Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cutting out consumption

About a week or so back Chile Chews posted a challenge to reduce your consumption of something you're addicted to.

Apparently, in a moment of weakness (though I can't find the actual comment), I admitted I should give up my addiction to Diet Coke.

Addiction is such a strong word. "Way of life" is much better.

The joke in college was how much I consumed. Six glasses with a meal in the cafeteria (hey, Kansas heat is brutal). A 2-liter would accompany me when I worked overnight doing security in the dorms.

Today, with two little ones and a full-time job, Diet Coke jump-starts my day. And while my well-meaning friend Kari will send me the occasional e-mail on how it will rot my bones, I honestly need the caffeine. Particularly now that we're teething.

Yet I'm on Chile's roll call being publicly called out to cut it out. And I wonder if I can cut it.

I write this with my 79-cent 44-oz. drink from Speedway at my side. It's my only Diet Coke of the day, and it is half and half, with a lot of ice. I do try to limit my caffeine intake to the safe levels for pregnancy (since there are no guidelines for breastfeeding).

There are a number of benefits to reducing or eliminating my consumption of Diet Coke. You can go through all the environmental factors: transportation, production, paper from print advertising and labels, plastic or aluminum containers, you name it. And I'm sure on some level we'd benefit too: less out of pocket expenses ($5 a week adds up), better sleep, a better appreciation of other, healthier beverages (water anyone?). But giving up something that's one part habit and one part physical addiction is a challenge, to say the least.

Any suggestions?

PS: I'm putting out a public challenge to my mother to do the same. Don't worry, it's Diet Coke, not scrapbooking supplies!


Anonymous said...

Another thought: JAMA (the Journal for the American Medical Association) published an article in the past few months saying that artificial sweeteners actually cause weight gain. The mechanism is that the body dissociates "sweet" from having calories. Therefore, people who eat articificial sweeteners tend to eat more things with sugar in them because the body craves what it thinks is calorie-free. In the end, more calories are consumed than if sugar products had been eaten in the first place.

Chile said...

This is where you said this:
I am a total Diet Coke addict. With two kids under the age of 3 and a job, I have to be to survive. Lately, with the stress, I've been slipping and going above my "limit." Even my husband's unemployment isn't helping me cut back, in fact, the stress is making me drink more to function, since I'm not sleeping well.

Going cold turkey is not what my family needs these days.
So...I am willing to try to cut back to three cans of Diet Coke a day for the month of June. It's about 1/2 to 2/3 what I'm drinking now.

OK, so that's my manifesto to say I'm going part-way. :-)

Just thought I'd remind you of your commitment. hehe

Drink lots of water. Taper down with decaf diet coke if you need to. Good luck; you can do it!

Robbie said...

OK I stand corrected! :)

I will say I only had one can of soda this morning, but I'm going to have to drink a little more to get through the day.