**Before I start, I just want to say that I know I risk sounding preachy and holier-than-thou with many of these posts that say "do this" or "don't do that." I do not feel this way at all. I am the first to admit that I have a wretched sweet tooth, and also used to drink a couple of cokes a day. However, I hope that I can increase awareness about these things. I know that if I, the Queen of Sweets, can quit this stuff (for the most part) and lose the weight, then anyone can. But people need the knowledge and the right tools. Luckily, I already had a lot of this knowledge because my mom was fairly healthy growing up. But not everyone had this example, and therefore don't know where to start. That's where outsiders like me come in. It is my goal to help inspire and motivate people to transform into a happy, healthy, fit version of themselves- and ENJOY it! Working out and eating healthy should be fun, not a chore. Life is too short to make yourself miserable. If you do it right and have the right attitude, it can be a blast. It is for me! And I hope that is contagious. I have a passion for this topic, and I love helping people. Nothing would make me prouder than to help motivate and possibly even change the life of at least one person. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...**
You may think I am crazy but, in my opinion, soda and its marketers rank right up there with cigarettes and alcohol. There is absolutely nothing good about soda. It may taste good to you, but if you were to stop drinking it for a while and then have one again, you will be surprised at how syrupy it will taste to your rehabbed taste buds. You won't be able to drink the whole can, I guarantee it. This is how I am. We do not buy soda, but sometimes we will order a root beer (our fav.) when we go out to eat. But it is so sweet that I always have to have a water right next to it in order to wash it down. Nothing quenches thirst like a nice glass of ice cold water.
In fact, do you think it could even be argued that soda could fall under "hot drinks" with coffee and tea in the Word of Wisdom (in the LDS Church)? I guess if you're following the spirit of the WoW, it does (basically anything that can be habit-forming to YOU is discouraged). That may seem extreme, but I am sure that there are plenty of studies that show a direct link between soda consumption and obesity.
You may be wondering what the heck is the Word of Wisdom?? Well, it's basically a set of guidelines that God set forth for us (translated by Joseph Smith in 1833) in relation to health, and healthful eating. Many of you know us for avoiding coffee, tea, alcohol, and smoking. This is where all of that comes from, but there is much more to it. It also addresses what you can and should eat, including eating meat in moderation. Keep in mind that this was given to us long before the effects of smoking were known. Back then people did not understand why they were told not to smoke, for instance, because everyone smoked! Now we know. And the WoW is not just for the Mormons- God gave this to all of his people, which is everyone on this earth! Everyone is encouraged to follow it. If you are interested in learning about everything that it entails, here it is: D&C 89.
Ok, so this next part is for all those ladies who drink diet soda: IT IS NOT ANY BETTER FOR YOU. In fact, it could even be worse because, instead of using real sugar, they are using fake sugar. At least real sugar is derived from nature! Fake sugar has been shown to do a number on insulin in the body, and it actually makes you feel MORE hungry. Not something you want if you're trying to lose weight.
So if you want something that doesn't have any calories, then drink water. God gave us water for a reason. And don't mess with a good thing by flavoring it with powdery junk. Fine, try a little lemon. But why not try to just get used to it. And you will if you drink it long enough. I love water! My son loves water. We don't do much juice around here because kids don't really need it, and it fills them up. And my son needs as many "real" calories as he can get, since he's so darn skinny!
For those who are interested: I found an article online that has some great quotes on this topic from various LDS Church leaders. Apparently this is more of an anti-Mormon website, but I don't see how this particular article is bad (unless they think we're all crazy for not drinking soda). :) Here's the link: Are Mormons Allowed to Drink Caffeinated Sodas?