It’s Been 7 Months, 1 Week, and 5 Days Since I’ve Had A Diet Coke. My Story
I’m 15 minutes late getting home to meet the plumber. In fact, as I pull into the garage, I can see him parked in front of my house. I get inside and my dogs are barking. They wanna go outside and come to think of it, I gotta go pee too. The door bell rings, it’s the plumber, and then for added measure, my phone starts to vibrate.
Doorbell ringing, dogs barking, someone calling, and I gotta piss, but all that doesn’t matter. I don’t let the dogs out, I don’t let the plumber in, I don’t answer my phone, and I don’t go pee. I go straight to the refrigerator and grab a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke, twist the cap and take about a 12 ounce swig and swallow in relief.
It’s not my intention to be overly dramatic, but I just didn’t take a taste of soda, I attacked it! I didn’t even pour it in a glass and wait for the foam to fizz down. As if I had just walked across the desert for two days without water. Just like an alcoholic takes that first desperate gulp of whiskey for the day. My Diet Coke habit had become frenzied. I just didn’t realize it until then.
I looked at myself and asked, “What are you?” Call it a moment of clarity, again the alcoholic comparison, but I saw myself for who I truly was. This is not an exaggeration, but I was drinking a two liter bottle of Diet Coke every day. Sometimes even more.
The picture of myself behaving so desperately didn’t sit well with me. So I quit! At the time of this writing it’s been 7 months, 1 week, and 5 days since I’ve had a Diet Coke. Now, since we all have our own cravings and addictions, the question is, how did I do it?
Before I explain, I want you to know that this is truly an addiction for me and getting over it was, and still is, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with on both a physical and mental level. I see a Diet Coke in the refrigerator or at the grocery store and my mouth starts to water. My stomach growls and my mind starts talking to me in a real bad way. Picture the Diet Coke Devil popping up on my shoulder saying, “Go ahead! Buy it, drink it, guzzle it, love it!!!” It’s insane.
I also want you to know that I didn’t resort to some unconventional method that made it easy, although I did consider hypnosis, or lightning candles and incense all around me to ward off bad spirits. (Kidding!) I did, however, play some mind tricks with myself that might help you when it comes to dealing with your own demons in your quest to eating clean.
The next day when I got home from the gym, instead of partaking in my daily ritual of mass consumptions of Diet Coke, I told myself to ignore my cravings for just 1 hour. It was dreadful, but I made it. Then, I rewarded myself with a Diet Coke. The next day I went 2 hours, then 3 hours. It got to a point where I went an entire 24-hour period without a Diet Coke.
So this is where the truth comes out about dieting or exercising will-power: Your gonna fail every now and then. For me, I would be able to go a day without a Diet Coke, but I was never able to get much further. It happened about a gazillion times until I finally decided to try and learn something from my failures.
It was then that I realized that I didn’t want to face life without Diet Coke. I just couldn’t imagine life being fun or enjoyable without it. So here’s where I started to play my little mind trick. I just told myself that I wasn’t quitting all together, and, once again, I challenged myself to go one day without a Diet Coke. I kept reminding myself that there was no way that I was quitting all together. Uh, uhhhh! The next day came and again I told myself, “You’re not quitting, you’re just going to go another day.”
Finally, after several tries, I actually went 48 hours without a Diet Coke! So I went for a third day, all the while assuring myself that I’m not quitting, “This is only temporary. You’ve got the rest of your life to quit.”
Next thing you know, 3 days became 4, 4 became 5, and so on. When I made it a whole week, that’s when I told myself, “Ok, this is it. I’m done.” And I never looked back. At least not for 7 months, 1 week, and 5 days. Bottom line was, I had to convince both my brain and my body that I can make it without Diet Coke.
So what is your one thing that you would like to get rid of that will turn your life around? It could be bread, chips, or chocolate. Come to think of it, most of us are hooked on all three! But whatever your cravings, weaknesses, or addictions are, don’t look at it as a challenge (another mind trick). Look at it as an opportunity to do something really, really hard and conquer it.
Just like one of our super, soul crushing WODs that we do all the time in the gym. How good do you feel when you finish? You feel great because you took on something that intimidated you, made you doubt yourself, yet you crushed it! That’s what makes CrossFit so great. The fact that it’s not for everyone because it’s hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Keep reminding yourself that you’re part of a very small group of people who are elite when it comes to training.
Now go do the same thing with your food addictions!