Trying to change your life can be overwhelming. We can all imagine a desired change that might improve our life: health, diet, exercise, organization, environment, career, family life, spirituality..and maybe even several of these things.
Change can be difficult for many of us, and the thought of making big changes is often too much to contemplate. Who hasn’t started the new year with a list of resolutions only to be quickly frustrated by the difficulty of change? It is easier to be passive and go with the status quo.
I suggest focusing on one thing at a time. I started by quitting my diet soda habit. I love Diet Coke. It tastes great, and has no calories. The caffeine sparks an energy surge. It is widely available and easy to drink.
Twenty years ago, a gym teacher I worked with used to tell me to stop drinking Diet Coke. “It will mess with your insides,” he said, “leave a nail in diet soda and it will disintegrate.” I laughed it off. Living without my diet soda was unimaginable. I simply had no desire to quit.
A couple of years ago, I was stricken with massive headaches and hospitalized. Neurologists could not explain the cause of my headaches. I started researching headache triggers. One thing I repeatedly found was a link between chemicals- such as those in processed foods including my diet soda, and headaches. I also learned that artificial sweeteners can result in sweetness cravings and that they can have the same effect on your body as real sugar. I had always experienced a rise in hunger when I drank a diet soda. The sweeteners act as a trigger for insulin, and too much insulin is related to weight gain and Type 2 Diabetes. Could diet soda be contributing to my weight gain rather than helping me lose weight?
Giving up my Diet Coke was not going to massively improve my life, but it was a start. I switched out my soda for unsweetened ice tea and eventually with water. It took several months for me to go from one or two cans a day to one or two cans a week and then one or two cans a month. Now, I can’t remember the last diet soda I had. A side benefit is that it also saves money!
If you need more reasons to quit your diet soda habit, check out the following link.
Consider improving your life with one small change at a time. I started by eliminating diet soda. What could your one small change be?