink kombucha instead of soda. It was not easy or fun. I spent a lot of money on kombucha and drank 7 bottles each week for months. Eventually, I grew tired of it and switched to water. I currently consume 1-2 bottles of kombucha each week. In the end, I have saved thousands of dollars and gained priceless health benefits from ditching this seemingly innocent habit.
Behavior change is unique to each person and situation, but it is possible. It is up to you to decide what it will take to make and keep the change in your life. Download a tracking app, ask a friend for accountability, continue to question yourself and make a commitment.