When I quit smoking 10’ish years ago, I already drank a lot of Diet Coke. I think it started in high school when some friends and I would get Diet Cokes before school started and drink them while walking around the school before the first bell. The habit continued as I started smoking a short time later. I couldn’t ever smoke a cigarette without having something to drink as well, so I was drinking a Diet Coke for most of the 20 cigarettes I smoked a day. When I quit smoking and started vaping using the healthier salt vape juice? I kept the Diet Cokes.
I gave them up a bit through some of my attempts to get pregnant through Nikki. However, when we started trying again after her, I don’t think I did more than cut down. Even throughout my entire pregnancy with Wes.
So…as best as I can figure, I’ve been drinking Diet Coke regularly for 20+ years. The longest I’ve gone without Diet Cokes in 7 years is the one day I tried to give up caffeine entirely and went 12 hours before I succumbed to the worlds worst tunnel-vision headache due to caffeine withdrawal. I have never had such a severe headache before, and I used to get migraines. It was AWFUL. I wanted to DIE. I couldn’t SEE. I couldn’t HEAR. 12 hours. That’s all it took. Before I wanted to kill myself.
As of this moment, it’s been about 36 hours since I had my last Diet Coke and I haven’t had any suicidal urges!
I’ve wanted to give up Diet Coke for a very long time. The smart and logical part of my brain knew it was something I needed to break from in my life. The Aspartame! It’s so toxic! And I drink SO MUCH. I’d say that – on any given day – I drink at least 6 cans of Diet Coke… but some days probably at least 10 cans of Diet Coke.
Let me let that sink in for a moment.
The thing is, I’ve made so many changes in my life in the last two years, giving up my Diet Cokes was very last on the list. I had been putting it off until it felt right. And since I’ve been trying to do more whole foods these last two months, it started to feel wrong to partner my nutritious whole food meals with a chemical-filled Diet Coke. So, yesterday was the first day of this session of boot camp and I thought: PERFECT TIME. Let’s do this thing.
I’ve been trying various low-calorie (but naturally sweetened!) iced coffees to balance out the caffeine withdrawals. I had what is essentially four cups of coffee spanned over the day that I would have had 6-10 Diet Cokes. So, obviously, the caffeine was still getting into my system. I want to figure out the minimum amount of caffeine I can have before I get headaches and then gradually cut back from there. If yesterday I did four cups of coffee in various iced coffee forms with not even one flicker of a headache, then I can probably spread out three cups of coffee in iced coffee form throughout today and escape the headaches.
I also kept water around me through most of the day to fulfill that hand-to-mouth dependency.
36 hours without a Diet Coke. I just can’t even begin to tell you guys how miraculous this is.
I’ve not been doing that great on the eating front the last three depressing weeks, because I cope with depression by cramming waffle fries in my mouth. But this achievement, this seemingly successful step towards breaking my Diet Coke addiction? Makes my guilt over the bad eating subside because I AM SO DAMN PROUD OF MYSELF.
I mean, it’s hard. Don’t get me wrong. Every time I open the fridge I want to grab one of those delicious looking Diet Cokes. BUT – it’s so counter-productive to all of the whole-food-eating and running and boot camp. I’m turning my body into an efficient machine and yet…YET…I’m pouring a potentially toxic chemical into it constantly throughout my days.
Now – anyone else got any low-cal (But naturally sweetened! No Splenda or Sweet-n-Low!) Iced Coffee recipes? Ideally I’d like to keep it down to 100-150 calories per 20 ounces. (My iced coffee cup holds about 20 ounces.) I’m also thinking about trying to mix sweet tea with unsweetened tea to see if that’s a viable caffeine source. I love Sweet Tea but the calories would kill me…so I’m thinking that balancing it out with a little unsweetened Tea may help. I basically still need my caffeine for awhile, as I slowly wean myself off that too. (Not entirely, I just would like to drink it when I want to and not just to keep the skull-crushing headaches away.)
Here’s to another day of breaking my longest-running addiction.