Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Concession Confessions

From addiction - "the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma"

This post by Skinny Emmie resonated with me. For weeks I hid from my choices, only to realize how much it was costing me. I must admit that, as much as I try, I do have to make some concessions in my dietary choices.

Everyone heralds the benefits of quitting soda--there's even an entire website dedicated to it--but I simply can't do it. At least, not yet. During the fitness program last semester, I tried to stop because my personal trainer urged us to give up sugary drinks for water entirely. I wanted so badly to accomplish what I haven't been able in years, so I stopped buying soda at the grocery store for several weeks.

I soon discovered that, even without soda in the fridge, I found ways to get it. I started ordering Jimmy Johns every evening so that I had a reason to order a soda. Or, I'd avoid packing lunch so that I could buy a soda with my lunch on campus.

If this sounds like an addiction to you, that's because it's close. It doesn't meet the medical definition for an addiction, but it's an incredibly difficult habit to break. My mom likes to joke about how I would only play tea party if she gave me soda for my plastic tea set. That's a sweet story, but that learned behavior set me up for a lifelong (so far) addiction to sugary drinks.

Time for a little number crunching! A twelve-pack of Pepsi runs around $4. If I'm lucky, I can catch it on sale for closer to $3. That sounds a little expensive, right? My average meal at Jimmy Johns, including a sandwich, chips, soda, and tip, runs closer to $11. One of the less expensive meals on campus, normally a sandwich and soda, costs about $6. Let's say I ate on campus and ordered Jimmy Johns that night: that's a total of $17 to get my soda fix! I could buy between 4 and 6 12-packs for that much. A 12-pack of soda will last me about a week and a half. So, for the price of one day of eating out to get soda, I could have stocked myself up for nearly two months. That's not to mention the money I could have saved by cooking the food that I had on hand.

I'm doing better now. My concession confession is that I always keep soda in the house; if I don't, I'll revert to ordering in and eating out just to get my soda fix. Since I've started keeping soda around, I've only eaten out (or ordered in) a few times. When I do order in, it's usually a plain turkey and provolone sandwich from Jimmy Johns and their delicious Thinny Chips. When I eat out, it's those rare evenings when I need to have dinner between working and attending an evening meeting on campus. Even then, I try to get a light meal so that I can eat something better upon returning home.

It's a long, harrowing journey, but I'll get there.


  1. I totally understand about the soda thing. I am a diet coke girl and range from 4-6 12 ounce cans a day. I have started to at times getting the any size soda at Thornton's for 89 cents.

  2. I've been working on cutting soda too. I got it down to once a week at trivia where my other choices are alcohol or crappy tea. At restaurants I order half sweet tea to cut the sugar and still get flavor.
    My only other exception is ginger ale for tummy aches. A must.