Diet Coke

I started using the Medtronic Minimed Enlite sensor about 10 days ago, and I have plenty to write about it. And I’ll do that soon. For now, I’ll just tease y’all and say my reaction so far is better than Kim’s but not yet as awesome as with the older Sof-Sensor. In the meantime . . .


Lisa and I were in Portland, Oregon, last week for Christmas. I had a good time there and will post pictures as well as an observation or two about running amidst waterfalls soon.

While cleaning up my e-mail inbox this morning, I came across a link to an article from The Onion about Diet Coke: “Man Who Drinks 5 Diet Cokes Per Day Hoping Doctors Working On Cure For Whatever He’s Getting.” It’s pretty clear that the article is satire, but it does include a choice bit or two:

He’s “counting on” scientists to invent a pill, vaccine, patch, or other medical solution in the coming years to prevent people from contracting whatever horrific, life-threatening disease you eventually get from drinking 60 or more ounces of Diet Coke each day. . . . “And I hope they start working on it soon, too, because I’m not feeling so great.” Cowan added that, until that day comes, he could really go for another Diet Coke.

I pretty much quit Diet Coke cold turkey four months ago. The good news: My doctor doesn’t think that I ever had an ulcer; so there’s that. The other good news: I don’t need to be medicated to prevent the nausea that I had been having. At my doctor’s suggestion, I tapered myself of omeprazole without beginning to feel ill again. Which means that the only other change I made—giving up Diet Coke and most fizzy drinks—is likely the main cause of my feeling better.

Giving up Diet Coke was both easy and difficult. On the one hand, the choice between caffeine/Diet Coke/soda and actually feeling good is an easy one to make. I feel so much better now, and on the rare time that my tummy is a little questionable (because I’ve eaten like a crazy man) a couple of Tums makes it all better. I’m drinking more water and lemonade (sugar-free, of course) to keep hydrated, but that took some mindfulness to make happen.

On the other hand, I think I’m beginning to understand addiction. I know, I know. Caffeine isn’t nicotine or heroin or alcohol. It’s probably not even close, although it is definitely addictive. But I did want a Diet Coke a lot after I stopped drinking it. I still do. I like the flavor well enough. I like the way it tickles/burns my mouth. It’s refreshing.

Beyond all of its physically pleasing qualities, though, drinking Diet Coke was something I did. As soon as I quit, there was a hole in my daily routine. That was perhaps the hardest part of breaking the habit. There were triggers everywhere: buying something at the office café, going to a restaurant, having dinner at home, taking a road trip, etc. Whenever Lisa and I would go for ice cream, we would always buy a soda afterward. We still get delicious ice cream from time to time, but somehow it feels incomplete without the Diet Coke. (At least for now it does.) And I will probably always maintain that pizza tastes better with a Diet Coke (or any kind of soda) than without. It might be entirely psychological, but that doesn’t change how real the feeling is.

So there it is. I’m Jeff Mather, and I like Diet Coke even though I don’t drink it any more.

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3 Responses to Diet Coke

  1. Scully says:

    Gotta say, I’m proud of you!
    I’m so glad your are feeling better because that is worth more than any soda in the world. Nothing is worth feeling ill all the time.
    Ever wonder if it’s more the artificial sweetener than it is the soda itself? I know aspartame wrecks havoc on my system. I do love a diet gingerale every now and then but certainly not daily.

    Keep an eye on it… the artificial sweetener part.

    I know how hard it is to quit an addiction no matter what the substance is. I’ve smoked and done drugs and quit peanut butter! Y’know what? quitting PB was harder than quitting smoking or drugs. So addiction is more than the substance.

    ONWARDS! enjoy your every-once-in-awhile DC!

  2. Jeff Mather says:

    It *could* be the artificial sweetener in the Diet Coke, but I suspect it’s really the acid and the carbonation and the caffeine and everything else. I don’t seem to have any problems drinking my delicious-ish, artificially sweet lemonade.

    Diet Coke is definitely going to be (er… has become) a rare treat.

  3. Sara says:

    So Diet Pepsi is still okay, right? You only said Diet Coke!!

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