Monday, September 25, 2006

Soda fiend

I have a soda problem.

I know it. I admit it. And still, I'm bugged by the people who call me on it.

I was swilling my latest bucket'o'Diet Pepsi when someone (who I prefer to remain anonymous) waddled up to me and said, "Could you find a faster way to get diabetes?"

I had just seen him chow down about a pound of sweet and sour chicken with white rice, but I couldn't work up a snappy yet marginally polite comeback in time so I just mumbled, "um ... it's diet soda."

"So?" he asked.

"So it doesn't have any sugar."

He looked at me incredulously, so I added, "So it's a good way to get cancer, but not really diabetes."

Then he laughed and patted his stomach and said, "Yeah, I have to cut down myself."

I'm not sure we actually communicated at all during the exchange, but he did leave me feeling dull pangs of shame. I couldn't even enjoy the rest of my soda bucket, with those crisp flashes of ultra-sweetness followed by throat-tingling carbonation in every gulp. No, I actually dumped it out. But two hours later, I was back to craving soda all over again.

Sometimes I try to analyze why I've become such a soda fiend. I used to drink regular Pepsi and Dr. Pepper like they were the elixor of life until I realized they were probably the main reason I was carrying 20 extra pounds. So I switched to diet, and now I'm like an ex-smoker addicted to nicotine patches. In fact, I prefer diet now. I don't think it's the caffeine - I get giddy about Fresca (I mean, who wouldn't?) And I've proven to myself that it's not the sugar. So what is it? Why do I get happiness triggers firing in my synapses every time I think about stopping at a convenience store?

And what, really, do I have to gain by quitting it all? Until I figure that out, I'll probably just keep hoping they one-up that wimpy 64-ounce Super Mega Gulp.

9 comments:

  1. I have a sode problem as well but no way faster to get 200 cals of sugar stight lined right to your system =)

    Diet stuff eeewwww can't stand the flavor!

    Long rides i'll mix 1/2 coke to 1/2 water cheap and does the trick somtimes =) and you can always find soda even in the backwaters of WY or Mexico =)

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  2. I wouldn't worry about it.

    There are lots more dangerous things you could be doing..........

    Like 100 mile bike rides in the middle of winter in Alaska:-)

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  3. there are some things in life that were just meant to be enjoyed. soda is one of them. keep smiling :)

    peace out, yo!

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  4. No worries Jill. Diet soda is my elixir of life. It's pretty much all I drink. Sure, aspartame might be bad for you, but who really knows.

    It's just sooooo good.

    And anyone who doesn't like it can take a hike. :)

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  5. Anonymous6:29 AM

    FYI- Diet soda causes osteoperosis, especially in women.

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  6. Anonymous8:37 PM

    Maybe it's the carbonation. I have the same problem with canned carbonated water. I'll slam 4 or 5 in a row after a good ride. I go through cases of the stuff...

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  7. I have one letter - err, word - for you, Jill: tea.

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  8. I used to have a tremendous soda problem. I drank at least six Cokes a day. Then I realized I wasn't only throwing away over a thousand calories but those things are expensive. So I quit cold-turkey. I didn't drink a soda for two month's I replaced it with water and Gatorade from the powdered mix, just for when I need a little flavor.

    Now I enjoy the occasional soda but I could never go back to my guzzling days, if I drink more than two I get to feeling nauseous.

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  9. I set about to do a little internet research (because everything on the web is reliable, we all know) about diet sodas a few months ago. I was comforted to find that artificial sweeteners have only been proven to cause cancer in rats--nothing too serious.
    On the flip side, I wasn't very comforted to find out what happens to the carbon brought in with carbonation: it lands right in your lungs and stays there. Yuck.

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