Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Hi. My name is Karen and I'm an addict.

My addiction started when I was fifteen. I got my first fix and unlimited access to my drug of choice when I started working at Taco Bell. It was easy, available and free. I didn't realize then what a slippery slope I was starting down.

I am addicted to Dr Pepper.

One of the really bad things about fast food companies is the unlimited access to soda that they offer. In an eight hour shift, an average employee could drink a gallon or more of fountain soda without even realizing it. I worked in an environment that allowed the consumption of unlimited free soda from 1979 to 2006.

Dr Pepper became the first thing I reached for in the morning when I woke up. On a bad morning I could be on my third soda before I left the house for work. I never drove any where without a Dr Pepper in the cup holder of the car. It was what I reached for after sex. I could drink Dr Pepper like other people chain smoke cigarettes, popping one open after the last one was finished.

When my addiction was at it's worse, I was drinking twelve a day.

I bragged at one point in my management career, that I was living on Dr Pepper and stress. That comment was not too far off. It is still my go-to when things get tough.

I stopped drinking Dr Pepper for ten months when I got pregnant with my son. It's the longest I've been able to go without having a Dr Pepper for 37 years. Since then, with my diminished metabolism and advancing girth, I've tried to stop drinking it again. Every time I have failed.

It is the reason I gained back the weight I lost in 2012. I self-sabotaged by believing I could drink Dr Pepper and not gain weight. I mean, I drank Dr Pepper for years and didn't gain any weight, why would this be any different. I began to drink Dr Pepper in private, hiding it from those who I love. 

My brain keeps telling me that I can continue to drink Dr Pepper and be skinny, but my body is not believing it so much. I struggle to limit my consumption, even now. No, I do not drink 12 a day any more, but at my age and with my metabolism issues, three is just as bad.

On Monday, when we put Preacher to sleep, I had three.

I told J on Tuesday that I could no longer make the same choices I've been making. I want to be able to ride without feeling uncomfortable. I want to ride without Ashke wincing at me bouncing on his back. I want to be able to look down and see my feet. I want to be able to see a picture of me on Ashke's back and see something other than how I look.

I asked J to make me feel guilty at wanting a soda. To tell me no and get mad at me. To hold me accountable, because my brain and I are not on the same page with this Dr Pepper thing.

Pray for me. I'm going to need all of the help I can get.


  1. I have faith you'll kick the habit. If you want anything badly enough and have people around to hold you accountable and a horse whose eyes will look straight into your soul and pick you up and carry you through the rough patches, you'll do it. I kicked my soda habits in HS when I wanted to be the best swimmer I could be as I quested after college scholarships (which I ended up being offered and then denying because swimming was secondary to academics). Bottom line though, when you have a goal (like the WE for you and Ashke) that you want [real bad] to guide you, you'll be able to overcome anything. YOU'VE GOT THIS!

  2. I believe in you, and you CAN do this!! You are stronger than that Dr. Pepper!

    I used to love Coca Cola. Not as badly as you with your Dr. Pepper, but I LOVED Coke. I drank it a lot more than water. My weight showed this. And then I decided I wanted to lose weight a lot more than I wanted Coca Cola. I forced myself to start drinking Diet Coke. I got used to the flavor and drank this for a while...until a friend of mine who was on our university's track team told me exactly how bad it is for you and why she never drank it. Of course I knew it wasn't good for me: I read everything I could get my hands on about nutrition. But what really got me was that this girl, who was all rippling muscle and like 2% body fat, said that all soda contributes to cellulite. I'm not sure if that's really true or not and I deliberately never researched that statement, but the fact that *this* girl in particular said that affected me enough to never want to touch soda again. I can still find faults with my body (what woman can't?) but I did find it so much easier to get to my goal weight and stay at it once I cut all soda, even diet, out. I'll have a soda at social gatherings where I can't just pour myself a glass of water or request one, but I just don't crave them at all anymore. And you feel so much better when you up your water drinking and cut out all the soda. More so than weight loss or looking a certain way, what ultimately kept me off the soda was how much better I felt once I wasn't having it regularly anymore. You'll feel brighter, more energetic, and since you'll be better hydrated, you'll be a lot less sore after riding Ashke! I promise. :)

    1. I do drink a lot of water. My issue is no longer drinking soda. And yes, it does make me feel better and I think I am better and then the next time you see me I'm face down in the gutter covered with splashed soda, a crushed can in my hand.

  3. I love your addiction story (sorry!), so perfect! You can do it, though it will be hard! I cut all soda during a boot camp that I did, and it was hard. And then I slipped, though I was down to just one a day at lunch. I bought a super cool water bottle that I love, and have three of them on my desk. Since they're now convenient it makes life easier. I still do the occasional soda, more as a treat. I keep it in a cupboard so it is not nice and cold and tempting me in the fridge.

    Can you not even have it in the house? That works for me with other things. But I know it's harder living with a family, but awesome that they're also on your side.

    1. I can't have it at all, because then one at home becomes one at home and one at work. Which then becomes two and then three. Honest to god, if I was allowed, I could drink a dozen still.

      It is the only thing I am addicted to. Ever.

  4. I know this feel, I was addicted to soda too, luckily my mom quashed it back when she was able to control me. I got myself down to 1 soda a day in college, even when I was able to drink as much as I wanted. Now I keep a running tally of how much water I drink in comparision. Soda is so few and far between, maybe drink it 3x a month at most.

    I hope you win the battle, it is a tough one!


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