More than anything other healthy habit — really; more than cutting back on sugar, more than cutting back on calories — I find it SO incredibly difficult to cut out diet soda from my diet. Many a time I’ve quit diet soda for a few months; I think the longest I’ve managed was 3 months last year. I’m not quite there yet, but I feel myself moving toward a place where I want to make an effort to cut it out. After writing down my eats for the past few days, and this time including my diet soda intake (something I’ve never done before) the massive amounts I ingest are staring me in the face. I’ve always been fully aware of how much I drank and I’ve long realized that I am effectively addicted to the stuff, but there’s nothing like seeing it written down to put it into cold, hard perspective…
And there’s also nothing like a therapist (one you respect) suggesting that maybe you ought to cut back on caffeine. I’ve struggled with feeling anxious and restless — never having panic attacks but experiencing anxiety, and my therapist says that caffeine and anxiety are closely linked. Hoh boy….
I also know that the diet soda is a major source of sugar (fake sugar) that eggs on my sweet tooth. I need to cut down on sugar because when I do binge, it’s sweets — a pint of ice cream, a box of bakery cookies, or a few slices of cake. I’ve been trying to eat more protein in the morning instead of muffins or scones and such, and I think the next step towards a dramatic sugar reduction would be to cut out diet soda. Ugh. It’s sooooo hard though. I’m going to spend some more time righting my diet — not bingeing; confronting my feelings of anxiety, boredom, or restlessness instead of trying to soothe them with sugar; and shrinking my overall caloric intake. (This should be my mantra.) Then I will address the diet soda issue, both for the sake of further decreasing my sugar intake and also for the sake of cutting caffeine.
I’ve ordered Geneen Roth’s Breaking Free From Emotional Eating and Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating from Amazon, and I am anxious to see what they have to say.