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My Coke Addiction.... and my progress...

Posted Mar 03 2009 3:08pm
On January 23, I stopped drinking Coca Cola. To some of you, this might not sound like a huge feat, but trust me, for me it was!

I have always absolutely loved how a cold Coke tastes as it travels down my throat. The crispy coldness combined with the tingling of the flavor and the zing of carbonation.... to me, drinking a Coca Cola was bliss.

I remember back in college... my roommate and I, both teammates on the University's volleyball team, were reprimanded by the coach or the strength coach (can't remember the details anymore) for being a tad overweight. We were to report first thing in the morning to the weight room where we would be screamed at and made to do extraordinary things with our bodies in an effort to run fast, jump higher, have more endurance, and yes- lose weight. We were accustomed to this but we weren't ready for the diet that came along with the weight room...

We had just done some major grocery shopping for our apartment, which, in those days consisted of boxes of Raman Noodles, candy, chips, and cases of Coca Cola... I remember that we had come home with a 24 case of Coca Cola just the night before...

When we heard the news from our coach that we would be beginning Hell the following morning and that our diets would be monitored and our calories crunched, we knew we had to act fast! There were 24 gleaming, precious, cold Cokes waiting for us at home!!

Rather than donate them to friends or even pitch them, we binged. That night we were committed to not letting even one can of Coke go to waste! We drank them ALL in one sitting...

Yes folks, thats how much I love my Coca Cola...

After college, I met a girl who would become a soul sister of mine. She still is despite the fact that we hardly ever see one another. I don't think that she'll mind my saying this much: she had a problem with food. Thats all you need to know. She was (IS!) as beautiful as they come but when she looked at her perfect figure in the mirror, she saw something else. I can't imagine her demons, but she had them. One of the few things that she subsisted on was fountain Coca Cola from the gas station...

This was new information to me! Something even better than a cold can of Coke was an Exxon fountain Coke! Oh my goodness, it makes my mouth water just to think about it! She and I shared a love for fountain Cokes that I'm sure remains today....

HOWEVER! I am recovering from my addiction. I have not had a sip of Coke in...37 days!

That might not sound like a huge achievement to you, but it IS to me. And let me break it down to you and show you just how much that has changed things...

Now, I knew that Coke was bad for my body and therefore, I only drank one, maybe two, per day. Most days it was just one, but lets average 1.5 Cokes per day for the sake of my experiment. When I quit drinking Coke, I didn't replace it with anything else. I have gone cold turkey off ALL soft drinks. I drink water. The strongest thing to cross these lips other than a little wine is my coffee, for which I drink one cup every morning. So...

Here's the information you need to know. Each Coke has 140 calories. If I consumed 1.5 on average per day, thats 210 extra calories (140 + 70= 210) every day of the week:

(210)7= 1470 calories per week in Coca Cola!

Now, I assume that you know that 2500 additional calories over what your body needs equals 1 lb of weight gain. In other words, I was gaining alittle more than 1/2 lb per week JUST FROM DRINKING COKE!

Oh! Let me interject this information: I have lost 5 lbs since I quit drinking Coke, its truly the only thing thats consistently changed about my diet. Knowing this, lets work backwards...

6 weeks off Coke means that I have removed 8,820 calories from my diet that I used to have from drinking a Coke and a half per day... (here's the math):

(210) calories per day X 7 days per week: 1470 coke calories per week;

1470 calories per week X 6 weeks = 8820 calories not consumed.

So... if it takes an additional 2500 calories to gain a lb, then 8820 calories / 2500 = 3.528 lbs lost.

Okay, I'm 1.5 lbs lighter than my math problem, but maybe I was drinking more Coke than I thought I was!! My point is this: SMALL LITTLE CHANGES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE OVER TIME.

If you've stayed with me this long through this long post, let me tell you what this little experiment has proven to me beyond the shadow of a doubt:
  • Weight loss is simple math. It is not rocket science, nor is it some secret formula. Its math.
  • Cutting out one indulgence from your diet can make a difference, and the flip side of that is this: when you think 'ah, one Coke won't hurt me', it wont... its the accumulation of doing that every day that is adding to pounds on the scale;
  • I can live happily without Coke and within the first 3 days, my body actually felt better than it has in a long time... my love for Coke was something screwed up in my mind, nothing else. My body feels better than ever without it.
  • If I can quit drinking Coke, I can do anything! In small increments, anything is possible. Whats impossible is trying to do it all at once...
That last point means this: I have long believed that if it were easy to stay fit and healthy, everyone would do it. Lets face it: if it were a piece of cake (love the pun) to look like a sports illustrated model, we'd all do it! But its not. Its hard because it takes dedication, it takes thought, it takes sweat!! Its next to impossible to jump in headfirst to a diet and exercise program and completely change your life AND STICK TO IT! (sorry, its my opinion), but it is possible to choose one thing at a time to work on, like me and the Coke addiction, and then move on to something else. Now that I've overcome my fascination with Coke, I'm going to now begin exercising more regularly and let that create a new 'normal' in my life... in 6 weeks I'll let you know how things are progressing...
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