She is an addict, She don’t care

I love it so much.

It makes me so happy.

It’s part of who I am. I need it, I want it, I crave it.

I love Diet Cola.

I say “cola” not to be brand neutral, but I say cola because I love it all baby. Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke, Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi. In fact the more names the better.

Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper? Ohhhh, don’t be so cruel. Put it in my veins.

I think the fact that I have an addictive personality became blaringly apparent when I was 10 and my mom would have to extract me from the Nickelcade while I screamed, “Just one more dollar! Just one mooooooore!” I don’t half-ass anything—especially not my Diet drink intake.

I’ve been on the sauce since fourth grade man. That’s right, this tubby fourth grader liked to chase her Jenny Craig meals (true story) with a nice icy D.C. Wash down those fake blueberry pancakes and low-fat syrup with something nice and brown from the tap.

And mama likes herself a fountain drink. I don’t do cans unless it’s MY ONLY OPTION. I want ice, I want a straw, I want a plastic top with little label bubbles.

But don’t think that I haven’t tried to quit. I have. Oh, many times. When I started training for my first marathon I stopped drinking for quite a while, maybe 4 months. But the electric blue Jetta knows the route to Maverik too well. And somehow, I’d find myself in the parking lot of the nearest gas station involuntarily being pulled to the soda fountain—wallet in hand.

I’ve cut back at times too. (Again, usually when training) Only having one drink a week, or getting 20 oz. instead of the preferred 32 oz. But little by little, eventually the intake creeps back up again.

It’s not like I’m undisciplined. I run marathons. And I went Vegan people VEGAN. I lived without animal products! I ate soy everything and still I wanted to keep the cola. Save the planet! Save the chickens! Shun the addictive chemicals in cheese, but dear me, YES! thank you, I’ll take another refill on that Diet Pepsi.

No, I’m not lazy, I frankly just don’t REALLY want to quit, even though I know I should.

Everyone is always saying how bad it is for you. How you actually will gain weight drinking diet soda. And I kinda believed them. I’ve read a lot about it. But nothing that could convince me to stop. How can something that feels so right really be so wrong?

But today, this fateful day, I read an article with all sorts of facts I had never understood before. Maybe it’s old hat to you, but it was news to me. Read it and weep. Seriously, grab a tissue.

“The sweet flavor [of Diet drinks] elicits the release of insulin from the pancreas to enhance the uptake of sugar by the cells so that it doesn’t linger in the bloodstream. Once insulin is released it inhibits [YES THAT MEAN STOPS] your fat burning hormone called HSL (hormone sensitive lipase). This hormone is responsible for releasing fat into the bloodstream to be utilized as fuel. If inhibited, your body is unable to burn fat and will then begin utilizing amino acids (from muscle) and carbohydrates as fuel. This will leave you feeling tired, grumpy, and sloth-like toward the end of the day. Not to mention, you will become abnormally hungry [I AM STARVING RIGHT NOW!].”
Full life-ruining article here.

I realize the article is from eHealth. The Internet is full of lies anyway. Right!?

But you want to know what’s real sad. I read all that. And still, the first thing I want to do when the clock strikes 5:30 is head straight to Maverik across the street, say hello to the workers who always know my name (and are always glad I came) and refill that 32 ouncer sitting in the cup holder in my car. Know why?

CAUSE I DON’T WANT TO QUIT. So put that in your 108 oz. come-back cup and sip it.

So the conclusion of this extremely lengthy post? Life is all about priorities people. Gotta keep ‘em N check. Sure Diet Cola is linked to obesity. Sure it makes you eat more, and sugar substitutes will kill us all in the end. But my priority? My marriage. And Mr. Eric Shmeric doesn’t want a grumpy wumpy pop-craving wife, does he now? No! So if I have to run 10 extra marathons in my life to make up for it. SO BE IT! I’m getting a TCO (tall cool one).

I’ll catch you at the sev.

18 Comments

  1. Jake and Jenna

    amen.

  2. Annie

    Ok, you can think I’m creepy, I don’t even care. I’m John G.’s older sister and I’ve been lurking on your blog for some time now. I look, I read, I laugh. Sue me.

    So I started this health blog awhile ago with a bunch of girls and I totally cut and pasted this post into a post about diet soda today. It’s a hot topic of ours and this was so, so perfect.

    Whew. I feel less creepy already…which is no easy feat for us Garlocks.

  3. Sean

    Man, this sure puts my two pack of Camel’s and a fifth of bourbon a day habit into perspective.

  4. emilyhutchison

    This is why I don’t even bother with the diet part and stick right to straight cola. I don’t even need the facade.

  5. Liz

    Alison, I used to be like you. Seriously, exactly like you. Diet pepsi was the only thing that made life seem worth it. And no one, NO ONE, could convince me to quit.

    But I did.

    Why? Because I’m stubborn. Someone confronted me and told me I had a problem and bet me that I couldn’t cut it from my life.

    I don’t back down from a challenge. So I quit. I quit not just caffeine, but ALL carbonated drinks. (Mostly because DP is the only thing I liked anyway…)

    The first week was hell. The headaches, oh the headaches! It was misery.

    But guess what? I lost 7 pounds in a month by not changing ANYTHING else I was doing. And I FELT better. I was a better runner. And the next marathon I ran, I kicked ass. Beat my old time by 17 minutes.

    It’s been over 2 years that I’ve been clean. And I do miss it sometimes. I sometimes stare at the frig in the checkout line and wonder what it would feel like to twist off the cap of one of those 20 oz-ers again…

    But I’d never go back to it, because I know how f-ing awful it was to detox. Not worth going through ever again.

    I’m not telling you to quit, I just felt like I should share my experience.

    (Sidenote: This is liz, potter and courtface’s old roommate. Remember me? I know, I’m a creepy stalker, but you are a hilarious writer.)

  6. Julie

    i feel the same way alison! my house is clean, i work out, i feed my husband, i play with my kids, i recycle… i deserve a daily GIANT diet coke. back off haters. (and i’ve lost 19 pounds on weight watchers, in 3 1/2 months. diet coke included.)

  7. Hutchinson's

    Alison- It’s Linley…I just was looking on Heather’s blog and found your amazing wedding photos! You looked so beautiful. Isn’t Heather amazing! I died for mine! Hope all is well…happy blogging.

  8. maines

    Annie, if it makes you feel less creepy, I stalk your blog and my sister in law wishes she could be your friend (I’m Cort’s wife by the way, so maybe you kinda know me?) And Alison, you know how I love the DC. I find excuses to go to Sams club just to get their 32 ouncer in the styrofoam cup with the little cubes of ice. Heaven.

  9. Matt and Jennae Porter

    Ok I loved Liz’s comment. Before I realized who it was I thought “Hey I have another friend just like this…” Anyways, the way I see it, if drinking diet soda is bad enough to kill me, I’ll die a happy woman. Much more important things in life to stress about, don’t you think?

  10. just*don't*think*about*it

    Okay, another crazy lurker out here and I can’t even give you a friend or relative to link myself to.
    I started with TAB in 1975…bla bla bla… I am now 45 and down a 2 litre of DC daily. I have every mystery disease unknown to modern medicine. I blame NutraSweet. (It can’t be MY fault!)
    Try Zevia.net, soda sweetened with Stevia, the natural sweetener that does not effect insulin (and is banned in the US as a food additive…a story for another day.)
    I haven’t, but I hope you will and report.

  11. Kelsey

    wow so many lurkers and I guess I’m one of them.
    I’ve never agreed with anyone so much in my life. That is all it comes down to I don’t WANT to stop and if I die at least I enjoyed myself right?

  12. Kat Green

    Weird!!! A buddy convinced me just last week that I would never be slender again as long as I continued to slug down a gallon of Diet Pepsi per diem.

    I don’t like being as roly-poly as I have become, and I also heard that aspartame causes everything from cancer to global warming. So I was ALMOST ready to kick the habit. Then the vendor in my building raised his prices, and that did it.

    I have been sober for a week. The immediate benefit was saving seven bucks a day and probably seven trips to the ladies’ room. (Caffeine is a heck of a diuretic–especially when you drink as much of it as I did.)

    I was dopey and headachy-breaky for the first three days, and REALLY depressed. (Caffeine is also an awesome mood-elevator for me.)

    But after that, I was fine. I swore off chocolate at the same time, and now I can pay my bills.

    Just so you know.

    (And if I had the self-denial required for Weight Watchers, I wouldn’t have started drinking DC in the first place.)

  13. Kelly

    Alison, I will call you later this week to tell you what a load of crap I thought that article was. I will give you all my Registered Dietitian expertise to make you feel less guilty about your DC addition. Your body does not secrete insulin unless your blood glucose actually increases. You know I’m a diabetic and I don’t take extra insulin for my random diet cokes throughout the day. Remember that you can find research articles to support anything you want to believe. I’m sure I can find one that say fruit and veggies cause cancer. K, enough lecturing. I LOVE YOU and I love DC!

  14. Samantha

    Wow, judging from the other comments, we Americans truly do have a soda problem.

    I am the EXACT SAME WAY except with regular cola. Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke preferably. Regular (plain) almost never. I have also tried quitting and was successful for quite a while.

    I tried switching to Diet and Diet makes me feel weird. My vision gets all crazy and I feel hungrier and my teeth feel weird, and I’m pretty sure the artificial sweetener (why don’t they switch to Stevia!?!) is going to give me brain cancer, so I can’t drink diet.

    Here’s real confession time:
    I usually have a soda a day. I feel guilty every time but I do it anyway.

    I know I would have lost more weight by now if I stopped drinking soda.

    I drank soda throughout my pregnancy, and throughout BREASTFEEDING! Am I a bad person? I tried to drink it right before my baby ate so she didn’t get much caffeine- I heard it comes out a few hours later or something, but that sounds nutty. I’m sure she got something from all of that. That makes me feel bad. But I feel like it wasn’t harmful.

    But it makes me feel better when I’m crabby and it gets rid of my headaches and it keeps me away and it’s the Mormon version of beer. Or coffee. It’s social.

    I do want to quit. I think of it every day. But you know what? If that’s my only vice, so be it. There are much worse things.

    We should all quit together. We should start a soda quittin’ blog.

  15. Matt and Jennae Porter

    Oh and I did want to add that Kelly the RD is right on, that article is a bunch of crap. The guy sells Nutrition Supplements, he’ll say anything to get people to buy his stuff. And I had diabetes when I was pregnant… Diet Dr. Pepper was my only “sweet” fix that I could have during the day. According to his statements, that would have made me release more insulin, which would have made my blood sugar tank. NEVER happened.

  16. maines

    Kelly, I love you.

  17. Tayebi Sisters

    dude, diet cola is not good for us. i quit for 4 months and recently started drinking it again. my mind is in a cloud all the time now! give it up, man. give it up.

  18. siovhan

    okay, i’m a long time lurker but in a recent bout of work-time boredom and some major reviewing of your witty and awesome blog, i re-stumbled across this post. i am a diet coke addict. and find myself taking full advantage of mcdonald’s current large soft drink for $1 deal. to the fullest. it’s nice to know i’m in good (and terribly adorable) company.

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