Really Doing It This Time

When I was a kid I loved drinking Dr Pepper. It was a fun treat, and readily available.

When I was in junior high and high school, a Dr Pepper at lunch was one of the bright spots in otherwise difficult days.

In my twenties, it was a pick-me-up when things got stressful at work and deadlines loomed over my cubicle.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep drinking it forever, and that at some point I would have to make healthier choices. “When I’m 30,” I said, “I’ll probably have to give up soda.” I’m 32 now.

And then there’s this one, who watches everything I do and repeats everything I say.


I don’t think I would mind an occasional soda, but my problem is that I feel a compulsion to drink it. If there’s an open bottle in the fridge, then it’s very hard for me to choose something else. I want to be free of that.

It’s been over a week, and so far so good. There wasn’t any in the fridge to start, so I avoided a dramatic scene involving drinks poured down the drain.

Not having it at home makes it easier. I think about it, but the only willpower required is when I choose not to buy it during the minute I pass it at the grocery store.

In other news, what we’ve done this week: city camping! More later.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I had to give up soft drinks to due to a food-additive allergy. It was hard at first to break that habit, but now I rarely think of it. Keep lots of iced tea in the fridge and go for seltzer water with some fruit juice when you want fizz. You’ll be amazed you were ever willing to put all those chemicals in your body. Good luck!

  2. I remember getting over my addiction to Starbucks/mochas. I never drank a drop of coffee until I was in college, then I needed it! Before I got pregnant I decided to go off them and boy was that hard. I realized how much of a comfort food it had become. Just walking into a Starbucks made me feel better, less stressed. When I was breaking the habit, every time I drove by Starbucks my brain told me to stop and get a coffee! It does get better though.

    It took my husband several weeks to get over his Coke habit. We’d tried “cold turkey” many times but it never worked. So finally we bought a big case of them and the first week he had one every day. The second, every other day. The third, every three days, until it was gone and then we didn’t buy anymore.That might help you especially with the new baby adjustment.

    You’re doing great and to have your little girl as a motivation to stay off, is a great motivator!

  3. OH…Ugh. how hard! I’ve stopped buying Diet Coke for the fridge. Now I try to make it that I can order it at a restaurant (which is maybe once every other week). The good thing that happened is that I had a Diet Coke one day this summer at a ballgame and then got so sick that night. Now – there was no correlation between the DCoke and the illness…but, in my mind, I related the two and it helped so much to kick the habit! :)

    Kelli´s last post…Christmas Time?

  4. Congrats! I’m on week 2 of giving up Coke Zero. It was the first thing I’d drink every morning. I just didn’t want to drink the fake sugar or HFCS so regularly anymore. I’ve gotten through the headaches, but I’m still battling fatigue. Iced green tea, with a little stevia, is helping quite a bit though. :)

  5. That’s where I was with coffee about a month ago. I’d only been drinking it regularly for about 6 months, but I felt addicted somehow. Now I drink it a couple times a week and don’t feel the need to have it. It’s yummy with cream and stevia.

    Shannon´s last post…Fall Menu Plan – full of greens

  6. Good for you girl! Keep it up! I dropped Diet Dr Pepper in May and now I don’t even like it. I still love Dr Pepper, but I limit it to special occasions now, and I only started doing that once I felt it didn’t have a control over me any longer.

    Sara´s last post…Mexican Hot Chocolate Throw Down

  7. Just wanted to congratulate you for trying! It’ll be hardest at the beginning but worth it. Good for you! You can do it!

  8. I’m a Pepper, too. One nice thing about going without it… when you DO decide to treat yourself… Mmmmmmmmm, sweet nectar. It will taste even better than it EVER did when you drank it all the time.

    (And today’s photo is adorable. Love Lane’s hat.)

    jill´s last post…twenty-two

  9. Good job! It’s hard I know. I used to drink a TON of soda and we’d have it with every meal! Liters and liters of it! My husband still drinks those bottled Lipton green teas (which really are just uncarbonated soda) which I still buy for him only and Mt. Dews but I don’t buy those for him. I stopped drinking soda when I got pregnant (not hard since I was sick to my stomach for the first four months anyway!)and after that it just didn’t taste good to me anymore. I have many other problems (chocolate mostly) but now I only have a pop when I have Mexican food, pizza at a restaurant, or when I’m working outside in the heat to try to chase away a headache with the caffiene.

    Lisa´s last post…First School Picture

  10. Same here (except for me it’s Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper). Non-stop, served really col with lots of crushed ice.
    So glad you’re really doing it b/c I am now trying to do the same. Thanks for the inspiration :-)

  11. This is one of the sweetest pictures I’ve seen. SO CUTE. And I’m with you on the soda. I still drink it…but I had to buy something other than the one I was addicted to, Pepsi. I bought root beer, diet sodas, Hansen’s…something bubbly but not THE SODA I always drank. It helped…and got me drinking lots more water!

    Michelle´s last post…Preparation.

  12. That’s great. I’ve tried to quit the Diet Coke, but I’m such an addict I have one sip and I’m back off the wagon. Biggest issue is my hubby is addicted to the stuff and goes through cans of it each night – so it’ll never be out of our fridge for good.

    I hate that my 3yr old can identify the cans by sight. At least she knows not to even think of drinking them.

    Thanks for reminding me I need to set a better example.

  13. I was feeling that way about white sugar, so I switched to natural sweetners and I no longer have the sugar cravings! It’s nice to be free of that! Good luck with kickin’ your Dr. P habit!

  14. okay, you have motivated me to give up a habit I’ve had for a LONG time. Perfect timing. Very sweet picture.

  15. You’ll feel so great and it won’t even be an issue soon….

    Good job! (And your upbringing with the soda sounds so much like mine!)


    steadymom´s last post…Honoring My Boy and His Country

  16. Great job – it is so hard to give up things you “love”. I have a starbucks Chai Tea addiction that I am working on giving up. Your kids are adorable – I love the photo.

    Catherine B´s last post…Take me home…

  17. I’m so proud of you, Rachel!! I have to say it is MUCH harder when it is in the house – so tempting! We keep in the fridge for Kyle who is not *compelled* to drink it like I am. I find as long as I keep my water bottle full of cold water, I can resist the urge.

    Can’t WAIT to hear about city camping!

    Megan at Simple Kids´s last post…5 Positive Character Traits Encouraged by Free-Range Parenting

  18. Sandra Gonzales says:

    Beautiful children! I hope you’re having good post-pregnancy days. Take care.

  19. I know. It feels pathetic to admit you struggle with something as small as a soft drink, but I feel your pain. I keep telling myself that I’ll never drink another Coke, especially since I have a very smart 4 year old daughter who reminds me, “That Coke will give you cavities mom, and it’s bad for your body”. I would never let her have one, so how much longer can I go without practicing what I preach? Sadly I think my Coke days are over too. This is good motivation, so thank you for that. Good luck! Incredibly cute picture of the little ones :)

    Jen F.´s last post…Cutie

  20. One of my favorite fall drinks is Hot Dr. Pepper with lemon in it. Sooooo yummy!

    Holly´s last post…Daddy -Daughter Baseball Game

  21. Your story is very inspirational. While I never developed a taste for soft drinks, I have a really bad chocolate habit! I’ve just gone 2 weeks with no chocolate or other sweets. By the way, I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and I’m really enjoying your posts.

    Lisa´s last post…Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes!

  22. I gave up coffee and soda and fruit juice for the month of July. I basically vowed to just drink water for the entire month. It was really hard at first, and I had 1 soda the entire month (I was really feeling sick and couldn’t keep anything down anyways… so I had a ginger ale. Oh well, I forgave myself.) But, by the end of the month, I wasn’t even wanting a soda or a coffee that badly.

    The moral of the story is, have faith! The cravings will subside eventually.

    Carter @ The Kitchenette´s last post…Puff Pastry Rounds with Wine-Soaked Peaches and Whipped Cream

  23. I’m real proud of you! My husband has been having trouble kicking the habit too. We use a homemade natural soda and it has satisfied him.

    Emily @ Under$1000PerMonth´s last post…Large Family, Little Home

  24. I stopped drinking soda when my daughter was an infant, I didn’t want to have it in the house around her. It was hard for awhile but worth it, she is definitely not a soda-swiller now that she’s grown. I have a soda in a restaurant maybe once every six months but it’s always kind of a letdown, never as good as I remember [and sometimes the sweetness and flavorlessness of it just makes me sick]. You will not miss it soon, promise.

  25. That is an adorable picture of your kids!

    Good luck with quitting. It’s hard. I’ve been there. But you will feel so great when you can walk past DR pepper in the store and not even contemplate buying it.

    That feeling alone is totally worth it.

    Anali´s last post…In order to further elaborate…

  26. Great Job!

    I love Miss Lane’s hat! Thomas is an absolute DOLL! :)

  27. I’m proud of you! A week is good. That photo of your little precious ones is adorable!

    mrs. e´s last post…Celebrating Red Hat Style

  28. My husband loves soda. When my daughter was three or so she asked if soda makes you hairy. I asked her why she thought that and she told me that her daddy is hairy and he drinks soda. I didn’t bother correcting her and, to this day, she has no interest in soda.

    Katy´s last post…Tomatoes and Soy – who knew?

  29. I really, really need to stop drinking soda. Maybe you’ll inspire me to really do it at some point!

    I gave you a blog award – come check out my blog to grab it! :)

    Kristina´s last post…How Lovely I Feel!

  30. Good for you, I am changing my ways for my 2 little ones as an example too.

    I believe we all have been guilty of having one thing in our life that is not good for us, but hard (not impossible) to give up. I am working on mine too, may be we all can support each other and try again and again till it will be a successful.

    Zengirl´s last post…20 ways to be romantic for free (almost)

  31. My wife and I kicked the soda habit about two years ago. Then we got a new fridge with an ice maker that can shave ice. Well needless to say, soda goes great with that and we now have soda in the fridge again. And guess what? We have both gained a few pounds and we think it is the soda. Bummer.

    RestaurantZoom´s last post…Cardamuro’s Italian Cafe

  32. I had just finished reading this post ( before i read yours….and i think it is a magical coincidence…maybe it can help you with your problem.

  33. I’m so glad that I don’t have a soda addiction. I do however have a decent coffee habit, which is hard to control. This month we’re doing you’re NO SPEND month so I’ve been learning how to make my favorite espresso drinks at home so I can still have a treat now and then. Thanks for reminding me that the Little Eyes are watching everything we do.

    Donna S´s last post…31 days – $250 Our NO SPEND MONTH!

  34. I’m a DC addict, but since my last post a few days ago, I’ve cut my DC from 6/day to 3/day. I am in the middle of probably one of the most stressful times of my life, a system wide conversion from paper charting to electronic charting at the hospital & have been pulling 24 hour shifts. I had planned to stop DC when I ran out of soda (had a partial case left) but decided I was setting myself up for failure given the stress level & long hours. Cutting back is definitely an improvement & I will continue to do so. I didn’t develop this addiction overnight & for me, doing it in steps is best & probably the most attainable route for me.

    So glad you had another post about this subject..helps to keep me accountable…

  35. When I was in college, I developed a horrible Diet Pepsi addiction. My parents drank the stuff (diet, caffeine free, what was the POINT?) like water, so i didn’t have good role models. I usually drank nearly 10 cans of Diet Pepsi a day in college; the kind with caffeine. I didn’t like coffee and told myself i needed the boost in the mornings.

    It was so bad. My dad would actually bring me flats of the soda from Sam’s Club when he’d visit! How’s that for enabling? I finally had to give it up for health reasons, I went nearly cold turkey, with just one allowed per day. Ooooh it was so bad. But i did it. Then later i got hooked on coffee when my third kid wouldn’t sleep through the night. Finally gave it up. Now I avoid most caffeine; just drink green tea in the mornings, or decaf lattes. I realized what i loved about coffee was the taste anyway; a decaf latte is a nice treat once in a while!

  36. Good luck with the decision to quit! It is nice to look forward to not NEEDING a drink of that certain thing!

    Carmella´s last post…High Kick

  37. I had to give up soda because of acid issues several years ago. It created a bit of longing at first, but once I had gone without them for–I don’t know–a year, maybe, I found that I didn’t really like them anymore. A soda tastes much more like dessert now, but not a very good one. It’s much more filling than I had ever realized. I occasionally will have a Jack & Coke or something like that at a party, but it’s very rare. I’d rather use up my calories on food that’s really good. (And I don’t do artificial sweeteners, plus the diet ones taste REALLY icky after not drinking them a long time.)

    Sally Parrott Ashbrook´s last post…And Just Like That

  38. I’ve given up coffee and drink decaf now. A good cup of decaf can taste very close to regular coffee and without the caffeine. I do love a Diet cherry Pepsi occasionally or on a hot day.

    Melody @ Party Cupcake Ideas´s last post…Nerds Candy Cupcakes

  39. Lorin Rivers says:

    Another option is to drink cane sugar sweetened sodas as a special treat. Dr. Pepper makes some in its Dublin, TX plant and it comes in really small bottles, but it’s so good AND satisfies the sweet tooth much better than corn syrup.

    Another healthy soda substitute is fizzy water + fruit juice (apple, grape, cherry taste better to me, but that’s my preference), about 50/50.

  40. Your blog is so great! and you with aa new baby in the house–how do you do it? I stumbled upon you when doing a search to find out how a person knows when kombucha brew is ready to drink. Your info. was very helpful by the way. I kept reading more of your posts–wanted to tell you about seltzer water (plain) as a good alternative to soda. You could even mix it with a little prune juice for a sort of a Dr. Pepper taste (at least that is how Dr. Pepper always tasted to me ). Seltzer water is cheap, and you can mix it with other juices for a nice spritzer. There is something about it that really cuts through the dust. Very refreshing.

  41. I gave up booze and caffeine 4 months ago and it was VERY hard for about a month. But seriously, you pushed out 2 babies, you can do anything!
    I also recommend flavored seltzer. I add a splash of PomWonderful to mine and a squeeze of lime. Delicious!

    juliet´s last post…Our last shred of dignity

  42. I did this myself 1 year ago and I am soda (and caffeine) free. I drink water and iced herbal tea; I keep a pitcher of it in the fridge. It’s hard to kick it at first and I can totally relate to the compulsion, but you’ve committed to it in writing so that will help motivate you! Good luck!

    Allison´s last post…Last 2 Days for 20% Off!

  43. Good for you! I’ve only had a handful of coffees and Cokes my whole life. Caffeine has a really strong effect on me. I’ve been sleep deprived for the last two and a half years, so it was very tempting to give caffeine a shot at giving me an energy boost. It’s so not worth it though. Having one cup in the morning would mean I would still be wide awake until 4am the next morning! I drink ‘fake’ coffee every so often, now.

    Trisha´s last post…The “Secret Sauce” for Effective Marketing

  44. Well done you! I was a Diet Coke Addict (captials required – it was bad!) for years but always wanted to cut it out. Tried & failed many times and then with baby number 3 I had hyperemesis (40x plus per day vomiting – nice) which seemed to do the trick. Rather extreme and a hideous period of my life but out of the experience I got beautiful Baby Leather Number 3 and could never face a can of Diet Coke again. Excessive unwellness and the second viewing of D Coke is not fun. Wouldn’t recommend it as a soda withdrawal strategy though!

    BTW, beautiful photo of the children. Hope all going well for your little family.

    Victoria Leather´s last post…Frozen Appeal

  45. Boy do I relate to this. Soda and I have had a long on again/off again relationship. Then I was diagnosed with Colitis and soda is a big no-no. So I struggle, there are just certain foods in my mind that taste better when accompanied with Coke! I can’t help it nor am I a wine drinker, so there is that. Not having it in the house is a huuge help and I have poured too many bottles down the drain. Stay strong!!

    melissa´s last post…Eco Friendly Blondie with a Bow Coffee Cuff Cozy

  46. Good for you, I really enjoy your blog, and wish you all the best with your attempt to curtail the Pepper habit. I was never much of a soda drinker (just Pepsi or Coke with Pizza, of course) until we moved to Germany and they didn’t serve or have available regular old water at restaurants. I don’t drink alcohol so that only left soda. Unfortunately, it has become a regular part of my diet and my husband has always drank a lot it. I have been thinking that we should cut down and now you have inspired me to go for it. Not buying it anymore if I can help it, I will just let it be an occasional treat. Thanks for the inspiration and for your interesting posts!

    Cynthia´s last post…Inquiring minds want to know…

  47. I’M DOING IT TOO!! Its been 2 weeks now and I am actually doing ok with it. I agree with you, the key is keeping it out of the house. My family has friday night pizza nights, so that is the only time there is pop in the house. Thankfully, we are a family of 5 and end up drinking most of it in one night. I dump out anything that is left. I JUST CAN’T HAVE IT AROUND!
    I have been drinking iced tea instead, I found a super easy way to make it (I have a post about how I make it on my blog) that has been working for me!! WHOO-HOO! YAY US!

    Amy at New Nostalgia´s last post…Fudgy Buttons

  48. I have a particularly difficult week of coursework deadlines (essays, reports, statistics) and I’ve been craving cherry coke/dr pepper all weekend. Luckily, the nearest shops are a 10 minute bus away and it’s sleeting outside; so I’m safe for another day.

    I need to work on eating less chocolate..
    Well done on giving up the habit :).

    Rose´s last post…A Simple Post on Simplicity

  49. “…the only willpower required is when I choose not to buy it during the minute I pass it at the grocery store.” That puts it into perspective! :)