Friday, July 27, 2012

Breaking up is hard on the knees

It's not you, Diet Coke...

Actually it is.

After more than 25 years of loyal consumerism, I've come to realize Diet Coke isn't really that good for me - and I've decided it's time to part ways.

* pauses for dramatic effect *

Our on-again-off-again relationship began in high school, when my then Coca Cola habit was adding more body curves than thirst satisfaction. I switched to "diet" and drank almost a six pack a day, usually in the cafeteria where I skipped classes to write. Oh yeah, I was a big time party girl, let me tell you.

Somehow, Diet Coke became synonymous with writing - to the point that I once filled an empty can with water to try and psyche myself out. I barely wrote a solid paragraph. My muse is not easily foiled.

And now I'm on a 12-day cleanse where Diet Coke is one of the big forbidden items, and I realize my dependency on it can't be healthy. Yes, I've read the research on aspartame and caffeine, but that's not why I'm breaking up with Diet Coke this time. I'm kind of a bitch without it.

No really.

Ever since I started this cleanse, I've been on a roller coaster of withdrawal. I claw back my self control,  only to have it yanked from my hands with even the slightest hint of stress. I can't write. (Well, not anything good, anyway.) And okay, I admit I haven't been the easiest person to live with. Headaches. Body shakes. Complete exhaustion. That can't be good.

But breaking up is so hard, because I really love Diet Coke. Coke Zero. Diet Coke with Lime. Cherry Diet Coke. Vanilla Diet Coke. I love them all. I really, really, do.

And I have some great Diet Coke memories.

Like sipping DC and Jack Daniels in Hawaii, until Jamie taught me about Gibson's and Grey Goose, far smoother companions. Better than Mai Tai's any day - and best paired with a turkey burger. (Groan...take me back...)

Or, how about biking 1000 km in the heat, gulping down water while dreaming of the GIANT Diet Coke I'd reward myself with at the end of a 100 km day? Good times.

And just a few weeks ago, I sat at my kitchen table with Karen sucking back an ice cold DC, and a few days later, Sue and I played with puppies in the back yard and drank sangria - and then Diet Coke. (Because Sangria is really really good, too.) What will we drink if I give old faithful the boot?

I'm rather well known as the Diet Coke lady - and my family and friends would never dare offer a substitute. (Diet Pepsi is immediate grounds for friendship divorce.)

The thing is, I don't actually know if I'm ready to quit Diet Coke. For the past 7 days, I've been on my knees begging family, friends, and heck, random strangers for a small sip of their Diet Coke, or even a quick smell. Creepy, right?

Twice I have even cracked a can of Diet Coke with Lime, poured it over a glass of ice, just to feel the bubbles tickle my nose. I know, my willpower is to be commended (*accepts pat on back*) but just who am I kidding? When this 12 days of torture is finished, will I be ready to welcome Diet Coke back into my arms?

Chances are good.

But for now, I'm suffering through the separation. Weighing the pros and cons. Trying to figure out where Diet Coke ranks in the "bad boys" of my dating continuum. Is it too much to hope that DC isn't really that terrible?

Wait. Don't answer that. I'm fragile.

And bitchy.

Got a break up story?  How did you avoid going back?

- Dawn

The Book In My Bag Today: The Next Always, Nora Roberts


  1. There are cola's out there sweetened with stevia. I gave up Coke Zero for my non-toxic Stevia Cola and Rootbeer.


  2. I really did give up Diet Pepsi (and soft drinks) more than a year ago. I think you'll feel better in the long run. That's just me, (one of those you would have forsaken for offering a Diet Pepsi). :-)

  3. It's hard now but you'll be so much happier in the end.'ll look back on this relationship with rose-colored glasses as time passes, but you'll know that leaving was the right thing to do. (I AM talking about the soda...I think.)

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