I've had a soda problem most of my adult life. In college I was pretty good about it, tried to drink milk at least for dinner when I was on the meal plan, but after that, I started to drink a lot of Coke. In 2005 I greatly reduced that when I was coaching and more active, but by 2009, I was drinking a few cans a day (thanks, Microsoft, for all the free drinks).
When I moved to Florida in 2013, I started drinking a lot more water, because, you know, it's f'ing hot in the summer. I also mostly stopped drinking any caffeinated soda and stuck to Sprite, just because it was without the caffeine. Then in 2018 I started working in a place with free soda, snacks and food, and I gained about a dozen pounds. When I started working from home again and the pandemic hit, there was definitely a new kind of problem to tackle, so I figured I needed to get more serious about cutting the useless sugar out as much as possible.
Barely flavored soda water is all the rage right now, and when I tried it, I thought it was pretty gross. So I made a compromise: I started mixing it with Sprite. At that point, I was down to 70 empty calories per drink, which was a step in the right direction. I started changing the ratio over the next month, and before I knew it, I could drink the stuff straight. I tend to prefer the Bubly flavors. Not a fan of the La Croix. I really dig Spindrift, but it's not as easy to come by and more expensive.
I still drink the Sprite, but generally limit it to about six ounces and a splash of fruit juice in the morning, because my doctor believes that's a reasonable compromise to the intermittent fasting strategy of not eating between 7pm and 11am. When I'm consistent about it, that alone helps keep my weight down. I lost about half of the weight I gained while at my previous job, and all things considered when I have urges to eat my feelings, that's a miracle. Now I need to figure out how to not have fruity tropical cocktails on weekends.
It's interesting that over the years I've made changes to behaviors and habits that have benefited my health, but I rarely stick to all of them at the same time. This has been a horrible year to try and get the mental health in place so I can give due attention to the physical health, but again, I made some progress this year, and that counts.