Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Drink Water

Last night I posted an article from Yahoo! about the effects of soda on the human body and it got me thinking. I used to drink a lot of soda. I gave up the beverage in order to live a healthier life and the results have been very positive. These days I drink more water than anything, but I just look back and think about how much soda I used to consume.

For starters, Pepsi was my drink of choice. I just loved how it tasted and how it just felt going down. I could drink several liters in a couple of days. I drank soda with just about every meal. When I went to places like McDonalds, I would order the super sized meal because it meant I would get the biggest size for my soft drink. I almost want to say that it was an addiction, but it was close.

I didn't drink soda when I was a kid. In fact, I didn't even drink water. There was always some fruit (Sun Dew) drink or iced tea mix that we had. It was understood that the soda that was in the fridge was my mother's, so I never touched it. I also remember the little 25 cent drink we got at the store that we all called, "Quarter Waters". Those were pretty good and they can quench a thirst during a long and active summer. But, even out in the street, I never drank soda. I really wasn't allowed to drink it all that much, maybe on a special occasion or when I was hanging out with my father.

When I got to High School, soda was a little more prevalent in my life. It was just all over the place. The school vending machines sold them for very cheap. I think they were less expensive than some of the juices. Plus there was a certain feeling that I could act older drinking this stuff because it was so out there in the school. Even, when I has a job at Pathmark, soda was just easier to purchase. So, I would buy sandwich that the Deli guys would hook up for me (they would stamp a $1 on it) and I would wash it down with a nice cold Pepsi.

Before I made the switch between living with parents, I started drinking soda at home. When I did live with my mother and brother, soda was kept in the fridge and I would drink it like everyone else. As a matter of fact, when I visit him now, there is soda there but my nephew cannot drink. I find it funny how that works. Once I moved back in with my dad, soda was on the no drink list in the house.

It was not until college that I really started devouring soda. When eating in the dining halls, all the drinks were free and unlimited. Of course, I could sit here and say that I could have just drank the fruit juices, but this Syracuse University is a Pepsi campus. Needless to say I was swimming in the stuff. I didn't drink coffee at the time so I can easily start my day with a small bottle of soda. That was just the norm for me, not realize the effects of all that sugar and added flavors can do.

As I got older, the drinking habits became worse. Soda was an everyday thing. The problem is that when I left college, I became less active, which, of course means that pounds started adding on. I am not blaming soda for everything...in fact I am not blaming soda period. Lord knows I can drink it all day. It just got the point that by the time I got married, I had to really look at my soda intake. I did not want to become diabetic.

The first thing that any soda drinker would do is switch to the diet variety. This is not as ok as it may seem. Less sugar yes, but the addiction was still there. As my life began to change in March, I decided to run. With running, certain changes has to be made to maintain levels of fitness. I had to give up soda entirely. I have come to learn that anything you put in your body is used as a source of fuel. Let's not forget that soda is the key contributor to belly fat.

So, now most of the time I drink water. I think once I got the soda out of my system, I was able to lose the 20lbs. Plus, water feels more natural when you drink it after a long work out. I feel that I tend to over do things in terms of habits. Weather it is about drinking too much coffee or too much soda, what I need to realize that everything must be taken in moderation.

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