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: An unhealthy obsession with so much history behind it.

I started drinking regular soda as my main beverage as a child, essentially following the lead of my elders. It was freely available in my house and I drank as much as I wanted.

For a variety of reasons, my weight ballooned to an unhealthy amount.  Eventually, as a pre-teen, I joined Weight Watchers and lost a lot of weight.  I switche to diet coke and replaced some of my intake with other artificial sweetened beverages, like Crystal Lite. I did become healthier, and my intentions were to have a better quality of life as much as cosmetic. As my intention grew more about getting to a certain “ideal” number on the scale, I became a bit obsessed.  Continued drinking diet coke, partially to mimic feeling full.

I became ever more aware of the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners. I found that my appetite did indeed decrease when I cut out the Crystal Lite and I never really *loved* it anyway.  I never stopped drinking diet coke, but when I moved to France I stopped stocking it in the house and generally had it as more of a treat. I also came to prefer coke zero. As a MBA student, i started stocking and pounding that diet coke and “Coca Zero,” since its really the only kind of readily available caffeine I enjoy (I don’t like coffee or black tea).

Right now, I am focusing on becoming more healthy and slimming down a bit.  Sound mind, sound body. I’m working on deconstructing the complexes and habits I’ve built up around food, eating, and dieting (which is not my goal- just lifestyle adjustment). Diet Coke seems like a logical place to focus, since I probably drank over a gallon today alone. I am aware it can give you bladder cancer, possibly contributes to kidney stones, and makes you want to overeat because the fake sugar causes your body to search out calories to compensate for the sweet taste. I know it messes with your metabolism, and can be used to clean a car battery and polish silverware. I know Diet Coke and Mentos produce a mini explosion. Yet somehow, I still drink it.

I’ve been to yoga three days in a row (wooot!) and many poses focus on eliminating the toxins and making you sweat. I go to yoga, and then I get something to eat, usually with a heaping helping of Diet Coke. I’ve gotten better, and have started to drink water with it at least.  I don’t think I will ever go cold turkey and just quit it altogether, and here’s why.

When I drink Diet Coke, it reminds me of home. It stimulates my tongue with its acidic bubbles, and tastes sweet.  Because it’s diet, I don’t think it will make me fat. Or at least I think, “It has no calories, it has no fat! And those tests showing it caused cancer fed ridiculous amounts of aspartame to rats and thus don’t apply to me! It is my only vice! It is my only source of caffeine! It’s better than drinking alcohol! I’ll give it up someday!”

Well, I don’t know if today is the day, or this blog post is going to be my turnaround point. Like so many things in life that are bad for us, this one is a tuffy. Not sure why I continue to go against all sense, just to continue enjoy something familiar and comforting, yet harmful.   How true is that of so many things in life. Just because the label says 0 help, 0 harm in terms of nutrients and calories doesn’t mean it has no consequences on your body. THough there are many other contributors to weight loss/ gain and it seems like a small and forgivable bad habit, I still have to ask myself, “Why are you consciously putting man made toxic chemics into your body that you could easily avoid?”

Haven’t we all asked this question, not just in food but in life?

I hope to manage my diet coke consumption and not let my urge for tharmful familiar to overcome my goals to be HEALTHIER. Not just thinner, and not specifically a lower weight. Just taking care of myself. Without drinking s omuch cancer juice, and without turning it into a super hyperbolic, neurotic drama, to turn on the shame and guitl dynamics in my relationship towards consumption, and just generally to do the the things I know are good for me and avoid that which is not. Regardless of how it immediately impacts the number on the scale. Even if it means going against family tradition.

Friends, please give me your love and support in this small problem among many blessings, and a few larger. I hope I learn to focus on health soon.  I hope you can sd those as Diet Cokes in your life, and find a drink that doesn’t fail to satisfy.