I enjoy a can of Mountain Dew about once or twice a month. Not bad huh? Well, for years I had gulped this nectar of the gods at a rate of 5 or 6 cans a day. In fact, it was so bad that the friendly clerk at my neighborhood convenience store knew me only as ‘Dew boy’. Any of my friends could go into the convenience store and tell the clerk that Dew boy needed cigarettes and the clerk would hand them my cigarettes (another bad habit that I plan on quitting). Oh, and it had to be cans. Mountain Dew in plastic bottles doesn’t taste the same… I swear!
I knew that drinking soda to that excess couldn’t be good for my long-term survival, but the sugar and caffeine gave me boosts throughout the day that were phenomenal. The first thing I’d do upon awakening (in the late forenoons) was grab a cold can of the good stuff. Was I addicted to it? Maybe, but if I was, that addiction was nothing like my addiction to nicotine. Most likely, I was just habituated to the taste and the sugar rush.
The final push that got me to quit was one of my Facebook friends. I had never met the guy, but we had inhabited few a similar email groups over the years. He is one of those new-Agey, conspiracy-theorist, health nuts, but his posts bashing the ‘Man’, which included soda companies, gave me the final push to quit. I had always wanted to quit, and everybody around me told me that I would get fat and diabetic because of it. It didn’t help that my body requires little maintenance–I can work out for a month and enjoy ripped abs for the next several years during which time I do nothing but sit at my computer. The effect of excessive soda consumption was just not making itself seen in my body. Still, every 200th can or so brought along with it a foreboding sense of impending doom, and I wanted to quit… I really did. I decided that 2013 would be the perfect year to quit given the ongoing reinvention of myself.
So here I am–essentially Mountain Dew free. Quitting wasn’t as hard as I imagined it would be. I simply stopped buying the stuff. Probably the biggest help in quitting was an ever-present glass of water on my desk. Every time I got the urge, I drank some water. I also upped my coffee intake from one to three or four cups a day. Looking back, it wasn’t nearly as difficult to quit as I had imagined it would be. I’m glad I did it. Now it’s on to the quitting of more difficult things.
Image credit: Stack of Mountain Dew image copyright (c) 2005 Dan Carter and made available under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).