We all have that one vice that we turn to after a bad day. We go to the cabinet, pantry, or fridge and grab the one item in hopes of a pick-me-up. For me, it was soda. Coke was the ex-boyfriend I couldn’t seem to shake no matter how hard I tried. I had myself convinced that I didn’t just want soda, I needed it. According to numerous studies, the added sugar in soda and other heavily processed foods can be as addicting as the nicotine in cigarettes. I constantly craved the bubbly sensation and satisfying flavor that soda gave me.
Does this sound familiar? Maybe your vice is cookies or McDonald’s chicken nuggets. Whatever that addiction may be, have no fear. I found a way to get over my “love” for soda and move on to a much healthier soda-free life. Just like that ex-boyfriend who you think you love, those emotions are solely a result of extreme infatuation and you are capable of leaving them in the past.
I decided to give up soda for the length of a whole basketball season during my junior year of college. I knew my performance on the court could improve if I rid my body of sugary beverages and fueled it properly, so I considered giving up soda as a commitment to better myself and my team. My teammates mattered more to me than anything, so going back on my word and drinking soda during the season meant breaking a promise to them. My determination to keep my pact helped me refrain from my vice over the course of basketball season. It only takes 21 days to build a habit or eliminate one, and basketball season lasted over four months. By the end of it, my desire for soda was gone.
Think of something or someone that matters to you. Is there a food or an unhealthy habit that is holding you back from being a better runner, soccer player, or an overall healthier person? Giving up soda in order to be a better basketball player for myself and my team was the best decision I ever made. Getting rid of my worst habit led to more and more healthy choices. Saying goodbye to soda helped me reach the amazing feat of losing thirty pounds, but it was the less visible changes that pleased me the most. I no longer dread the sugar-rush or crash that came with each bottle of soda I consumed. My cholesterol levels are normal, despite being on the high side beforehand. Lastly, my sleep patterns are much more consistent and I wake up each day ready to chase my goals.
Don’t let anything hold you back from being the strongest version of yourself.
Ready to make a change? You CAN do it!