I should go ahead and admit my undying love for diet soda. It is bound to come up sooner or later, and anyone who knows me knows how serious my addiction is. It stemmed partly from my experiences as a waitress in restaurants that give employees free drinks. But really, it spun out of control during the mania of my eating disorder. Like many others in the same position, I was attracted to diet soda because it has zero calories. I could drink it and not worry about getting fatter. Before long, it became my food. I wouldn't eat anything all day, but I'd drink 10 diet sodas to compensate. I have thankfully cut back, but I will admit that there is nothing, food or drink, that I crave more.
I've always considered myself a reasonably intelligent person. I am certainly intelligent enough to know the damage soda (diet or otherwise) has on our bodies. I eat healthily. I shop organic. I don't like packaged or processed foods. I don't like additives and extras. Yet I will still drink diet soda like it's my life source. I can't shake the stuff. Nothing beats an icy cold can with condensation forming on it. And then the first sip. I'm thinking of opening one right now.
I don't know how many I drink a day because I don't count anymore. My boyfriend is a total enabler. He knows that I need to have them in the refrigerator at all times. If we're taking a road trip, he puts some on ice for me. It all sounds so ridiculous and trivial. If I can kick anorexia, you'd think I could surely kick my addiction to diet soda. Right? Wrong.
I love this stuff.
Have you ever heard the warning that someone once dropped a nail into a glass of soda and after a set amount of time, the nail had dissolved completely? What is this stuff doing to my insides? To my teeth? As if bulimia didn't wreck them badly enough. And don't get me started on aspartame. Not to mention, do you know how much sodium is in soda? It's disgusting. And it's delicious.
I have had this problem with diet soda for years. I can giggle about it. (My facebook profile picture used to be me hugging a 12-pack of Diet Pepsi, my drug of choice). I can pretend it is cute. But what are the long term effects of this stuff on my body? The reality is nothing will ever be done about it if I don't try harder.
I don't want to commit myself to this, but I'm going to make a real effort to cut back considerably. This isn't like when my mother says she's giving up smoking. Or when my boyfriend says he's cutting out Oreos. They never follow through. I never follow through either, but this time I'm going to. I have to.