Monday, February 26, 2007

Farewell, My Love

This week, I have made the choice to say goodbye to one of my dearest friends for many, many years. It was just a relationship that was too destructive for me - I was fiercely loyal, but all my friend could give back to me was unhealthy and painful. So, farewell, Diet Coke. We've been close for years, but now we've come to the end of the road.

How did this revolution come about?, you may ask. Well, about 2 weeks ago I started having some acid-related stomach problems. That was really about stress, but I noticed a pattern that my stomach would be upset the days I had caffeine, and it would be fine the days I didn't. It's been more than a week since I had caffeine, and my stomach is doing just fine. I even stopped taking the Zantac that the doctor prescribed "as needed." I don't need it anymore.

Well, why don't you just start drinking caffeine free Diet Coke?, you ask. Believe me, friend, this thought has crossed my mind. However, the evidence has been stacking up against diet drinks in general. Let me give you some reasons:

I was eating lunch with my friend, Kristy, last week, and she told me about her college roommate, who was a Diet Coke addict much like me. This roommate decided to do some looking into the effects of aspartame on a person's body, and she found some really bad stuff. So she decided to give up Diet Coke, and Kristy said that the most remarkable effect of her giving up aspartame was that her memory was markedly improved. If any of you have known me for any length of time, you will know that if anybody needs an improved memory, I DO! So I'm cutting back on aspartame in the hopes that it may help my declining memory.

For those of you who love your diet sodas and don't want to give them up, rest assured, it is still approved by the FDA for consumption by humans. There are just so many stories out there and testimonies of people whose lives were vastly improved by giving up aspartame. I'm trying to be more healthy and eat more natural, so I want to cut back on the consumption of this fake sweetener. (Someday, I'll be like my father-in-law and go all-natural to sweeten everything with honey or pure maple syrup. I'm not there yet...)

Also, there has been quite a bit of research that diet sodas do not in fact help anyone lose weight. This article on WebMD says that for each can of diet soda that a person drinks per day, their risk of obesity goes up by 41%. It is generally a well-known fact that diet sodas don't help you lose weight, but I hadn't realized that they actually make you fatter than if you were just drinking water. Most of you know that I've really been working hard to lose weight, and I've been quite successful even despite the diet sodas. But now I'm giving them up and hoping to boost myself even closer toward my goal.

So maybe you could drink Caffeine Free Diet Coke with Splenda?, some of you are thinking. Well, first of all, I don't think they make such a thing. Second of all, I've decided to just quit cold turkey. I'm done with diet sodas!

I am not, however, completely done with aspartame. I'll get used to life without Diet Coke, and THEN maybe someday I'll try to give up my Crystal Lite. But in the meantime, I'm taking baby steps toward a healthier me.


Jessica said...

Well, good for you. You know what's funny? I gave up sodas in general during both of my pregnancies -- I didn't want the caffeine, sugar, or aspartame. But I got right back on Diet Coke after the babies were born. There's just something about the fizz of a soda . . .

Anyway, I know you can quit cold turkey. Some people talk about headaches and stuff, but I never had any trouble with that.

Kristy said...

I am so proud of you. And I was mentioned in your blog..that was exciting. I will see you for lunch tomorrow but we will have to see if you can withstand the urge while at Subway.

JTapp said...

There's a new Diet Coke coming out called "Diet Coke Plus" with more caffeine and Ginseng. Yes, ginseng. That will make up for the aspartame-related memory loss.

JTapp said...

It's actually Diet Pepsi that will start putting Ginseng in their new product.

Diet Coke Plus will have more caffeine as well as several vitamins and minerals.

Nicki W. said...


i gave up soft drinks about 2 years ago and feel great! i never liked diet anything b/c aspartame gives me vicious headaches, even to smell it, therefore, i have always thought it harmful! way to go!! you are going to feel so much better!!