it's been real. At the start of the year Landon and I came up with a decent size list of goals to focus on this year as individuals and as a couple. I've blogged about my progress each month, but there's been one goal that I didn't add to the list in January that's been tugging at my heart. I needed to stop drinking diet coke.
I tried to satisfy those gut feelings by setting smaller goals -- saying "oh, I'll have one on Wednesdays", the worst day of the week, or "I'll see how long I can go without." Turns out without a larger goal to shoot for, the answer was 12 days.
This sounds like I'm admitting to be an alcoholic, it's only diet coke, right? But for whatever reason, for me, it's not just diet coke.
As someone who is sensitive to caffeine I can't drink it past early afternoon, otherwise I'll be up at midnight unable to fall asleep, jittery, googling if caffeine can cause insomnia. That specific night, which I ended up being up til past 2am trying to pass out, I read a list of side effect from caffeine and was surprised to see depression on the list. After a few walks around the house, bites of peanut butter, and counting to a million, I finally fell asleep. But the past few months since, I started to piece together that the days I drank diet coke were different than the days that I didn't.
As someone who doesn't drink coffee, black or green tea, or anything harder, perhaps it's obvious that I'm this sensitive. My body isn't used to even the small amounts of caffeine. Having no plans to start drinking coffee or green tea however, I needed to get to the bottom of how I was feeling and what changes to make to feel like my best self.
I have no idea whether its the caffeine, the artificial sweeteners in that glorious bubbly bottle as this article looked at, or another component, but on days that I drink diet coke I am gloomy by early evening. If Landon goes cycling after he gets home from work, leaving me with Paityn a bit longer than normal, I just can't cope with her toddler ways like normal. I can count on a hand the number of times that I've felt angry with her -- they were on days that I had that bubbly brown beverage running through me.
Again this sounds like a Christian version of confessions of an alcoholic, does it not?. But I have to look at the big picture. Option 1: I continue drinking diet coke, and deal with the side effects of restlessness at night, feelings of depression that I never have otherwise and feelings of struggling to be a patient mom or Option 2: I just don't drink diet coke.
Wanting to pay more attention to these little feelings, knowing that in time they add to mean more in the end, I'm stopping. As of yesterday, I will be soda free for the rest of year! Yes this means you too, baja blast. I'll be testing out more natural options, anything from this organic juice to learning to love Vita Coco for the taste, not just the packaging.
The hardest part for me will be my emotional attachment to having something to drink on date/cute nights with Landon or when we're out to eat. Let it be known that I in no way expect this to help me drop even a pound. I saw nothing but positive side effect from diet soda physically. But my emotional health is just as important to me, so I'm saying "so long, diet coke! it's been real."
I set a large goal, because that's what I need. When I set those smaller goals, my heart wasn't committed, and I was right back at it within no time. This is official, I've blogged about it + had bleach tray impressions done yesterday as part of the goal. Because if whiter teeth + a bright mental health are on one side, why would I choose diet coke?