Resisting Fizzy Temptations

I just got back from a trip to the grocery store. We were at the end of our list when I felt a sudden impulse to buy soda. I must confess, during my recent travels to the US I indulged in my fair share of fountain soda, a guilty pleasure that I don’t get in England (a country that still doesn’t seem to “get” ice).

I’m trying not to be an absolutist about this whole soda thing. A fizzy treat once in a while won’t kill me. But that’s the trick – “once in a while.”

So I was in the pop aisle, looking at the cans of Fanta Zero, and even went so far as to put a 6-pack in my cart. Then Tim went off for some milk and I had a moment to myself to think things over and have a little conversation with myself:

Now Monica, you had your soda bomb in the US with the intention of cutting way back when you returned to the UK. You don’t really want to drink soda – it’s full of chemicals. And if you skip it, your entire basket will be comprised solely of whole foods. You’ll feel good about it. PUT THE FANTA BACK.

So I managed to resist the soda and break the habit, which wasn’t so hard I guess. Somehow having those couple of minutes to myself managed to save me from disaster. For some reason, when Tim was there, I couldn’t have that conversation with myself. Instead I was too fixated on feeling “caught in the act” to actually think rationally about what I was doing. It’s like I needed those moments to myself to decide, for myself, that I didn’t want to buy soda.

Believe it or not, there’s a point here. When it comes to being healthy, there’s no doubt that people can be a powerful support for maintaining good habits. But having some alone time is just as important because in the end, the choice to change is a completely individual choice and we all have to get there on our own, at our own pace.

Now, my soda addiction is in no way solved – I will always be tempted to buy soda if I’m in a shop that sells the magical elixir. So what do you guys do to talk yourself out of bad decisions? I need all the coping strategies I can get!


Monica age 10: caught in the act!

Photo credit: 201cigarettes

5 thoughts on “Resisting Fizzy Temptations

  1. eliza

    hey lovie.
    yes fizzy diet sodas are so tempting, a year ago i was so addicted to diet coke, drinking like 6 cans a day! but now i barely touch it, maybe 1/2 a can 1-3 times a week…but here in the US they have this new soda called zevia which is 0 calories comes in cola and other flavors like root beer etc and is made from stevia the natural no calorie sweetener, and it is just as good as diet coke!

  2. Sandrine

    Congratulations for this wise decision! I hate myself when I end up buying soda. I lately fell for the highly artificial Pepsi Max Mojito after several months away from any cola, it has been hard for me not to develop an addiction!). The argument that has been pretty efficient to avoid buying it was that I had to carry the bottles home, and as I don’t have a car, it becomes a bit problematic when I shop for several days to have another kilo in my bag that will be consumed in no time and will bring no nutritional benefit. The other one on the list is that all the acid in that crap has already eroded my teeth a good deal, so better not making things worse.
    I find that resisting is more difficult when in a restaurant, if I don’t feel like drinking alcohol, the next option with a taste is often limited to a selection of soda or sugary juices, and then it’s very hard to ask for some boring water.

  3. Monica Shaw

    Thanks you two. I need this kind of encouragement. =)

    @Sandrine – Pepsi Max Mojito? That’s a new one to me! My downfalls are fake orange and fake lemon-lime drinks (Fanta Zero, Sprite Zero, Diet 7-Up, etc). Good point about the acid – yet another reason to stay away. I have the same problem at restaurants and the pub – it’s hard to just sit there drinking water so I often turn to soda or juice. I figure at least I’m staying hydrated and avoiding a hangover.

    @eliza – nice work breaking the habit. that zevia is interesting – i’ve never had stevia, and i’m not sure I want to start with soda while I’m trying to break the habit! luckily the UK isn’t very advanced with those sorts of things. =) i wish i could just learn to love water!

  4. Nachos

    Hi Monica!!

    I used to be a fizzy drink addict as a kid (I can’t believe my mum let me drink that crap!). As an adult, I stay away from that stuff mostly because I don’t like the feeling of anything carbonated in my mouth (even carbonated water!) – it just feels so strange.

    My addiction is with chocolate and it’s an ongoing battle – my longest without it was 6 months and that’s a huge effort for me, considering I’m normally looking for a fix every day or two.

    I’m like you in that I need a moment alone to tell myself I don’t want it. Normally I’ll think about it as soon as I walk into the supermarket and I tell myself “get all your groceries first and if you still want chocolate, go back and get some”. It’s a great way of tricking myself because by the time I’ve grabbed everything on my list I’ve either:

    a) Forgotten about the chocolate
    b) My basket is so heavy that I can’t handle the idea of walking back to the other side of the store just for some chocolate (“that will make me a fatty anyway”. I tell myself) and I just go to the checkout.

    Sure, there’s chocolate at all the checkouts, but none of those are vegan so they don’t really tempt me at all!

    I do something similar if I feel like dessert after dinner and we happen to have sweets in the house. I tell myself to wait half an hour and if I still want some, then I can have some. Most of the time, I forget about it! Sometimes I’ll remember a couple of hours later and end up not feeling like it anymore anyway!

  5. Monica Shaw

    Nachos, I like your strategy for the grocery store! I actually do something similar with dessert, as well. You’re right – after about half an hour, my body tells my mind I’m not hungry any more and I forget about it. I try to do my dessert eating in mid-afternoon, as a little snack between lunch and dinner. That way I can enjoy it deliberately, and avoid eating too much before bedtime!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *