I used to minimize the fact that I was addicted to drinking Coca-Cola. I would tell myself things like “I drink two to four real Cokes a day, but it’s not like being addicted to cocaine, cigarettes or alcohol.”
To me, my Cokes were a sweet addiction. Pardon the pun. Coca-Cola signs were red and white, strong colors and two of the three colors in the American flag. (If you consider white a color, but that is another discussion.)
Drinking Coke was just an indulgence not an addiction for me, I reasoned. I thought that imbibing Coke was sophisticated. It seemed so much more adult to go into a restaurant and proudly order a Coke rather than water, orange juice or, most embarrassing, an apple juice. And I thought, for some reason that I can’t now quite fathom, that drinking Coke would impress woman. (I was sorely mistaken, as a rule it doesn’t.)
I would get email forwards about the disconcerting concept that Coke removes rust from nails. And concerned friends and family would advise me to quit. But I would think, “I’m an adult. I’m free to choose to drink Coke.” Over the years, the advice to cease drinking my favorite beverage became stronger, and still I said, “I’m free to drink my two to three to four Cokes a day.”
Recognizing that I was free to continue to choose to drink Coca-Cola I feel actually played an important role in helping me put an end to my Coke addiction. While my soda addiction limited my freedom, I would have limited my freedom further by pretending that other people where forcing me to give up my habit.
So for a while longer, I focused my power of choice on continuing my addiction. Things changed when I finally decided to listen to all the good advice I was getting and focus my power of choice on creating a way to quit my habit.
This was an exciting point in my journey. I discovered that once we freely decide we want to quit whatever we are addicted to; we have the freedom to create a way to quit.
Effective quitting looks different for different people. Some people just decide enough is enough and go cold turkey. Some times two or more friends decide to quit an addiction at the same time and support each other through the process. Some people read books or seek counseling to support their resolve to quit. Some people join twelve steps programs and the list goes on.
When we decide we want to quit our addiction, we try different things and hopefully find an effective way to move past our addiction.
I was surprised to note that the benefits of successfully quitting my Coke addiction went beyond nutrition. In finally choosing to give-up Coke and following through with that choice, I was able turn my wishes for a healthier lifestyle into effective action.
My addiction to Coke limited my ability to see what life had to offer. While I was strongly focused on finding restaurants that served Coke, I was missing out on other aspects of life, same as if I walked around Rome looking at the sidewalks I would miss much of what the city had to offer. When my focus was not on finding my next fountain Coke each day, I began to notice other details and activities like yoga, Laughter Yoga and eventually San Diego. When I freed myself from choosing Coke each day, I started to free myself to live a life I deeply love.
Game Of The Day
What thoughts come up as you read this post?