Monday, December 30, 2013

I kicked my 14 year addiction...

Let me preface this by saying this post is long. It contains a bit TMI and there are no pictures. I still hope you read it though because it's good information!

For people who have been living in a cave, or for those who just haven't visited my blog before, my name is Brittan and I used to be addicted to diet coke. I started drinking diet coke in high school. Ninth grade would be my guess. I drank it regularly for about 14 years. For the past three years, I drank at least three diet cokes a day. Some days I'm sure I drank 5-7.

About two months ago I decided to stop drinking diet coke. I was having a lot of health issues and a lot of people were pointing fingers at my DC habit. My intention was to stop drinking it so I could prove to them that wasn't the problem. I was wrong. They won.

3 reasons I'm glad I stopped drinking diet coke:

1. I no longer look like a middle school girl who just went through puberty.
I have had terrible acne since middle school. I'm 29 and yes, I still had horrible acne every single day. I used to laugh at my friends who would point out their one tiny pimple that would be gone in a day. I had acne on my face, chest, and back.

Now, I only break out a little bit when I'm PMSing OR if I drink a soda. (more on that at the end)

2. I have energy!!!
I don't know if my body had just had enough but about a month before I stopped drinking diet coke, I was absolutely exhausted. I slept for 15 hours one Saturday and like 12 two Saturdays later. I was dragging every day at work and just felt bad. It got worse, like I said, about a month before I stopped drinking it; but, I didn't have a "normal" level of energy until I quit.

3. The mystery symptoms are gone!
Those of you who know me, know that I have had stomach problems for years. Again, getting increasingly worse with time. Due to my family history of stomach problems (my dad & cousin had ulcerative colitis) I assumed it was related to genetics. My symptoms were all over the place: stomach pains especially at night, stomach pains worse when hungry, bloated, weight loss (oh darn!), constipation frequently & diarrhea occasionally (keeping it real!), fatigue, and acid reflux.

Over a period of two years, I had a colonoscopy to rule out ulcerative colitis and other intestinal diseases. I was tested for Celiac Disease, Hyperthyroidism, anemia and who knows what else. I had blood drawn frequently and went to the doctor at least once a month. I was prescribed all kinds of medicines to "see if this would help." I don't even want to think about how much money I spent.

And now...almost all of the symptoms that I had for years - gone. Adios. Sayonara. One downfall - the weight loss is gone too. Boooooo.

So - yes, I stopped drinking diet coke (and all sodas). I stopped cold turkey despite the advice to wean myself off of it. To me, that would have been harder. I didn't have any soda for two weeks. After that, I felt like I was no longer addicted to it and now I drink one when I want to - no more than one every 2 weeks. I find though, that when I do drink soda, I break out about two days later and I have stomach pains that same day. I also typically get constipated again for a few days. Needless to say, I really only drink a soda now if I'm desperate for a pick me up.

I have definitely increased my water intake. The first few weeks of just drinking water and cranberry juice I felt very bloated. I guess my body just wasn't used to being hydrated. I stopped drinking cranberry juice regularly because I realized that is very acidic, which irritates my stomach. I then started drinking sweet tea. I know -it's bad. BUT, I like my tea watered down with not much sugar so it's still better than soda.

Since I've kicked my DC habit though, I have gained weight. I'd say around 5 lbs. :( I think if I were to just drink water, I'd lose it but I'm a realistic person & I can't deprive myself of everything!

I never wanted to believe everyone who harped on me about how bad diet coke was, but I will say it - they were right. BUT if you're one of those people who say that diet sodas are bad and you drink regular soda - stop it! I have had regular sodas and diet sodas and they both make me feel like crap. Artificial sugar is bad, and so is tons of natural sugar!

Maybe I just gave you a New Year's Resolution idea...

Have you experienced something similar with sodas? Other foods that make you feel awful?

Are you an avid diet coke drinker like I used to be? What are your thoughts now?


Christina said...

girlfriend, i am so excited for you!!! that is awesome. do you think maybe the weight gain might just be water weight? i bet your body will adjust!! so proud and keep up the good work!!

NicuNanny said...

I'm so proud of you, Brittan! You figured something out and stuck to your guns about it and wow, look at the results. Finding a brand of "water" that tastes good to you, can help you stay on least it does for me! I've got to work on cutting out the few DC's I drink,...I think it would help me, too!

MiaTheReader said...

So happy for you! Cool to see a real person prove the soda research is true. I hope 2014 rocks for you now that your health is better.

Kristin said...

Everytime I find myself tempted by a diet soda, I remind myself of all of this! I used to drink one or two a week while I was teaching in Alaska, but that's only because it was free in the lounge. Now I don't drink it at all and don't see myself going back. I'm so glad you're feeling better…I need to pass this along to my friends!

Judith Harvey said...

Wow. It's great that you conquered your soda addiction! Replacing it with the love for water is a very good change, indeed! Weaning yourself slowly is a good strategy, as you may shock your system if you do it all of the sudden. Just keep on drinking water over other drinks and you'll do great. Thanks for sharing!

Judith Harvey @ Aquaperfect Bottled Water & Vending

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