Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sugar, Soda And Depression: Time to Make A Change

My name is Kate and I'm a Pepsiholic.  I am not exactly sure when and where it started.  But, I have been addicted to soda for as long as I can remember.  Sure, I've quit here or there. However, I've never been able to truly kick the habit.  And to be honest, I often worry that I may NEVER beat the addiction.

The longest I was able to go without soda was in 2010.  Just after the birth of my fifth child, I decided to get healthy.  I figured since I wouldn't be having anymore children, it was finally time.  I quit soda in March of 2010 and made it to September 27th, 2010, the day AFTER my wedding.  I decided to get a root beer (since most root beer brands are not caffinated.  I thought that if I didn't have the caffeine, that I might not want to have another later one. 

Obviously, this thought process was totally flawed.  Afterall, the root beer was still SODA - filled with sugar and had the same affect the Pepsi had.  I found myself ordering more and more sodas.  Then, before I knew it, I was ordering Pepsi.  And the flood gates blew wide open. 

The soda makes me anxious, edgy, foggy, moody and dare I say it...FAT!  The sugary "devil juice" as I call it, is the foundation for all my other bad habits.  The high-fructose corn syrup is horrible for my body.  The after effects are completely predictable.  And yet, I give in time and again to my addiction. 

The past couple weeks I have been drinking a large amount of soda and craving sugary and salty snacks.  I used to try to hide the fact that I was drinking soda from The Husband, because he knows what it does to me.  We've had several conversations about me on soda and the words TRAIN WRECK often get thrown on the table.  It's hard and it makes me so sad.

I don't really drink alcohol.  I never have.  I tried when I was like 16 (Seagram's Wine Cooler - ooooh, what a boozer Kate).  But, I just got sick to my stomach.  No buzz.  No fun.  Just felt like I wanted to be sick.  Oh, and another lovely side effect of drinking alcohol for me?  Rosy red cheeks.  How lame.  How can someone who is predominately German and Irish NOT be able to drink?  I mean, come on. 

My point is...I don't know what it is like to deal with an alcoholic family member or spouse.  I wasn't exposed to drinking as a child.  I just assume that it's similar.  The problem is that you almost have to go looking for "drinks."  But soda, is readily available and social acceptable in any situation, at any time of day.  It's everywhere.  It's impossible to escape your exposure to it. 

I've argued before it's an additction that you can't really hide from anyone.  Soda does so many horrible things to your body.  But, gaining weight is the most obvious.  Soda just PACKS on the pounds.  And, most often, when you drink soda and have an addiction like I do, you don't drink ANYTHING else.  So water is never a consideration.  If I feel thirsty, I grab a soda. 

The Husband is silently observing my train wreck all over again.  He is watching me wake up each day and choose soda over him, over my kids, my business and myself.  I can't imagine the kind of patience this must require or the amount of grace he has given and will continue to give.  I wonder sometimes if it will ever get "used up."  And one day, he'll just look at me and say "You disgust me."  That makes me feel horrible about myself because he deserves so much more than living with an addicted spouse. 

I certainly didn't intend for this post to go all dark and scary on us.  But, I am writing from the heart.  I know there are other women out there reading this going "she gets it."  And, trust me, I do.  I get it.  But the problem is I want to let it go.  For good.  I don't want this addiction to define me or to devour me.  I don't want it to prevent me from being an active participant in my life, in my children's lives.  I don't want it to keep me out of a bathing suit for the 18th year in a row.  (Wow, now THAT is a wake up call). 

Most of time I don't like myself when I am drinking soda.  I think horrible, negative thoughts about myself.  I endure a lot of manic up days, followed by several down days.  Right now I am in a down phase.  This past week though, I cut 3+ inches off my hair (myself), took my daughter out of public school to put her in a homeschool co-op, spent crazy money on a shopping spree with my 8 year old daughter buying craft stuff, clothes and shoes, and who knows what else.  Oh, that's right...a puppy.  Luckily, through the grace of God, we have been able to integrate the sweet little guy into the house pretty well.  But, I tell you...there is just no limit to the insanity when it comes to Kate on Soda. 

I did a little research the other night on depression and soda.  The information is out there.  Check out this article from Psychology Today written just one year ago  And this article

For me, I don't think it's the realization that soda is bad that will spark change.  I think REAL CHANGE is going to have to come from above.  I am just not strong enough to beat this addiction on my own.  This is going to require Devine Intervention, for sure. It's time for actual on my knees prayers.  Humbling, honest and diligent prayer.

I listen to Joel Osteen a lot.  I think his messages are so uplifting and positive.  I really need that influence in my life.  Positivity.  Anyway, he speaks often of battling addicition and that we need to picture ourselves, or visualize, beating the addiction....overcoming it.

I think for so long I have believed I never would beat my soda addiction.  I think I have always thought that is would somehow contribute either directly or indirectly to my demise.  I have let it take root.  So, it's time to weed that garden and change the view.

I can honestly say the most significant thing that I've noticed these past couple weeks since I have been back on soda again is how it's affected my already fragile relationship with God.  I've felt myself drifting from Him. I am not praying like I was, connecting with HIM and I feel lost.  I am feeling overwhelmed, scared and intimidated.  I have no focus, no direction, no purpose. 

I can tell you that these lies I have been telling myself "One soda won't kill me" and "Maybe I'm not meant to be thin" don't have a place in my future.  I can choose to be the fat, lazy uninspired person I feel like I've allowed myself to become.  Or, I can FIGHT and demand a better life for myself.  I can pray and ask God to release me from the addiction.  I can wake up tomorrow, look myself in the mirror and say....ENOUGH KATE.  Enough. 


Carolyn said...

Can I come over and give you a great big hug?

I never really saw it put like this, but I think soda is just about the worst thing you can put into your body. I was never a sodaholic, but I absolutely notice a difference when I occasionally have one. My skin breaks out, I feel bloated and I crave more and more sugar. It's awful. I basically stopped having any at all (no regular OR diet soda) and I do feel better. I'm trying right now to wean my kids off of it totally but that doesn't come easy when their father or grandfather takes them out to eat and lets them have it because they feel that one won't kill them. Ha!

Elle said...

I admire your honesty! I hear your struggle and wish it were easier for you. Sorry you're going through this. I notice when I have one soda when I go out to eat, I'm craving them a lot afterwards. Today in fact I couldn't resist getting a Dr. Pepper at The Habit. Love the fizzy strong taste. But I really need to cut the sugar out of my life too.

Keep up the fight and may God give you power in this.

There is Lyme in Florida! said...

Wow I could have written this. I am going through the same thing and thought what in the heck is wrong with me. And it dawned on me I am drinking the HFCS sodas. I don't feel this out of control when I drink sugar cane sodas from Whole Foods. Although it is still sugar and not good for me. God Bless you for posting this!

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