Cutting Out the Juice

Juice. Pronunciation:/dʒuːs/
noun Scottish informal: Any non-alcoholic beverage, most often carbonated beverages.

I've been continuously trying to give up Diet Coke since the turn of the year, because it's full of things that are bad for me (acid, excessive caffiene, aspartimine) and doesn't have any nutritional plusses to balance them out. It is hard; I've tried cutting it out for Lent (failed, but I did manage my secondary promise of cutting it down), I've tried adding in replacements (I've successfully added a litre of plain water to my daily intake. In addition to the diet coke...) and I've wished really hard that I didn't like it (which was about as successful as the wishing for the lottery win sans ticket).

I've not been addicted since birth - far from it in fact, I didn't like any kind of drink with bubbles in it until I was ten (when we got a Sodastream and I could control the bubble level) and spent my childhood drinking slightly warm milk in various tearooms with my grandmama - but I built up a fairly solid habit in secondary (high) school (thanks to it being the only diet juice available with any regularity) and then on into university and now I just reach for it automatically. I'm incredibly jealous of those amongst my friends who automatically order water when we're out for an evening or for dinner - that's a great habit to have.

Anyway, I've learnt a fair bit about myself and how I'm motivated in the past few months and I'm working a plan that - at the moment - seems to be working. I've barred diet coke after 1pm unless I'm in company (and my work colleagues at work don't count) and I'm regularly treating myself to a nice skinny latte from the in-house concession at work.

Now, there are still some holes in that plan:

  • If I'm out for an evening, or if I have friends over, I'm still liable to have a gallon or six (way too late in the day) and then my sleep quality is badly affected.
  • I have friends over a lot.
  • Lattes have caffiene in them.
  • I'm spending a small fortune on lattes.

But it's still a lot better than where I was - I've found that the latte means I'm significantly less likely to even think about getting up and buying a diet coke, and I'll bypass the shop in the morning on the way into work knowing that I'll have that coffee later. The latte does have some nutrional value, no fake sweetness (which, quite apart from the dubious chemicals in the sweetner, tends to make me utterly ravenous later on so it's nice not to have that fake appetite) and I also usually have it early enough in the course of the day that it doesn't have such an obvious impact on my sleep cycles (it somehow feels like a morning thing to do and the concession closes at three anyway).

Obviously I still need to do some tweaking, but it's Thursday and I've not had any diet coke since monday (when I had visitors) so I'm counting a little victory right there.

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