Since starting college, I have formed a small addiction to a certain drink. No, it's not what you think it is.
It's cherry Pepsi.
I know. I know. You don't understand how I could become so attached to something, or why I would waste calories on this specific drink. What you don't know is that the soda fountain in the dining hall next to my dorm not only has cherry Pepsi but a cherry-flavored soda right next to it.
This cherry soda is unreal. No, it is not Cheerwine (I'm from North Carolina; I know the difference.) It is Kool-Aid man red and has more sugar than an entire bucket of Skittles. By itself, it tastes fine. By itself, cherry Pepsi also tastes fine. Mixed together, these drinks are dangerous.
I had this combination once, then twice, then every single day of the week. It was a problem.
So, the week after spring break, I decided to see just how long I could go without this in my life. As a Baptist, I do not celebrate Lent, but I thought this would be an interesting form of fasting to remove an unhealthy idol that had unconsciously formed in my life.
It has now been a full week since I have had a soda of any kind, and I feel amazing!
It has not been an easy week. I still found myself reaching for the soda button each time I filled my glass of water in the dining hall. I even found myself trying out pink lemonade, which I have not had in at least five months, just to fill the void this drink left in my life.
I would be lying if I said I didn't have thoughts of cheating. On one specific occasion, I was staring at a small can of Coke in the mini-fridge in my dorm room. For thirty seconds, I debated what the harm could be in just one small sip. My roommate even said I deserved it. She promised not to tell anyone either.
By sheer willpower and pride, I refused it. I learned two things from this incidence. One, my roommate is a terrible accountability partner. That girl was going to let me cheat! Two, I have much more willpower than I give myself credit for. I could have easily cured my current craving, throwing out almost a week's worth of resisting temptation, but I was able to reason with myself and remind myself I did not need it.
A similar incidence happened later, at a time when I was alone and free to break my fast without the judging eyes of my friends. Naturally, on the week I quit soda, there would be a truck parked right outside my class handing out free samples of any flavor of Diet Coke you could want.
I. Love. Diet. Coke.
How could they do this to me? There was no way I was strong enough to resist such a perfect cheating opportunity!
Well, friends, there was, in fact, a way. It's called "look the other way and keep walking." Just call me Wonder Woman, because I have actual superhuman strength.
So how is this upcoming week going to go?
I honestly do not know, but I have confidence in myself. I have found ways to manage. How has it taken me this long to realize how amazing sparkling water is? La Croix is not just the drink of choice for overdressed soccer moms across the country, but it is my saving grace as I am parting ways with my long-time love, cherry Pepsi.
I am truly not sure how long this "fast" will last, but I am excited to see how long I can go!
As for my dear extra-cherry, cherry Pepsi, it's not you, it's me. I hope we can still be friends.