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Rohit Roy is not the typical TikTok star. He doesn’t dance, or sing, or make memes about why millennials need to stop wearing skinny jeans. The 42-year-old financial planning assistant from Melbourne has found online fame for one thing: quitting soft drinks.

Roy has amassed almost a quarter of a million TikTok followers by sharing daily video updates that earnestly document his journey to kick a lifelong soft drink addiction. He’s now gone just over 365 days without a drop of the stuff, but every video still begins the same way: “Hello everyone, no fizzy drink for me today.”

Going cold turkey on Coke has helped Roy turn over a new leaf. In 2020 his social media presence even landed him a gig as a Weight Watchers ambassador.

“I feel like a completely different person now,” he recently told followers. “My life is full of positive physical and mental activities and I’m enjoying every moment of it.”

Roy told Guardian Australia last year the support he received on TikTok made staying on the no-fizzy drink wagon easier. So given how crucial social media has been to his journey, it’s not surprising that Roy rates his smart phone as the object he couldn’t live without. Here, he tells us about why his phone is so useful, as well as the story of a few other important belongings.

What I would save from my house in a fire

I would save three books that have completely changed my life in a positive direction. They are How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, The Power of Positive Thinking and Awakening the Buddha Within. I owe them everything I am today.

I know that I could buy these books again if I ever I lose them, but new books wouldn’t have the memories, emotions and feelings attached to them. These three books are my companions for the times when I have been stressed, down and negative.

I have learnt from my past and moved on, but I will treasure these books forever because they saved me. I like to believe that these books chose me. I still read them again and again just to re-energise myself and feel fresh again.

My most useful object
In no shape or form am I addicted to my phone, but it is my most useful object.

I have recorded my whole life with it and it stays with me all the time. Whether it is my journey to get rid of my addiction to soft drink or to lose weight, my phone has helped me in capturing these memories. I also use it to communicate with people who support me.

I have an amazing memory and I can remember most things, but I still use my phone as a true companion to help me when required. It helps me keep in touch with my family and friends and remain social. And of course, it also helps me to relax by allowing me to listen to my favourite music, watch videos and shop.

The item I most regret losing
The item I most regret losing is an audio cassette that I lost when I was around 12 or 13 years old.

I was born and brought up in India. One day, I watched a Bollywood movie and I loved the songs. It was a remake of a South Indian movie and I later got the opportunity to visit South India, as my father was going on a work trip. When I got there, I bought a cassette containing songs from the South Indian version of that movie. I travelled home by train and was eagerly waiting to get back so that I could listen to it. But when I got home, I realised that I’d left the cassette on the train somewhere. I was so disappointed and regretted this so much.

At that time there was no internet available in my area, so it wasn’t easy to download the songs. I was extremely excited to listen to the South Indian versions of my favourite songs but unfortunately, I never got the chance. This memory will most likely stay with me forever.