No Soda for a Year - We did it!

in , , by Kristen Woolsey, 6:00 AM
About this time last January, Blake and I decided to give up soda for 2016. I didn't really drink a lot of soda myself, but when my husband had a little health scare the doctor encouraged him to give up certain foods-including soda. So to be supportive, I gave it up too. And we did it! No soda for an entire year. No cheating either! It was actually a really interesting experiment, health benefits aside. 

When We Missed It
There were really only a handful of occasions where I thought "Man, a Coke would be so good right now." Once, I was really thirsty, and I opened my mom's fridge and saw a Diet Coke and kinda craved that bubbly taste. Another time was at Disney World in June, and a cold fizzy drink seemed refreshing. And finally, at the movies! It is really strange to eat popcorn and have a water bottle instead of a soda. That sweet and salty combination is something I really missed at the movies. 

What Changed
Neither of us lost any weight or noticed any dramatic results from giving up soda. However, one really neat change took place over the whole year. Instead of ordering soda at a restaurant, we tended to order Iced Tea. I've been drinking half-sweet/half-unsweet for as long as I can remember. But, Blake strictly wanted sweet tea. But, over the course of the year he gradually switched to half & half and now actually prefers unsweet tea. That's something I never expected.

What It Tastes Like Now
After our year was up, we decided to taste soda again and see if we felt any different about it. I was so nervous to try it! It was almost like I was afraid to like it. We started off tasting Cherry Coke. It was such a surprising taste. I liked it, but everytime I sipped it, the bubbles kept throwing me off. It was kinda weird. And even though I liked it, after 2 sips I didn't want anymore. Then we decided to sample regular coke. That was disgusting! It tasted like drinking pancake syrup or something! SO sweet. 

Going Forward
I don't plan on drinking soda anymore. I feel like I could easily go another year without a taste. Blake feels similarly, but is still experimenting. He grabbed a Root Beer from the convenience store today just to see what it tastes like. From his reactions so far, I don't think he will be drinking it very often either. Maybe just at the movies with popcorn. 

What We Are Giving Up This Year
We wanted to do a similar challenge in 2017, because it was kinda fun to challenge our competitive selves. This year we are swearing off any restaurant that has a drive thru. I always feel SO disgusting after I eat fast food. I call it a fast food hangover. It might be cheap and convenient, but it's not a good thing all the way around. Chick-Fil-A will truly be a challenge to give up. I don't go a lot, but I really like it. (And I don't get that same hangover feeling from it as I do other places.) 

We are also doing a little challenge each month this year. I'm really excited about this! Each little challenge will support our bigger goals. For example, in January we are not going out to eat at all. No restaurants. We spend a lot of money going out to eat each month, and it isn't the best habit for the waistline. We have a few other ideas for other months, like a No TV challenge. 

Leave a comment below if you've ever given up something for a year! I'd also LOVE to hear your ideas for little challenges. I have 5 ideas right now, but there are 12 months! 

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