Thursday, November 17, 2005

Love for Soda Loses its Fizz, Goes Flat

File this post under "Lifestyles" or "Narcissism: PP-style." This post has absolutely no theological content, and, doubtless, absolutely no substance. Read only if you're really bored with your life or are in prison trying to pass the time off a 30-year sentence.

Most people have cravings for something, whether it be power, sex, money, the love of others, certain foods, alcohol, etc.

I've never "needed" coffee, tea, booze, power, etc.

My vice, if we ignore hammy and schtickish blog entires, is soda pop. I grew up with it. The fizz is good. The carbonation is even better. I'm in my thirties, and I still get excited to reach into the fridge and pull out a soda.

Now fortunately I have chugged diet soda for the last decade or so. I find non-diet soda to be too sweet for my taste. Diet Coke with Lime has been the drug that gives me my high for the last few years.

Anyway, where is this post going? Well, a friend challenged me to quit soda cold turkey. I should be drinking water instead. And, the friend is correct. She knows of what she speaks. Given that she always saw me with a soda, she thought that, whether it be the caffeine and the sugar, I was mildly addicted to it.

The response: I can quit anytime I want to. Surely, this is the very first time that such a reply has been offered to a charge of addiction.

So, last week, I decided to drink nothing but water for a month. And, I resolved to phase soda pop out of the life.

So, on day 6 of the Great Pedantic Protestant Soda Prohibition [GPPSP], here are some interesting tidbits:

(i) Headaches off and on for the last three days, though today's headache was much more mild and gentle. My body does not appreciate sudden changes in chemistry.

(ii) I gained 10 lbs of water weight in 1.5 days of drinking water and not soda. Now I'm not some huge guy, so that is a lot of weight. The body must have been severly dehydrated.

(iii) In the same respect, I lost 7 lbs of that water in the last two days. BTW --- I ate the same as I had done all of the other days.

(iv) I don't feel thirsty all of the time, but am --- what's the word? --- well-watered. [Hmmm...that makes me sound like a dog or a plant.]

(v) On the other hand, the sleeping schedule has been thrown for a loop. But this could be due to bi-daily workouts at the gym taking their toll after a month too.

(vi) At a friend's place [Dear ol' Dave's place to be exact] on Day 2, I watched DoD chug down a Cherry Coke while I just sat there. Somehow, I didn't cheap-shot DoD and wrest the soda from his hands. Or, to be more civilized, I didn't walk to his fridge and yank out a Cherry Coke of my own. But now I know how the dog feels when it watches humans eat human-food.

The big thing is this: after 5-6 days, while the thought of a soda pop brings the same pleasant anticipatory thoughts as does, say, ravaging a Chinese Buffet with Frank Turk, the urge or craving is mostly gone. Now if God commanded me to down a Cherry Coke for my salvation, I'd certainly do so, but, to tell you the truth, water gets the job done.

The problem is that water is rather boring, vanilla, bland, blase, homebody-ish. Yet it gets the job done. So, after six days, the GPPSP seems to be mostly successful. When the headaches stop completely we'll declare it a raving success. But, what happens when water gets really boring?

Another problem is that everybody I know chugs down the cola. I can relate. Soda pop tastes good, and it has that really nice good burn as it goes down the back of the throat.

But, quoting somebody from the Betty Ford clinic, we just take one day at a time and try to keep busy, and eventually, my almost-dead love for soda pop will finally die, so we hope, a long-deserved death.

Now, I have no idea what it is like for alcoholics. I've never been drunk in my life. I don't even like alcohol, though a wine cooler or a beer is fine at just the right time. [I have no hangups with alcohol, btw. It just isn't my sauce.] Certainly, I'm not wearing week old clothes, rolling in the gutter, with a bottle of Mr Pibb in a brown paper bag. Yet, I'd imagine that for alcoholics who want to kick the sauce, they'd have a much harder time of it.

Oh well, those are today's profound thoughts. Don't let them blow your mind.


Blogger Shamgar said...

I went through something similar about five or six years ago. Only I was clearly addicted to caffeinne. My wife challenged me on it, repeatedly and I ignored her. I was drinking Mountain dew (my drug of choice) for breakfast, and sufficiently throughout the day to finish off at least a six pack every day of the stuff.

Eventually God opened my eyes to the truth of it, in His usual manner. (Through debate with someone else, wherein I usually end up taking a position that defeats me on some point, more so than whoever I'm talking to).

It was one of the hardest things I've ever done giving it up. I went cold turkey after being convicted of that little problem. I had raging headaches, the shakes, and a temper and attitude to beat all. My wife almost went to stay with her family for a week while I worked through it.

I haven't touched a mountain dew since. Not that I haven't desired to drink one, especially when some of the new versions came out, but I never succumbed. Primarily because I know what would happen.

See, I didn't give up soda entirely. I just stopped abusing caffeinne. I drink a lot more water, and when I need something more flavorful I drink lemonade or tea. However I do still drink a few sodas a month on average. Usually caffeinne free pepsi, or Sierra Mist (pepsi's sprite-alike, which is also caffeinne free). I have drank some caffinated sodas since, like straight pepsi, or (big weakness) vanilla pepsi, but I won't even drink a whole can. More than half a can and I'm guaranteed a raging headache later on. It's like a built-in defense against temptation. :-)

Anyway, congratulations on kicking the habit.

Friday, November 18, 2005 4:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Diane said...

Congratulations on kicking the soda habit (and losing 7 of the water weight pounds)!

Friday, November 18, 2005 6:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Ree said...

I generally drink a Diet Coke (or sometimes 2) per day myself, (although I can't tell the difference between the caffeinated and the caffiene free, and I'd just as soon have one as the other). For me, the pleasure is in the burn and the sweetness. I found that a really good substitute, though, without the chemicals is carbonated water with flavored essences. Trader Joe's has individual serving size bottles for relatively cheap, and I went through a phase for a while where I was craving those more than the Diet Cokes. You might want to give them a try.

Friday, November 18, 2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

Shamgar --- been there, done that with Mountain Dew. When I was writing my textbook a few years back I'd go through 3-4 cans per sitting, and I'd go to bed with the heartrate racing.

The sugar/caffeine withdrawals I've experienced are probably quite minor compared with what you describe. I'm not sure the "habit" [that sounds so hard-core] is totally kicked. I still have a lust for Cherry Coke and Diet Coke with Lime, but, having been on the wagon for 6 days now, it is easier to stay on than to succumb.

As for having just a little soda, I seem to have this all-or-nothing trait. I believe that if I order one soda, I'll probably go wild.

Ree --- perhaps I'll try that. The goal is to have nothing but water for, say, a month. The kidneys must be wondering what is going on.

Friday, November 18, 2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Der Fuersprecher said...

Glad to hear that you're drinking no soda and more water! I've done something similar the last few months (although I just cut back on the amount of soda, switched completely to non-caf when I do drink it, and I drink quite a bit more water throughout the day).

I'd also recommend taking both a multivitamin along with a 1000mg tablet of Vitamin C every morning + 1000mg of Vitamin C before bedtime as well (if you're not already taking vitamins i.e.).

Friday, November 18, 2005 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

Don't worry Der F. I'm popping the vitamins too.

BTW, I wish adults had Flintstone vitamins. Those tasted good. Adult vitamins taste like wet cardboard.

Saturday, November 19, 2005 12:24:00 PM  

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