In an effort to live life better, I’ve undertaken a sweeping crusade to improve who I am. This morning, I went to the dentist for the first time in six years. In addition, I’ve fine tuned my workout routine, I’m refining what I eat, and I’ve adopted new techniques to combat stress and anxiety. Last but not least, I’m mastering how to be a nice guy while also not putting up with any bulls**t. It’s amazing how much my eyes truly opened when I realized this is MY life and I need to make the decisions that are best for me, regardless of what everyone else is telling me.
I’m not the type of person who broadcasts my efforts all over social media. It works for some people, but not me. You won’t see sweaty pictures of me plastered all over Facebook because I don’t like to brag about my accomplishments. I’m a pack mule; I put my head down and get the job done. However, I’m breaking my pack mule mentality tonight. What you’re reading right now is an effort to hold myself accountable. It helps to know that all of you can see this, but more importantly, I need to put it in black and white so I can refer back to it in the future:
I’m giving up pop (or soda or cola or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods).
I love pop. It’s one of my few vices. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t eat chocolate. I don’t drink coffee. It’s just me and my sweet, sweet carbonated nectar. And it’s been that way my whole life. When my brother and I were kids, it was a special day when we got to split a bottle of Pepsi (the good ol’ glass bottles). New Year’s Eve was even better because we each got our own bottle. Although I’ve never been the type to chug a whole 12-pack in one day, I’ve had a decades-long affair with liquid sugar.
I’ve been a pop mixologist. Along with the standard fare of root beer floats and black cows (Pepsi + vanilla ice cream), I’ve done my share of experimenting. I’ve added cherry. I’ve added vanilla. I’ve savored pop flavor in cakes and doughnuts and BBQ sauces. I’ve tasted a Moscow Mule. I’ve had fruit punches with various elements of ginger ale, Sprite, and 7 Up. I’ve tickled the buttons of the Coca Cola Freestyle like Billy Joel at a piano. I’ve mixed a murderer’s row of pop from a fountain machine to form a daring concoction known by various aliases: kamikaze, garbage soda, swamp water, and so on.
I’ve been a pop polygamist. More often than not, my go-to’s have been Pepsi, Vanilla Coke, and Dr. Pepper (along with its numerous knockoffs). But I’ve also enjoyed my share of Cherry Coke, Mountain Dew, Sprite, 7 Up, Cherry 7 Up (R.I.P. original version), root beer, cream soda, ginger beer, Orange Crush, Sunkist, Squirt, Mello Yello, Sierra Mist, all types of Jones Soda, and enough generic variations to fill up an aisle at your local grocery store.
So it is with a heavy, yet hopeful, heart that I bid sayonara to soft drinks. This objective has rattled around in my mind for several years, and now it’s time to put it into action. There may be an occasional time far away from now when I decide to have one for old time’s sake, but for the foreseeable future, pop is now soda non grata.