Annals of a Diet Crack Addict

Tricia alerted me to this post over at PaleoChix. It's about Patty's addiction to Diet Coke. Patty is a crossfit trainer and looks fit, no? All you have to do is Google it and you'll see that Patty is in no way alone--this is a big issue out there.

Which leads me to: My name is Meagan, and I'm a Diet Coke Addict.

I've been clean for 5 weeks and 1 day. I know that sounds dramatic, but I really do think I'm an addict. I've been addicted, I'd say, since about the beginning of 2009, though there were warning signs of addiction long before. In high school, I started drinking a diet coke anytime we went out to Thai food. From that point on, any time I ate Thai food, I wanted a Diet Coke. They just went together, you see?

How bad did my addiction get? Here's an impromptu email from a colleague during a particularly stressful time at work, who thought to clue me in on his observation of my soda consumption.

(This is really embarrassing to post. Of course, at the time I wasn't that embarrassed. Because I was an addict chasing her addiction. DOH!)

To: Meagan
From: Beloved Colleague
10:47am, Feb. 3, 2009
Subject: Diet Coke's [sic] Log

10:47 am

Three sodas before 11am. I sent back two rationalizing emails.

To: Beloved Colleague
From: Meagan
Date: 10:50am, Feb. 3, 2009
Subject: RE: Diet Coke's [sic] Log

Does it make it any better if...
Coffee Log:
Damn. Didn't think so.
To: Beloved Colleague
From: Meagan
Date: 11:16am, Feb. 3, 2009
Subject: RE: Diet Coke's [sic] Log

I feel totally gross for consuming diet coke before noon. Must do something about this, because it’s all kinds of wrong. Not that I didn’t do the same thing yesterday, too…

And I did do something about it--in July! I did a one month self-imposed Paleo-ish challenge (kept dairy) and got off of soda. In August, I went to a movie with a friend and ordered a soda. Drank only a few sips and was done. I though, "Aha! My addiction is conquered!" And for a few weeks, I had about one soda a week. It tasted gross, it wasn't for me.

But then stress of work crashed down on me in the fall and I reached for my comfort item: diet coke. I started stopping off at lunch at the Walgreens or the Dollar Store to get a bottle (or two), feeling as if I needed that soda to get through the afternoon.

I miss a few non-paleo foods on this challenge. I miss delicious cheese. The idea of moist chocolate cake makes me salivate. I miss a *good* cappuccino every once in awhile. I don't miss Diet Coke. I crave it, sometimes viscerally. But I don't miss it. I hope that is the difference that makes me stay off the crack for good.

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