Welcome back, Dear Readers.
2015 is going to be my year for battling personal demons…and kicking their respective asses.
It isn’t going to be easy, but neither is making a living as a freelance writer, fighting in the ring, and writing six novels.
I figure I’ve got this.
I’ve talked about breaking this particular addiction before. Embarrassingly enough, that was in 2011, and if anything, it’s even worse today. Working in an office kept it in check, but now that I’m at home, I have almost constant access to this particular demon.
I’m talking about my addiction to Diet Pepsi.
Why am I still struggling with this? Well, there always seemed to be a bigger challenge I was facing. This gave me a built-in excuse.
“I can’t train for a fight and stop drinking Diet Pepsi at the same time. It’s too much pressure.”
“I can’t start eating healthy and stop drinking Diet Pepsi! The Diet Pepsi will be my treat.”
“I can’t write a novel in 30 days without drinking Diet Pepsi! I need that caffeine-laden, carbonated goodness to get me through the long nights of writing.”
You get the picture. There was always a reason not to stop.
Such is the way with addictions.
But each year I get more and more concerned with how much Diet Pepsi I drink. I know it’s terrible for my health, and the old excuse that it’s my only vice isn’t holding water for me anymore. What if smoking was my only vice? Would I still be so cavalier about it? In a word, no.
Since my mother was diagnosed with osteoporosis a few years ago, I became even more concerned about diet soda’s affects on my bones. I already know what it can do to the teeth. It’s scary stuff.
There are other reasons I want to quit. Here’s just a few:
- All that money adds up. It would be better spent somewhere else.
- I don’t want to be worried about finding my next “fix” when I’m traveling in another country.
- I’m tired of feeling dependent on something that comes in a can.
- It’s bad for the environment. Yes, I recycle my cans, but how much energy does that require? And what if the island we move to doesn’t have a sophisticated recycling plant?
- It’s embarrassing.
- Since I don’t have a vehicle, I often have to depend on the kindness of friends to haul my cases of Diet Pepsi home. (When it’s on sale, I go crazy!)
I’ve given up Diet Pepsi once before, but it was extremely short-lived. I got to the weekend fine, started craving it, and gave in to the suggestion that I have “just one.” That was enough to get me hooked again. Plus, I still had a lot of it in the house.
So, based on some extensive web research, here is my ultimate quitting plan.
This week, I’ll cut my consumption by 25%.
Next week means another cut–by 50%.
The week after that, I’ll have a can every other day until it’s gone. After that, no more.
I’ve made the difficult decision not to have it again after this month. Once it’s done, if I really want an occasional treat (and I do mean occasional), I’ll have a regular Coke. I’m not worried about getting addicted to Coke because of its calorie content. One of the reasons Diet Pepsi had me in its clutches for so long is the fact that it’s calorie free. And I won’t keep Coke in the house.
Yesterday was my first day, and it was easier than I thought, but I realize I’m still in baby-step mode. But I’m hopeful that, at the end of this month, I’ll be able to tell you that this particular monkey is no longer on my back. Wish me luck!
Have you given up a bad habit? How did you do it?
Thanks for reading!