I will say it up front. I am a diet Coke addict. Have been since 1983 when it first came out. I started drinking the stuff when I was on Weight Watchers after the birth of my third child and found that I could have as much diet Coke as I wanted (at 3 calories per can). It left me with the satisfied feeling that I was ingesting something forbidden and I very quickly came to like it better than regular Coca-Cola.
30 years later, diet Coke is my soft drink of choice – actually, my drink of choice, period.
I did have a small window of guilt in 2005 and stopped all caffeine intake for about eight months. But I have to say that not one single day when by that I didn’t crave a lovely tall glass of icy cold diet Coke. I don’t know what caused me to start drinking it again. But I remember that the first one I had tasted terrible. The second one wasn’t so bad. And by the third one, I was hooked all over again.
I am writing this because it has now been seven days since my last diet Coke. I’m past the caffeine withdrawal headaches. But I really, really just want to open my refrigerator, pull out a can and drink the whole thing right there.
So why did I stop? Diet Coke is sweetened with aspartame, which is so not good for you. Diet Coke is also loaded with caffeine – also bad news. And even though I have known all this for years and years, I have continued to pollute my body with this junk. Because I like it. That’s probably the same story an addict of any substance will tell you. So is it any different because diet Coke is legal? Because you can buy it in any store or vending machine on the continent? Nope.
I’m not going to tell you that I will never have another diet Coke or a cup of coffee again as long as I live. I’m pretty sure I will. But I want to break the dependence factor. I don’t want to be inhaling caffeine simply because I know I’ll have a raging headache if I don’t.
Now I’m going to start on my second 750 ml glass of ice water for the day.
And stare longingly at the two cans of diet Coke in my fridge.