I wonder whether I can give up soda, tea and other unnecessary sugar for a month

If there’s a negative about Christmastime, it’s that it tends to send my diet on a downward spiral.

Not just from the delicious food and treats at the various parties and gatherings, but also the calorie-filled stocking stuffers. It usually takes at least a couple of weeks to get through all those treats, but the effects linger for much longer. I’m sure a lot of people can relate.

We’re more than a month removed from Christmas, and that lingering effect is still with me. The just one more or this won’t hurt thoughts have stuck around much longer than they should. I’m still allowing myself too many unnecessary treats: candy, soda, sweet tea, various chocolate-covered things. I’m still exercising, at least, but I won’t reap the true health benefits without getting my diet back on track.

Thankfully, I’ve not gained much weight. Maybe a pound or two. But I feel like I’m just a couple of craving-induced decisions away from letting myself go and making this sugar-tastic lifestyle permanent. So I’m going to try something: I’m going to see whether I can go a month without any soda, candy or other unnecessary sugar. I’ll still allow myself an occasional dessert, but I’m going to be much more selective. That approach has worked for me before.

I don’t have a weight goal in mind, but I’m bound to lose some if I eliminate these now-daily indulgences and keep up my exercise routine. Hopefully, after a month, the desire will lessen enough to where I can regain my pre-holiday self-control. Actually, that’s misleading — my self-control with this stuff has been lacking for about a year; it just got worse during the holidays. I used to be so good at saying no to sweets and soda, but here we are again.

No matter how disciplined you get with this stuff, it’s so easy to fall back into old habits. This will be my third or fourth attempt since around 2009 to get things on track. Usually, once I get back on track it tends to stick for a long time. It helps if people keep you accountable. So if you see me, feel free to ask how it’s going. I’ll be honest.

Still, I know this will be hard. It’s always hard. But I know I can do it because, well, I’ve done it before. I don’t like it when my shirts feel tight, so having not-tight shirts is a pretty sweet reward.

Not-tight pants are cool, too.

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