...for all intents and purposes, I've quit! (Have I mentioned this at all?) I have been a habitual consumer of caramel-colored carbonated soft drinks for as long as I can remember -- it's now probably for more years than I was a smoker -- and I've all but stomped on the can and kicked it to the curb!
This is pretty huge. I really haven't talked about it much because it sort of happened without my really making a decision about it or thinking that I had to "try," and... would it stick? Is this the real thing?
I've drank it all over the years -- Coca-Cola, TAB (that was a hard loss), (I didn't really buy New Coke) (um, I guess most of you didn't, either), Diet Coke and, for the past several years, caffeine-free Diet Coke.
Except for coffee in the morning, milk with most meals, the rare glass of wine or beer and the even more rare glass of water, all I ever drank was Coke. And I drank a lot. Heh. Many a special trip was made to the store over the years because we were out of Diet Coke -- it's the only thing other than milk or half & half for coffee (or cigarettes, back in the day) that would merit such a trip.
So, lately, the past couple-few years, I've been growing more aware of... lots of Things. Food -- where it comes from, how it's grown/produced, prepared/processed. Ingredients. Quality. Flavor. Nutrition. Benefit. Chemicals. Detriment. Exercise. I bought (and rode and raced) my bike. I watched Food, Inc. I read Michael Pollan. I've learned that Food Matters.
I've been striving to do better, to stay on course, to keep it real.
I decided to cut back more on the carbonated beverages -- this started a little while before we left on vacation, so let's say in early March. A few days before departure, my perpetual 12-pack at work ran dry and I decided that I'd wait to replace it 'til we returned; I also forbade myself from "borrowing" from co-workers.
We've been back for over six weeks and I still haven't replaced it. I may have a glass at home in the evening, but ENTIRE DAYS -- a surprising number of them -- have gone by without the bubbly passing my lips. It seems a little UNreal.
Instead, I've been drinking much more water, a little more juice, the occasional smoothie, and a lot more tea (sometimes combined with juice or smoothie). Cordless electric water kettles were everywhere we stayed in the U.K. -- so convenient and easy! I bought one for each of the girls for their birthdays, and also for us.
I feel better -- and I mean that literally. There's something very different about the way my body feels to the touch -- less puffy or something, and like my skin is more attached. It's sort of freaky. I noticed it first when I'd put my hands on my hips (something I do more than I realized) -- they're still plenty soft, but a lot less fluffy. I remember a massage therapist exclaiming many years ago how "spongey" my skin felt to her, and I wonder... Well, I sort of wonder "What the hell?" I know that soda can cause bloating -- but all over? I've noticed the same changes in my face, arms, even my legs. I could also be losing a little bit of weight -- certainly not enough to account for these changes -- but I don't know for sure because my scale was pissing me off a while back (in the way it would or would not work, not because of what it said!) and now it's gone.
Anyway, these past few years have been full of changes -- little changes, big changes, intentional or otherwise -- and it looks like the trend will continue.