Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Me And My (non) Friend, Diet Coke

When most kids go off to college, they start drinking alcohol.  Or if they already drank, they start binge drinking alcohol.  But I've never done alcohol and never will.  So when I went off to college, I started drinking Diet Coke.  

This was quite possibly just as big of a mistake.

What ensued over the next 17 years (yes, it's been THAT long since I've been a freshman in college), was a full scale, all out, no holds barred addiction.  And I mean addiction in the strongest sense of the word.

I could tell you how much Diet Coke I would drink on a regular day, but I don't want to scare you.  Nor do I want you to think I'm some kind of freak.  So I'll just tell you it was a lot.  Like A LOT.  Like think of a really large number in your head and then add a few extra cans.

This was my motto (yes, I drank it for breakfast):

And when life got rough, this was my motto (yes, I medicated myself with Diet Coke):

I'm kind of surprised I still have teeth, to tell you the truth.  Have you ever seen this?  I love being compared to meth users!

So anyway, I decided I was going to quit drinking it.  Because whether you believe Diet Coke is okay to drink or not, I think we'd ALL agree that drinking it as much as I did was NOT okay.

Now, this isn't the first time I have tried to give up Diet Coke.  I've definitely made some (weak) attempts in the past.  Like the one time I decided I was going to give it up for Lent.  That lasted not even one day (I kid you not - by that evening I was cracking open a can).  Or the time this past July when I decided I was going to "cut back" and by the third day of cutting back, I was already back up to 95% of my previous usage.

This is not a picture of me, but it should be.
So what was different this time?  Not really sure.  Other than I started associated it a bit more with performance (ie: stop drinking Diet Coke and you will be faster) and I will do ANYTHING (legal, of course) to improve performance.  And the other thing is, I finally acknowledged the fact that I don't know how to do anything in moderation so it was either I drink it (like 5 liters of it) or I did NOT drink (like none at all, no "cutting back", no "weaning down", just full out cold turkey STOP).

54 days.  That's how long it's been.  I wouldn't say I'm out of the woods yet.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  It was easy at first because I was at training camp and my roomies Steph and Kim didn't drink it so we didn't have it in our house.  Plus I was training all day so there wasn't really time.  Kim can tell you how I almost cried on the drive home because I wanted it so bad (when I'm traveling I LOVE it even more).  And once I got home and back in the routine of life, I definitely have had some real longings for it.  Oscar (bless his heart) agreed to my request to not have it in our house.  But when we go out to eat, I WANT IT SO BAD I would give up an arm.  Or a leg.  Or a lung.  Anything for a Diet Coke.  I thought of Diet Coke the ENTIRE flight from Phoenix to Pittsburgh on my trip home from Cabo (darn flight attendants kept flashing it around) and when I'm at work (where I can get free fountain Diet Coke - THE best), I have to just avoid the cafeteria altogether (which is hard because my office is right next to it).

So yeah, it's hard.  And not getting much easier.  But I know it will.  54 days.  Just focusing on day #55 right now.  Diet Coke, you will not win.


  1. Not to laugh at this struggle, but I love how you're able to bring humor to the situation. I, too, have been very diet soda dependent. I've now gone almost five months without it now, and I'm still alive. Of course, I've been drinking diet iced tea, which might be equally as bad. I will go cold turkey on that one of these days, too. Thanks for being an inspiration in this regard :-)

  2. Ah geez.. Your at day 55 and you STILL crave it? I am dooooomed. :-(.

  3. Beth you are so adorable. Good for you! I am now going to be haunted by that picture of the meth/Diet Coke teeth for life, so thanks for that :)

  4. Hey Beth, I am just seeing this update now. My phone thing was acting weird, and not showing recent updates. It was showing like 20 older ones I already read. Anyway, I did not know you were Diet Coke. For some reason I thought you were Diet Pepsi?

    Anyway, a quick story. I have a lot of them you know. :) After my first year of being away from home and at College I gained like 15 lbs or so. Maybe 20. I went on a Diet. I drank Diet Pepsi all the time, and ate one meal every day, sometimes one meal every two. :) I lost all the weight plus some.

    I don't really drink too much pop now, unless it is mixed in an adult beverage. Drinking a ton of Diet Coke though I am surprised you didn't have to supplement some caffeine for headaches and stuff while going cold turkey.

    Anyway good luck.

  5. Good for you Beth! Good Luck on each day as it comes!

  6. A long time ago I successfully quit smoking. After many attempts at quitting soda, my addiction has morphed from regular coke to diet coke, but I'm no closer to actually quitting... I guess it's time to try again. Congrats on 54 days, that's impressive.

  7. I gave up diet coke about 7/8 months ago....I feel your pain...I substituted the diet coke I was drinking for seltzer water...the bubbles is what does it for me...give that a try! It sure helped me out! It will get easier, I promise!! Good luck!

  8. this is how i would feel without wine :) good luck beth, stay strong! - kim kaltreider

  9. Hi Beth!
    Has Open and Shutt shut down? Tell your sub 3er some of us are expecting a race report :)

  10. Ugh. You are awful.