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8.03.2010

on why i don't drink diet coke (kind of). and a whole host of other nonsensical ramblings...


i gave up drinking diet coke a year ago last may.

last may?

i punctuate this with a question mark because i can't think of when exactly it was that it happened--the passing of diet coke from my life.

it's a funny thing when you stop drinking it. you still crave it but it never tastes the same. not even close. in fact it tastes just plane awful. and empty.

i started drinking soda water instead because i found the thing i missed most was the hit of carbonation.

yes, i said hit. yes, it is my drug of choice this thing called carbonation.

why did i stop drinking diet coke?

well, the fake sugar actually.

i could go on and on about how bad it is. about how the onset of wide-spread obesity in this country can basically be traced back to the introduction of artificial sweeteners. about how it actually makes you crave food (carbohydrates especially). jeffrey steingarten wrote a really interesting article for vogue about all this. however, where jeffrey failed is that he didn't discuss how artificial sweeteners actually change how the brain tastes sweet. suddenly real sugars aren't so exciting. and so we stop craving and eating real food. and this is, how to say... really dangerous.

look i'm not judging anyone who drinks diet coke. not by a long shot. i get it, i really do. this wasn't mean to be the point of the post. just the preface. so let me try again...

i have found soda water harder to come by here in utah. i have to be really forward about making sure i always have some in my fridge, i can't just run to the corner store if i find i've unexpectedly finished my last bottle of canada dry. it took me some time to learn this and because i often found myself without, i began to turn to the gorgeous silver frosted cans in the fridge bearing the emblem of the alter at which i prayed for a very long time:

it wasn't good the first can. nor the second. but after not so long it began to taste like itself--like really good. like leave-me-alone-i'm-having-a-moment-here good.

and this scared me. this was the start of the slippery slope. diet coke is my gateway drug. it leads to gummy candies and whole bags of tortilla chips and store-bought frosting (and i hate store-bought frosting, in fact i am diametrically opposed to it).

all of this--this long-winded-nesss--is to say, i've passed the diet-coke phase of my life.

in fact, i've passed quite a few phases now.

i'm past the point where i'm okay with dirty dishes being left in the sink. or where i'll sit down on the couch and just watch the E! channel. i think trashy magazines are precisely that: trashy. and i find value in cooking a meal. in eating real food. i like going to bed at a reasonable hour.

because somewhere in all these passed through and now past phases i'm learning a little something about growing up. and responsibility. and the fact that actions have consequences. and maybe i'm a little late to the party, but i don't think so, it all feels right on schedule.

i'm gonna be twenty-five soon. and i can't wait. it feels like a good age. i think i'm gonna have a big party. with an american-in-paris theme (the thought for that went as follows: 25--1925--the lost generation of writers--ex-pats in Paris). i think it's perfect--lots of stripes and berets and red-lipstick and a smorgasbord of cheeses, grapes, wines, and crackers. and champagne, who could forget the champagne?! yes, the party will be grand, the age will be grand. and life will move-on, forward.

you couldn't pay me to go back to twenty-two, the college years, and a sink full of dirty dishes. no sirree.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

I too love soda water and switched to it over diet coke. Last year I got a soda water maker for my birthday, and it's been the BEST present ever--I use it every day, twice a day. This is the one I got: http://www.sodastreamusa.com/Fountain-Jets-C23.aspx

Although you have to shell out big money at the beginning and get new CO2 tanks every few months, it still ends up being cheaper than buying bottles, plus less plastic!

Also, turning 25 (eee, two years ago!) was scary for me at first, but it ended up being a really really good, productive year.

heisschic said...

i know EXACTLY what you mean- i have a half empty can of pepsi on my desk from yesterday... the craving it, the taste didnt live up to the memory.


buuut yea- im looking forward to 25 as well. would i want to go back to 22? only if i could go back to fix it. i wouldnt ever want to relive those days as they were though. pass.

Heather said...

I get my canada dry at Macey's. If you ever need a canada dry pick me up, let me know :)

Also, I can not even tell you how much I love not living with five other girls in a small apartment. No one ever has your standard of clean, and the late nights, oh the late nights! I don't know how I did it, especially now that staying up past ten is stretching it for me :)At the same time, some of my best friends were made during that time in my life. I guess that's why we go to college when we're young ;)

m.a.f said...

lol, too true, heather, too true...about going when we're young.

and yes, i might go back to fix it. or would i?!

and a soda water maker, say it isn't so?!!!! i have to look into this!

Bee Sarah Lee Bailey said...

i adore you (just saying!) i am about to be 21 and am in the dirty dishes stage of life and honestly i HATE it. ( i am not a clean freak by any means just recently i have wanted to get my life in order.) (next week is the big clean out...EAK!)

Aslo i find it sad Utah is not so big in the soda water (princess pout face) I used to work at Borders and the cafe's make hand made soda (that was always my special treat!)

p.s. please forgive my spelling errors. also thanks for commenting on my blog you always make my day!

CrowNology said...

i HEAR you

Krysta said...

It is funny how the things we used to enjoy doing (vegging out all Sunday with a Real Housewive marathon), think were cool (staying out late, drinking too many cocktails), and used to be unaffected by (clean dishes, an empty brita pitcher left in the fridge) have totally evolved.

And on birthdays: I love getting older. I loved 25. I loved 26. And so far I am loving 27. For me, getting older sort of feels like your favorite pair of jeans that just get comphier the longer they are in your chest of drawers. I accept and appreciate myself so much more now than I ever did at 22. Not that 22 was bad, but it gets so much better.

Jessica O'Brien said...

right there with you on the growing up + passing old phases...

i treat my apartment like a home i own. i'm mindful of what i bring into it (from large furniture purchases, to the cleaning products i will be eventually breathing).

my husband + i suspended, then fully canceled our tv service. opting to fill our minds + hearts with non-fiction books, neighborhood walks, meditation + nights spent painting, not watching.

a few years ago i forced myself to resist perez hilton + other celeb gossip sites. i wouldn't let myself purchase 'us weekly' or 'in touch'. it was an addiction i ended. i now can't believe i ever welcomed my brain up to the lies about strangers life, when i could barely stay connected with real friends.

and so on... and so on...

i'm serious now about creating the best version of me. making a home i love. nurturing my marraige. gutting the unhealthy, useless, draining or harmful from my life. feels good.

xo, jessica
http://www.jessicafulkerson.blogspot.com

Amber said...

AMEN. I gave up all "diet" anythings a year ago when I started getting headaches. One sip of a diet coke or anything packed full of artificial sweeteners sends me hurtling towards a migraine and while we don't all suffer from headaches, I think that kinda shows they aren't exactly good for you. Haha stay strong!

J. said...

Wow that birthday theme sounds fantastic! (Even better than a champagne birthday...)

Diet coke and soda water are nice and all, but you should try winding down with a plain, refreshing glass of water every once in a while.

annie said...

I don't often comment, but I've got to say: one of my favorite posts of yours ever. I've never been a diet Coke drinker (give me the real thing any day), but I can totally relate to the slowly-growing-up mentality. Now don't get me wrong: I still find myself lingering over Bravo marathons and staying up too late, but I can tell: I don't like it so much anymore. And that, I think, is half the battle.

m.a.f said...

don't worry j. i do drink water every once and again.

Lucie said...

I have to tell you that i like coming on your blog because you are a great writer.
I'm gonna be twenty-five soon also, and as i live in Paris, i should have a parisian-in-NY theme for my party ;-)
A bientôt !

Taylor K said...

1) good job growing up. :) As your elder (I will be 28 in four days) I can say that sometimes you will still look around your house and think, 'did 10 frat boys move in overnight?' but those times will become less and less frequent. As will the dirty dishes in the sink.

2) Isn't it funny how people will binge on things they don't like? All of my ED binges are on foods I would NEVER eat regularly.

3) Hooray for whole foods!

Brittan said...

oh i LOVE this post. growing up feels so good.

your 25th birthday party idea sounds amazing! i think 25 is a landmark and should be celebrated in a big way.

lindsey said...

AMEN! you truly could not pay me enough to EVER go back to my twenties. period. i love getting lost in your words.

xo

laura marie said...

dang, this just hit the spot today. 1 because i recently gave up diet coke. 2 because i live in a "big girl" apartment now and do "big girl" things like wash the dishes, keep up with the laundry, water houseplants, etc. etc. and 3 because your party sounds super fantastic... i mean really, who can argue with anything french?

Millar said...

Haha, right now I'm drinking diet coke and I have dirty dishes in the sink. I'll grow up someday. (:

Good post

Katie said...

I really love the idea of your American in Paris themed party! great idea :) and if you're into getting away from our processed food dominated lives, you should make these crackers for it:

http://kelseyjanegrins.blogspot.com/2010/08/homemade-crackers-hummus.html

they're amazing! and amazingly good for you (you'll never go back to wheat thins). There is definitely something to be said for knowing what exactly is in your food. Like soda water = water + carbonation. love it.

iheartkiwi said...

you pretty much just called me out... i am 25 but here i sit watching E! with a pile of dirty dishes in my sink. you win some, you lose some :)

p.s. you will love being 25 and your party sounds fabulous. everything is fabulous when there is champagne.

iheartkiwi said...

p.p.s. i felt a teensy bit guilty after reading this post... so i did my dishes and now i'm hopping in bed next to my husband with a book. the clock reads 9:00 p.m.

i kid you not.

AbbieBabble said...

I just turned 25, and, after an initial panic attack, I think I agree with you. It's going to be grand.

p.s. I drank a diet coke yesterday for the first time in months. As I was doing it, I thought of this post.

Shoshana (aka Susan) said...

I love being 25. I always dreamed of being 25, as a child.

Jacob C. said...

diet coke is my favorite..
especially out of the fountain drink machine!

Brittany said...

paris themed birthday? sounds wonderful! i might just celebrate with some stripes and red lipstick myself. and i love that someone else agrees with going to bed earlier as we get older- we're not teenagers anymore!

vintagecharm said...

Ummm that sounds like the best.party.ever.

Kyle said...

fantastic meg....

"somewhere in all these passed through and now past phases i'm learning a little something about growing up. and responsibility. and the fact that actions have consequences. and maybe i'm a little late to the party, but i don't think so, it all feels right on schedule."

I can totally relate. Very well said.

Marisa said...

wonderful wonderful post (As always) twenty-five is the best age and I love the party theme idea!

As for diet coke- it is sort of an addiction for me too- gross at first, but then I keep drinking it! gah! I rarely drink it, but when I do-my obsession usually lasts for about a week. gahhh diet coke

Sarah boo said...

Does San pellegrino count? You can get that at Costco for a really good price.

Amanda said...

It's ironic. I have a can of diet coke right next to my computer right now. And now I'm looking at it thinking ick. Thanks for sharing that article.

And I just turned 26 and I'm right there with you...about the phases and the growing up part. It's a good thing.

communikate. said...

meg.

diet coke is totally my frenemy. i love her and hate her guts.

i loved the " leave-me-alone-i'm-having-a-moment." i so get that!, along with the gummy candies and all other listed foods.

it's scary how much this post rings true for myself.

:)

Erica Newhouse-Kasper said...

I love this post for many reasons. Miss you. xx

Rachel said...

I just turned 25. It's finally an age you can say you are where people don't automatically assume you're still a child.

(Even though we all are deep down inside.)

Carrie said...

I stopped drinking diet coke this past May and have only had the, I don't know if you'd call it urge or courage or whatever, to have some and when I tasted it, well you're right it was just horrible. I also stopped drinking it for the fake sugar and other non-natural things packed inside of there. My substitute is ice tea, I don't need the carbonation, just the caffeine. :o)

Shawn Tina said...

oh foo. i'm about to turn 22. i'm excited. i am going to be an official 20something. for better and for worse. and i have this queer feeling...it's only going to get better.

andrea said...

This post is brilliant. I used to be a diet-coke-aholic myself. Mcdonalds cursed me with their $1.08 large diet coke. I would get one almost everyday driving from my college campus into my office. I just moved to a new city to go to a different university and there isn't hardly any place to stop and get a coke on my way to work. I love it! I drink so much more water and my cravings for processed, saturated fattening foods have dropped immensely. Now, on those certain weekends I drive home for one event or another, I do stop and get a diet coke and maybe a small fry to help me stay awake for the drive. Luckily those trips are few and far between. But you're right, it does NOT taste as good as it used to.

Jennifer M. said...

This is one thing I've never understood about people who diet all the time… they all tend to drink diet coke! I think the healthier thing to do with be to drink lesser amounts of soda with real sugar in it. The killer is the chemicals in the diet versions, not the soda itself. I get that they're trying to lessen their sugar intake, but substituting chemicals for sugar seems a strange way to do it.

Raquel said...

this hits where i am right now right on the head. i just gave up diet coke, about a month ago. i've also started keeping my apartment neat -- making a real, dedicated effort -- for the first time in my life.

when i was younger i used to tell myself, "who cares if your apartment is messy? or if you drink diet coke? life is short!" although life is still indeed short, quality of life takes work and priorities. putting in a little more effort to make our short lives how we want them makes them oh that much sweeter. (and not artificially :)