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Confessions of a Diet Cola Addict

Updated on August 17, 2011

I was a Diet Cola Junkie


I began my journey into diet cola addiction in the 1970s. I discovered Tab at the tender age of 15 and viewed it as the answer to maintaining my Twiggy-esque figure. I transitioned to a variety of diet colas in the 1980s when aspartame hit the market. I gave up diet cola from time to time but always went back to it just as any other out-of-control addict might return to his favorite vice. I hit the ground running for my cola first thing every morning and kept one near at hand all day long. Unlike other addictions my caffeine and cola cravings did not interfere with my life. At least not for a time. I could drink a diet cola and drive and work and carry on with my life. On the other hand, I was growing more and more conscious of the controversies surrounding the use of aspartame and I became tired of the psychological dependency I had on diet coke. It was time to quit. I was not ready to cut myself off from caffeine but the aspartame had to go. I developed a 3-pronged approach to quitting.

First I gave myself permission to drink caffeine in any form except diet cola. I do not care for coffee so I turned to tea. I am not a hot drink fan so tea, for me, is always iced. Fortunately I have never cared for sweet teas so I did not replace aspartame with sugar. I still consume caffeine but I do not consume nearly as much and I do not consume aspartame.

Secondly I developed a number of great substitutes for diet cola. I look forward to my ginger refresher, muddled fresh mint, and lemon verbena beverages. They are both refreshing and good for me. I made the transition much easier when I created alternatives.

When I had the nerve I put my third strategy into place. Perhaps it should have been my first strategy but an addict does not always think so rationally. As a last resort I set my pride aside and entered into a buddy system. I found a friend who was willing to hear me whine and to ask me how it was going. As it turned out, she wanted someone who would help her with her own silly habit. We have helped each other through the roughest part and now laugh at our old habits.

The health benefits of giving up my favorite vice began with weight loss and is morphing into numerous other health benefits such as fewer headaches, clearer vision, and better sleep patterns. As it turns out aspartame carries some pretty potent risks. It feels great to be free.

An Introduction to Teas

The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to Enjoying the World's Best Teas
The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to Enjoying the World's Best Teas

This is a gem for tea lovers and for those who would like to know more about tea. there are so many different varieties to explore. This book is a stellar introduction to the many varieties of teas.

 

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    • Mary Stuart profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary 

      7 years ago from Washington

      We were on the same wave length in the 70s. I drank Tab and ate any food that ended in "ito." Nacho cheese ito was my favorite but most any ito would do. It eventually caught up with me. It is nice to be getting back down into a healthy weight.

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      how funny, mary! I used to drink Tab in the 70s too. I was thin and in my mind drinking Tab allowed me to justify eating hostess cup cakes...because of the calories I saved drinking Tab. At some point, I started drinking regular soft drinks. Last year when I was working out at the gym a lot and trying to take off some middle age weight, I decided it would be a good idea to substitute regular Coke for Coke Zero and save 100-200 calories/day. I have been on a Coke Zero binge ever since and saving 100-200 calories/day for the past year.

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