A year ago I was on the path to healthier living, with the help of my friend Aaron. He coached me through some dietary changes and helped me set up a training regimen that helped me lose thirty pounds. Then winter came, and that all went to shit. I’m back where I started, and it’s been even harder to get started this time than last time. It’s been frustrating – mostly because I have no one to blame but myself.

One of Aaron’s biggest points, and one I had the hardest time accepting, was the evils of soft drinks. It took me a month before I was able to go a day without a fizzy caffeinated beverage and not have my head explode. But I did it, and managed to stay completely clean for a couple of months. Then, of course, I found myself in a situation where I felt low on energy and had a show to get through, and thought, “Eh, one won’t kill me,” and then it was a quick decline back into caffeine addiction. One thing I forgot: Addiction to anything is expensive. I could probably go back and trace how much money I’ve spent on soda over the past year, but the number would probably make me angry.

Fast forward to this week. On Monday, for reasons I’m not entirely sure about, I had no soda. I woke up Tuesday¬†with a punishing headache, but opted for a fistful of Advil rather than caffeine. By the end of the day my skull felt hollowed out, but the headache was gone. The next morning I woke up with a smaller headache that subsided after a smaller handful of Advil. Yesterday and this morning I woke up with even smaller headaches that went away on their own after a few minutes.

I’m not going to have any caffeine today. Or tomorrow. That is the current plan. Maybe next week I’ll manage to work out more than twice. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.