Well, today makes three full weeks I have been off Diet Coke.
I know it may seem inconsequential. But to me, it is a big deal. You see, I was a Diet Coke addict. A junkie. I started drinking Diet Coke in high school. By college, I had graduated to five or six cans a day. I cut down a little when I started working, but up until just three weeks ago, I was still drinking at least three cans a day.
I crave the caffeine and the burning sweet taste of Diet Coke. I crave it with or without food. The problem was that Diet Coke (well, any caffeinated, carbonated beverage actually) was not helping my blood pressure. It was the major definite my doctor gave me. “Cut the caffeine, or cut your life span,” were her actual words. She also recommended I “cut sweets” but (frankly) I’d rather cut off my left arm. Which I might have to do if I ever get diabetes! (Smile).
So, I’m off “the hard stuff.” I know that most people think of “the hard stuff” as alcohol, and that’s okay, but in my toned-down, conservative view, Diet Coke is about as dangerous as I can handle. And turns out, alcohol is just as bad for my health, so it’s not like I could switch from Diet Coke to wine. Also, coming from a family of alcoholics (both sides), I think I’ve learned to stay away from it.
Still, it’s hard to be without my Diet Coke. Nothing tastes as good as Diet Coke. And nothing tastes good with water. I mean - hot, cheesy pizza with… water (yuck). Buttery, salty popcorn with… Crystal Light (ewww). But I’m doing it. A little at a time, and maybe my taste buds will change. But I don’t think so.
The important thing is that I’ve weaned myself off a dangerous and addicting habit. That’s a real, tangible accomplishment. And I do feel better. My mind is clearer. I’m more relaxed and less anxious. I sleep better at night, and my blood pressure is WAY down.
In a way, my Diet Coke addiction reminds me of sin. I desire it like a drowning man desires air. It’s always within my reach. No one has to know if I take “just one.” It really doesn’t hurt anyone other than me.
And yet…it could contribute to help kill me.
So, like with sin, I just have to keep trying everyday to resist the Diet Coke urge which will probably never go away, and know that it is the best thing for me. Thankfully, God can help me with both problems!
There’s just one more thing… do you think there’s Diet Coke in heaven?