I believe Coca-Cola is God’s elixir. I like to pull back the metal tab on a Coca-Cola can and pour it in my glass filled with crushed, not cubed ice. I hear the sounds of fizz-fizz as I put my lips on the glass, waiting for the first drops of sweetness (no doubt from the high fructose corn syrup) to touch my tongue. If you can’t tell, I am a little obssessive about my Coca-Cola.

The sounds of addiction came in the form of a statement from my daughter one day when she said, “Momma, you always drink Coke. You never drink water.”  My daughter was right. I have never been an aqua fan, even though it is the most natural and healthiest way to quench thirst. If there is a choice between any drink and a Coca-Cola, you guessed it, I go for the soda. The problem is that soda is so very bad for you. It contributes to extra pounds, colors your teeth, and is expensive. There is also that widely known fact that Coca-Cola can be used to take off the rust from nails. In the news recently, a Chinese study delineates the link between the consumption of soda to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

This past month, I decided to conduct an experiment, choosing to go soda free for at least one month. To be honest, my decision to quit soda  hinged on the example I was setting for my daughter. She is an observer, watching everything I do and ultimately wanting to copy my behavior. When we dined at restaurants, I would order Coca-Cola for myself and a water for my daughter. However, she always asked for a sip of my drink and not wanting to witness melt down in the middle of the restaurant, I relented and let her sip some of my soda.

The experiment to drop soda started as an exercise to make an impression on my daughter, but it has lead to other realizations about myself. I realized I still can, if I want to, muster enough will power to change a behavior. I’ve learned that discipline can boomerang back into your life if you get motivated enough to embrace change. If I focus on changing one habit at a time, I believe that I will have more success.

I still take my drink on ice. My daughter and I say Cheers! as we clank our crushed ice water glasses together.

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Have you tried to break a habit? What was your experience? Any advice? Do your children’s observations sometimes cause you to make a real change in a particular behavior?

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