Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just For the Taste of It!

I began writing my "seven random things" meme, only to discover that I wanted to bore you all to death on each topic. And so I will do so.

Random, The First:

Let me tell you about my diet coke problem.

I was always a Diet Coke person (not Pepsi, not regular coke, and not caffeine-free, for the love of all that is holy). I collected the labels on my bottles to do crafty things. When I went on an international cruise, I kept my Coke Light bottles in each country.

I didn't think it was so much of a problem as my favorite drink, and I didn't have any particular reasons for curbing intake. As of two years ago, though, I am dependent and can no longer pretend otherwise.

I was living alone in my first apartment for the summer, working a crap library job (before I ruled the library with my greatness and power), and I thought I might simply not buy coke for the apartment and not allow myself dollars at work to buy it there, because I felt I was spending too much. (My soda cost per hour was pretty high compared to my actual after-tax pay per hour.)

I spent the next week and a half with a headache that wouldn't go away, feeling like I had the flu. It only occurred to me then that all of this coincided with the lack of Diet Coke. I kind of panicked. Once caffeine was back in my system, I started to feel better. I tried to ration myself, with about as much success as anything willpower-based ever has with me.

I hadn't tracked my intake much until I started logging my food this past spring. It's easy to underestimate how much you consume if you only count them as "diet cokes" rather than in ounces. OUCH. It was too depressing to see what happened with three refills at a restaurant, and I gave up on that pretty quickly, too.

Now that I am in a routine again, I thought it would be good to start back up. To be honest, it was just becoming greatly inconvenient to procure the sheer quantity I needed. It's well past 4 cases / week, not counting the ones I buy in desperation at work or get when we eat out. It's like, JESUS, why don't I just take up smoking, it'd be cheaper.

I've tried to ration. I can sort of handle 6/ day, if it's a normal day, no eating out, and if my supply doesn't run out -- that's when it all goes to hell. I don't have any for two days, and then the next thing I know, I can barely make it out of bed. When Wal breaks down and gets me some, or I maneuver myself to the store, I over-compensate for the missed caffeine, starting the cycle again.

Another killer's the super-busy days at work. What's the equivalent of chain-smoking, for soda drinking? I'm not chugging them, or anything, but once one is empty, the next one is open before I have even gotten rid of the empty.

A lot of people relate to the need for soda or other caffeine, especially in the morning or on our long days at work. You know what can alienate them again? Bringing your own stash (like a total creep) and drinking it warm. People...don't like that.

Ultimately, I haven't decided what to really "do" about it. Considering the all-holy Diet Coke with Splenda appears to be on the way out, I will probably do something like switch to an icky brand, to discourage consumption.

Anyone else gone through this crap?
Ideas? Sympathy? Horror stories?


Lisa H. said...

I have no advice. My problem is coffee. One day I drank only coffee, I think I even had coffee for lunch, and then I had the most horrible migraine for 2 days straight. I thought I was having a stroke. So, I swore off it for....about two weeks. Now I've started again.

Wonder if there's some self-hypnosis technique for curbing caffeine consumption or something? Cause I think that's what it would take at this point.

Red said...

I had a friend who was like you are, only with Diet Pepsi. She couldn't function without it. I don't remember if she quit cold turkey or weened herself off, but it was good to see her lose the habit.

Not much help, I know. :P

Meghan said...

katie! i have a cousin who is equally addicted. his car smells like diet coke. you know, that smell it gets when you throw can after can into the back seat. yeah...
caffeine addiction is good times.

also, HELLO! how are you?


sort-of grown-up said...


I am the same as ever, only more boring, if that's possible. Brian misses you dearly!

Meghan said...

i miss you and brian! i read his blog about vampire movies. i love vampire movies...

Anonymous said...

What about buying diet coke and caffeine-free diet coke and mixing them? You could start by cutting it 10% with caffeine-free and ween yourself gradually onto 100% caffeine-free while still feeling like you are drinking the same amount. If you mixed your coke in a large thermus in the morning and brought it to work, you wouldn't have to do much extra labor or actively think about it during the day. You'd have to be strict about using exactly one (or two or whatever) thermuses per day and not reverting to straight-up coke.