For the last couple of years, I’ve gone on these several week-long spurts of giving up soda. When I say soda, within this blog post, I’m referring mainly to Coca Cola. I’ve always been a huge Coke drinker. We’re talking 4 to 5 a day, on a light day. When I say I drank Coke like it was going out of style, I mean I D R A N K the dang Coke, boys. 20oz. 6 pack was nothing to blow through. I think you get the picture, maybe can even relate.
I’ve proven to myself that I can stop anytime I want. I could give it up cold turkey and go a week or two without my caffeine of choice. I had it all under control, my friends. Now, even though I proved to myself that I could give up these drinks at the drop of a hat, the longest I ever went was a month. Four weeks is the length of time it takes to break through the withdrawal symptoms – in my experience anyways. The first week was tired and laziness. Second week was headaches and concentration issues. Third week, I could kill a person with my bare hands just for breathing near me. Halfway through the 4th week, I woke up and felt … amazing. It was like a boulder had been lifted off my shoulders.
Despite all this, I’d still order a Coke in a restaurant, pop open a 20oz at lunch time at home, and so on because, hey, I was in control here. I was weak, I still wanted to prove that I could control my cravings. That said, I sit here tonight and type that I haven’t drank a cola in about 3 to 4 months. What happened? Well, I’m not sure of all the medical terminology, but here’s what I can explain to you in my best of layman’s terms.
There came a point 4-5 months ago when I experienced severe constipation, horrific pain in my groin and up into my stomach, belly and up into my chest. My acid reflux was out of control and nothing could help it. I didn’t link anything directly to the cola at the time, but I read that constipation could be caused by dehydration. So I drank nothing but water for about a week, and my symptoms let up. As it let up, I began drinking cola again, and the horrible pain flared back up, the constipation came back, etc. It was a see-saw of back and forth pain. It took me about 2 weeks to associate the Coke’s to my issues.
So I quit drinking Coke’s about 4 months ago. I’ve had no more issues. I’m not sure what finally brought on this series of pains and bowel problems, but in the end, it brought about a change for the better. My mom bought my lunch the other day and ordered a Coke with it. I took one sip and nearly gagged it was so nasty. Water is my drink of choice, even in restaurants, but the occasional sweet tea graces my gullet once in awhile. I’m also fond of hot cocoa during these cold winter days. Since being sick the last week or two, I’ve also found out chamomile honey vanilla tea, brewed hot, is awesome for your throat and to ease your cough for a few hours. Just a quick tip 😉
Where was I? Oh yeah!
Turns out, there’s no better way to drop caffeinated beverages like having severe pain wrack your body to the point that you’re curled up in the fetal position and unable to squeeze so much as a rabbit pellet out of your rear. Hopefully, you never have to experience that kind of encouragement, but only if you take the steps now to end those bad habits, whatever they may be.
Have you broken a bad habit? How’d that go for ya? I’m currently working on eliminating several more, but they’re taking a bit longer. We’ll discuss those another day, maybe.