Strong In My Weakness

I caved. I gave in. I broke.

I just broke a 20 day streak without Diet Coke at lunch today.

Starting over.

Please don't feel obligated to tell me all the ways Diet Coke is horrible for me to try to encourage me to break my habit. I know.
By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
 As a migraine sufferer, I gave up Diet Coke "for good" in 2010. In my prolific reading about migraines and triggers, one point made sense to me: any triggers that you can get out of your life, you should, and caffeine addiction is an obvious one. This particular author recommended that migraine sufferers put down caffeine and never return to it. I did, and felt better.

(Yes, caffeine is used to treat migraines. Different story. I am happy to discuss what I know about migraines with you if you are interested. Email me.)

Made it all the way until June, too. Don't know why I took a sip or two of Satan's milk. But I did. And there you go. I was a goner. That six month stretch is the longest I've had since (but that also is when Troy lost his job, so trying to give up my serious addiction in the face of unemployment, then long-distance marriage/ single-motherhood/ house for sale, then move/ relocating teenagers.

January is when I tried (AGAIN) to really get off of it for good. I went a little too cold turkey on a rainy, hormonal week and kept a migraine for about 5 days, but I was NOT turning back at that point.

Last year, one (of my four) words for the year was "gentleness." This struggle has given me gentleness with those struggling with real addictions. If I can't lay down my bubbly goodness for more than 20 days, then I am sure not going to throw stones at people trying to walk away from tobacco, alcohol, a prescription they've found they rely on, or anything like that.

The Lord is also leading me to see that, though I am a healthy eater, I (still) have some food addictions I'm not quite ready to give up. Foods that I know aren't the best fuel for my workouts or body, but I just flat don't want to walk away from. I believe with all my heart (when it comes to types of food) that “ 'Everything is permissible'–but not everything is beneficial." (1 Cor. 10:23). And as I try to do what is most beneficial for me in my food choices, I find that I am very, very weak.

A friend urged me to claim 2 Corinthians 12: 9, 10 for this year:

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" 2 Corinthians 12:9,10 

Um... that's not very fun. But oh, so true. And I have seen the many many ways God will work if I will remember that He is strong in my weakness.

This sounds pretty heavy for one cup of Diet Coke, huh?

So... I'm taking suggestions on how to completely walk away from this habit. Starting over...NOW. I'm considering paying myself $1 or $2 (the cost of one out) when I am super tempted. When I break 20 days again, I'll either treat myself to something fun or keep saving up for something big. 

I think I used to be more strong-willed than this and just got tired. What about you? Strong willed? Habit you're trying to break? Want an accountability partner? I'm in!


Shelley said...

I'm not telling your drink Coke, but I am telling you what I have done as a Migraine sufferer as well... {Let me start by saying I take a preventative Topamax twice a day and Maxalt or Imitrex {sp} when I get the real deal!} Anyway, I STOPPED diet coke and all other products that contain aspertame or any type of artificial sweeteners! Those were a BAD THING for me. I do allow my self a REAL COKE every now and again bc it doesnt contain the bad stuff. It does have more FATTENING stuff but not the that appeared to give me headaches. It helped me. Plus, aspertame was in EVERYTHING sugar free that I was eating!

Losing Lindy said...

What is your second favorite thing to drink? What about water with cucumbers or lime, or lemon? I like my water with ice cubes..silly that I like ice cubes that much. ;)

How about herbal tea?

I used to drink diet coke all the time. I now have one about once every 3-4 weeks.

Roxanne Langley said...

You know about my Diet Coke. At the behest of my chiropractor, who wanted me to quit completely, I at least cut BACK substantially. . .from a 16 oz. bottle at home in the morning, another one at lunch, and a large or Rt44 on the way home during happy hour (if I am paying full price for a Diet Coke--it's coming from Sonic, and I'm DESPERATE)-- DOWN to one 16 oz bottle over the course of an entire day.

For the past two weeks, I have cut out sugar and bread completely. That's right. Monday will be 14 days with no sugar and no bread and no cheating. First time. Ever. Neither an M nor an M. Plenty of fresh spinach, cauliflower, etc. BUT my Diet Coke intake has NEARLY increased back to my pre-quitting amount. HOWEVER, my water in take has ALSO increased, so I don't feel so bad.

Gentleness is key. AND me saying to myself, "You've already had a Diet Coke today. Time for water." is ALSO key. That, and water is the first thing I put into my body every day.

None of this helps you in your quest--but know that I am with you. I don't read the Diet Coke horror stories. . .I have enough shackles of guilt clanging around on me already.

Jae said...

We do what we can, when we can. Gentleness. Patience. Grace. Love.

One of the hardest things I've had to do is listen as Jesus talks to my sweet but dysfunctional KidsInTheBackSeat who, for many reasons, skew the truth. RuleKeeperKid yells the rules at me (Rule 401.3, Section B - You Shall Not Drink Diet Drinks), ShameKid tells me she knew I couldn't do it and plays a movie of the billion times I tried and failed. WTHKid says why even try. And SledgehammerKid, just to reinforce all the others, makes sure its painful if I make the attempt.

Then I see Jesus crawling in the back of my car, and gently begins to speak love over them. Lots of times, when they're really upset, he says nothing...just pulls them deep into Him and comforts them. He never shames them, just lets them experience His love.

It takes courage to allow Jesus to do the things we can't do ourselves. He loves you. I love you. And I especially love your DietCokeKid.

Stephanie said...

While never a Diet soda addict, (my mom was.... another story) I do have many other die-hard "addictions" when it comes to food - right now, Diamond's dry roasted sea salted almonds (OMG the calories!) - but as far as drink goes - I started brewing Green Tea, then keeping a gallon pitcher of it in the fridge. It's really not bad as iced tea. Even my boys like it - and they can make disappear 2 liters of Dr. Pepper in the blink of an eye.

Sarah S. said...

Please come back over here (why does my blog like you now? Because you're at home?) and read what JoAnn ("jae") wrote. She's so wise. Yes, gentleness is key. And, I agree, that as long as you are drinking at least as much water as Diet Coke (if not more) you are headed in the right direction. SO! PROUD! of you for getting off the sugar and the bread. I am leaning towards the Paleo way of eating -- which is no sugar, no bread, no dairy (these people just invent ways to torture us, I swannee...) but I just don't know about that yet. Baby steps, indeed. You are worth being good to, Roxanne -- eating well and lots of water. Keep at it!

Sarah S. said...

Your word pictures make me smile. So... that is some kinda crazy clown car I got going there with all those kids in the backseat. :-) They multiply, you know. Always love what you are going to say. Hey! You commented! Thanks!

Sarah S. said...

That is (part of) the deal -- being prepared with an alternative. I usually don't mind water, but sometimes it is just so... water, you know? What tripped me up on Friday was going out for lunch (Mexican food) and this meal just cried out for a Diet Coke. And, if I were to ONLY have Diet Coke with THAT meal... that would probably be okay, but I promise, today, resisting has been SO! hard again. I honestly think there is crack cocaine in the bubbles! :-) Green Tea, huh? May give it a try!

Sarah S. said...

I do like those kinds of water and herbal tea. Yes, as I mentioned on Stephanie's comment, being prepared will definitely be key, but what tripped me up on Friday was going out for lunch (Mexican food) and this meal just cried out for a Diet Coke. And, if I were to ONLY have Diet Coke with THAT meal... that would probably be okay, but I promise, today, resisting has been SO! hard again. I honestly think there is crack cocaine in the bubbles! :-) Yes, I need to find an alternative. I'm really trying to get away from all artificial sweeteners and carbonation so a good herbal tea would be good.

Cathy Messecar said...

Sarah, about that weakness thing. I discovered a little phrase in Hebrews 11:34 "WHOSE WEAKNESS WAS TURNED TO STRENGTH." Powerful.

Roxanne Langley said...

:) My goal is MORE water than Diet Coke. I figure if I do that, I'm doin' okay. :)

Judy Gergen said...

You I read through this story that's going on in your life.....I have to tell you that this scripture has been coming to me again and again......I looked up the word "Grace" on and was humbled to understand what it says.....if you get a all of the takes on grace. You will be extraordinarily blessed. Smiles to you!

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