Diet Soda No More

Diet Soda, I am *so* over you!

I started drinking diet soda in my teens. I started drinking soda around age 4. Back then it was in the nice glass bottles, with the wiggly swirl lines and I only had a half a juice cup.

Since returning to work, with not enough sleep most of the time, I could care less about the taste or anything else but the caffeine (and since I'm really not that wild about warm drinks, cold bubbly caffeine = very palatable option).

So friends have staged "soda intervention" through the years, from my Indian friend Manish swearing it is used in India to clean roads, to another friend sending me the forward with the dirty penny that gets cleaned in a glass of soda. These did not work.

Last year and this year, I decided sodalessness was a huge sacrifice so I gave it up for Lent. I survived, and there were no casualties in my family or circle of friends either. However, the last six months I've felt slow, sluggish and like I'm carrying maybe five or ten pounds that I don't really own.

During the two Lent seasons, I accidentally dropped at least 5 pounds - accidentally meaning I was not dieting, I just ate what I ate and five pounds went AWOL.

Blondie was kind of slow connecting the dots.

Dear friend yesterday provided me with a last straw, so to speak. Soda slows your metabolism AND it hardens cell walls. That makes all of your other systems work that much harder to do what they need to do. For some reason this time it clicked. I've had horrific reflux for the last couple of weeks.

I've had general odd aches and pains that I'm too young to have. I've been fighting a nagging five or ten pounds. I don't diet - flat refuse especially after four kids - but I don't like to feel like myself, only blown up.

So, soda, b-bye.

There is a little more to it - I have felt a nagging worry that I'm actually well and truly addicted to soda (which is an awful thought), and my husband is convinced I am hooked on soda the way a crack addict is hooked on crack or an alcoholic has to have alcohol.

In Christian-speak this is called a "stronghold" and it is always a problem. It means setting something up as an idol, something you think you have to have, something you get REALLY grumpy without. I'm not convinced I'm chemically addicted to soda, but stronghold...ouch, probably.

So this has to be done.

I do not like the idea of 16 or 20 ounces of questionable ingredient fizzy liquid dominating my morning.

There are very tangible benefits to pursuing this stance: Already today I have saved probably $3.00 or even $4.50 by not buying my morning, mid-morning and lunchtime soda. Times five for my workweek and that is $20, give or take. Add to that the 2 liters waiting at home - another $2 a day. It adds up - could easily be $100 a month, or $1,200 a year. I can do lots of things with $1,200.

And if I also manage to drop the nagging 10 pounds that I think may be "diet" soda related, even better. I have a handful of very pretty things in my closet that will fit a lot better if I do. More importantly - I will not have the craving for a mystery chemical cocktail that is probably damaging my health in a dozen other ways.

Tourists, gawkers, bad drivers and annoying people in my immediate environment beware...there is bound to be a detox period...but Diet Soda, you will romance me and my taste buds no more.

Jennifer Z.

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