Saturday, September 6, 2008

Breaking up is hard to do

It's official. It's over. I think.

Like a bad breakup, ending my long-term relationship with Diet Coke is no easy task. Twenty or so years is not a short stretch.

It reminds me of my senior year in high school, when I attempted to break up with my boyfriend Dave over the course of the entire year. Only this is more painful.

Everywhere I turn, I'm reminded of how much I need it. To get going in the morning after a tough night of toddlers and teething. To stay motivated during a hectic day or concentrating after an hour of staring at site maps for the Web site. To sip during a conversation with a good friend, or just enjoy because. Warm or cold, but especially enjoyed on a tall glass of ice, Diet Coke is my companion. I've even been accused of being the spokesperson once or twice!

I've tried giving it up before. I recall vividly a particularly harsh weekend my freshman year in college, when my friends wouldn't let a sip touch my lips. I crashed hard, was cranky, and the experiment was never repeated. I still don't know that I've totally forgiven them.

So why now?

Because I had a bad week.

See, I once again talked the talked but failed to walk the walk about trying to cut back on my Diet Coke consumption of four cans a day. I've made some change, like getting rid of my daily trip to Speedway (with #5 plastic cups) and plastic bottles, but I still hadn't broken the real culprit: the drink itself. Each day, I start with great intentions, only to trip up on the same bad habits.

And then a couple of things happened this week. First, I realized I was wasting about $500 a year on Diet Coke. That's a lot of money under normal circumstances, let alone when your spouse is unemployed. Regardless of the sale prices I'm able to score, I just can't justify it anymore.

Second, I had a particularly stressful week and a 12-pack at my desk at work. Bad combination. I sucked it down fast. And when I actually had a moment when my heart was racing (I think around can 5 or 6 that day), I realized this has got to stop. The 12-pack at work was gone, not to be replaced.

Thursday, I had two cans, the first that I didn't touch until I couldn't take it anymore at 10 a.m. The painkiller wasn't helping the headaches anymore.

Friday, I had four or five. Two at work, one to destress and two while socializing at a friends. (I realize how sad it is - it is almost like I rationalize it like an alcholic might!)

Today, I have had two to manage my searing headache. I'm trying not to touch it again. In fact, the ice tea bags are getting set out onto the counter.

So now I'm going to start trying with a little more fervor. And I'm anxious for any tips to help me make the transition. Pray for me! It's not going to be an easy breakup.


Chile said...

Since part of your addiction is to the caffeine, get yourself some caffeine-free Diet Coke - maybe in those half-size cans. Mix a small can of Diet Coke with a caffeine-free one for a few days to help reduce the caffeine intake.

When I gave up Diet Dr. Pepper, I found the colar berry sparkling water made by Crystal Geyser to be a helpful substitute initially. No, it's definitely not the same as the soda, but it was flavored and bubbly.

I'm proud of you for recognizing your mental, physical, and emotional dependence on this carbonated chemical brew. It's got to go!

Carol Michel said...

Mixing reg. diet coke with decaf seems like a good idea. Definitely try the iced tea to keep from getting the headaches. It is at least supposed to be better for you.

Good luck!

Corie said...

SIX a day? Goodness gracious, girl! :o) Good for you for giving it the boot...weeding yourself off of one or two a day seems like a pretty good plan. Why don't you "pay yourself" every time you choose NOT to pick up a can? Put a little jar on your desk and drop in 50 or 60 cents (or more) as a little reward so you can see the financial benefit of stopping. Money's always a good motivator for me! Good luck! :o)

yogainthegarden said...

I only really found your blog today, but it might have been meant to be. I feel your pain. I struggle with regular Coke (luckily the sugar substitutes give me headaches). I don't know which is worse. I've been trying to quit for a couple of years now and have reduced significantly. I don't even really like the taste of it anymore but somehow I can't successfully stop. I'm especially challenged because it's offered to us free at work! So it's always there to make up for my lack of pocket change or planning. Anyhow, thought I would let you hear from another out there who's really challenged to "break up" too.

Robbie said...

Thanks all of you for your support! This is not an easy task!

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you are going through? 5 or 6 cans a day? You are a hardcore addict! Tea worked for me. Get some good tea...not the tea bag stuff. You will still get the caffeine, but without all the extra chemicals. Plus you will be saving a ton in packaging. There are great teas on Tealuxe. Assam Organic is really tasty and makes a great iced tea.