Monthly Archives: July 2012

Is it just habit, or addiction?

So we’ve had some set backs but also made progress too. Last weekend, when I shopped for groceries, I didn’t buy any juice at all. I’d limited the juice to a bottle or two a week and only 100%, but I realized that the kids were replacing what used to be lemonade or sweet tea not with water but juice. Even 100% juice drinks are heavy in sugar and calories. We had originally agreed that we’d have juice for breakfast only but soon I was seeing it come out for snacks and dessert.

I fully realize how difficult it is to not only give up a favorite drink but also to give it up to just water. I am a soda addict. Maybe smokers and drug addicts could argue, tell me there’s no way anyone could be addicted to a soft drink, but it’s how I feel. I grew up a Pepsi drinker, back in the days of the glass returnable bottles. Was up to a 6-a-day habit after I was married. Hubby preferred Mtn Dew so we bought it by the cube. After I had kids and wanted to get rid of the baby fat, I switched to diet – not Diet Pepsi, but Diet Coke. No calories, right? And yet all if the same sweetness. I don’t think I ever drank as many of those in a day as I did Pepsi, but there was rarely a day I didn’t have one with lunch, another with dinner, and another later, just because.

Two years now it’s been since I gave them up. All of them, cold turkey. No diet drinks, no full sugar drinks. No energy drinks either. If I am thirsty, I have water. I make juice for breakfast and lunch so water is an accompaniment there. I enjoy two cups of coffee a day too but that’s pretty much it. But I’m used to it. The kids are not. Four weeks ago I took away all their favorite drinks and gave them water! Not my best move perhaps.

However, after weeks of begging and prodding and reminding them, the water bottles are getting emptier an emptier. Twice this week, two of the kids drank all of their water! It helps that it’s hotter than Hades outside, but it is progress. Now if only the heat would break enough for us to go running again.

I think that sometimes we can give things up easier if there are no distractions. For me it was the Diet Coke. It had to be out of the house. For the kids, maybe it’s the sweetened drinks. When nothing else is available, they are drinking their water. And maybe that will form better habits down the road.