I meant to post this a week ago, but the writing didn’t come together. It still isn’t coming together well, and maybe it’s just not the earth-shattering story I envisioned it being. Anyhoo, I’m happy to say I went forty-six days without my beloved, my Coca-Cola. I made it. Giving up Coke (and all soda) for Lent didn’t have a big spiritual connection to the season, but gave me a designated time period to try. I was side by side with others who had opted to give up a vice, and happily, we helped each other rather than enable each other.
I anticipated the first few days being the worst, when in retrospect, they weren’t that difficult. Surprisingly it was more difficult at the end, because those days were very stressful for a variety of reasons. BUT….I held out. I had a glass of Coke with the big Easter meal. I had an internal debate about whether or not I should. What if I had one glass and I was back where I started? I did it anyway. It didn’t taste good. I felt horrible after drinking it. I had a headache from the caffeine. It made me thirsty. The appeal was gone. It didn’t love me anymore. And I was free.
I found the caffeine headache a little ironic. I would get terrible withdrawal headaches before, and now consuming it gave me one. I would wash down ibuprofen with Coke as a headache remedy. I have always been caffeine sensitive, and downing dozens of ounces of Coke per day didn’t change that. As I stated here, the benefits of this self denial are plentiful. Besides the glass I had on Easter, I had one the following day to try to alleviate the ongoing headache. It didn’t work and still didn’t taste right. It tasted fake. I’m sticking to water and tea.
I took a 20 ounce bottle and ran the numbers. Suppose I drank a 20 ounce bottle every day, at $1.59 per bottle, over those 46 days:
–I saved over $73.
–I avoided over 11,000 calories
–and nearly 3500 mg of sodium
–and over 2600 mg of caffeine
–and nearly 3000 g of sugar (in the form of HFCS).
These numbers are conservative. Most days (if I’m honest) I would have at least 36 ounces, or even an entire 1.25 L bottle. Big improvement.