Added: Angelita Schnabel - Date: 05.11.2021 21:31 - Views: 43633 - Clicks: 7925
The greatest love story of my life has been with a carbonated beverage. I am four or five years old. My grandmother looks on, disturbed, as I wail disconsolately. My mother does not give in. I am a teenage anorexic. After a long day starving myself I walk to the corner shop and reward myself with a bottle of Diet Coke. My low blood sugar makes the artificial sweetness taste euphoric. It is my 30th birthday. I am at work at my former employer.
To much fanfare, my boss brings in an eight-pack of Diet Coke, with a burning candle stuck in it. I am delighted. Five cans on a good day, seven cans on a bad day. My boyfriend jokes about my morning routine: wake up, pad to the kitchen. The sound of a can cracking; a hiss. Glug glug glug. Yes, every morning. Using some back-of-a-fag-packet-maths, I estimate that I have drunk 11, litres of Diet Coke in my 31 years on Earth. I have been conservative with these s: it is almost certainly more. That is the equivalent of almost 34, cans of caramel fizz, fermenting my insides, bathing my liver in foam.
It is embarrassing and bad for me. When I go on holiday I fill up the supermarket trolley with Diet Coke, to the amusement of my friends. I recently spent a year on prescription medication for a stomach condition that was almost certainly triggered by my overconsumption of Diet Coke, according to my GP. To keep the costs down I buy can crates from my local supermarket. The staff know me there and remind me if I forget to pick up a crate. This is mortifying but helpful. I want to quit. I have to quit. So I decided to write this article — mostly as a way of holding myself able — and set myself a target.
By the end of January I would be Coke-free. We order pizza. My head is pounding; only the caramel smack of Diet Coke will do. When it arrives I down it, making little whimpering noises of pleasure. The following day is worse. I find myself craving Diet Coke in a way that is alarming and unexpected. I want to dump a bucket of Diet Coke on this spot and watch it fizz. I feel horrific. The average can of Diet Coke contains 42mg of caffeine , the equivalent of roughly two-thirds of a shot of espresso. You get crashing headaches. Marlow confesses something unexpected: like me, she is a Diet Coke addict.
It is validating to hear an expert tell me that my Diet Coke addiction is just that, rather than a bad habit. She explains that addiction has a biological component and a psychological component. Marlow speculates that the bubbles in Diet Coke may increase the addictiveness of the drink. In a statement on its website, Coca-Cola denies that its products are addictive. Regularly consuming food and drink that taste good and that you enjoy is not the same as being addicted to them Caffeine is a mild stimulant, and if you have it regularly and then stop abruptly, you may experience some headaches or other minor effects.
But most of us can reduce or eliminate caffeine from our diets without serious problems. Then there is the psychological pull of a can of Diet Coke, something Marlow knows first-hand. I will taper myself off Diet Coke: two cans a day for the first week, reducing to one can a day for the second week and no cans thereafter.
I run to the shop and purchase an eight-pack. My mouth is watering as I carry it home. Like many women, I was cruel to myself in my teens. I grew up in the 00s, when the body-positivity movement was nonexistent. Models spoke about subsisting on cigarettes and Diet Coke. I internalised that message wholeheartedly. Every girl at my school aspired to be as thin as possible. The toilets smelled of vomit. At lunch, groups of dieting girls, myself included, would walk arm in arm to the corner shop, skipping food to buy Diet Coke, which filled you up and had zero calories.
Diet Coke denoted thinness and social cachet. We all wanted a taste. Over time I flirted with other soft drinks — Pepsi Max is a favourite, because it is slightly sweeter than Diet Coke — but I always found myself returning to my original love. Diet Coke was launched in , seven years before I was born. I grew up watching the Diet Coke Break adverts, featuring a group of businesswomen ogling a topless hunk.
It also reflects the fitness craze of the period. In the s and s, Diet Coke leaned heavily into its association with the fashion world, recruiting Jean Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld as creative directors. More recently, as the body-positivity movement has gained traction, Diet Coke has pivoted away from this association. But as someone who grew up associating Diet Coke with skinny models, the imprint remains. To me, Diet Coke is diet culture in a can.
I can take it, I say. She relents. My stomach will also be taking a battering, as I know from personal experience. Although I was concerned about the health risks of aspartame, the sweetener in Diet Coke, Pigott tells me not to worry. The first week of my regime passes without incident. I a Facebook support group for Diet Coke addicts who want to quit. It may just be my caffeine-withdrawal fug, but I find the positivity I am receiving from strangers online so moving that I am close to tears.
I love it. Me too, buddy, I think, upending a can to shake the last few drops into my mouth. The first day is okay, but on day two I snap and drink four cans. It is humiliating, but the ability helps keep me in check. I stick to one can a day after that, but only by drinking more tea than I have drunk in my life. I wonder if I will get to the point where I like the taste of water. I tell Jezuita that I worry I am letting myself off too easily by not going cold turkey.
Jezuita helps me to calibrate my expectations to something more realistic — reduction, with the aim of stopping, but in a kinder and less self-loathing way. She also encourages me to savour the taste of Diet Coke. My morning Diet Coke rapidly becomes the best part of my day — I crave it in an animalistic way, and I eke it out in tiny sips to make the precious cola last as long as possible. I anticipate this like I do a cervical smear, only with less enthusiasm. On my first day I feel like I am going to cry. I miss it.
I miss Diet Coke. The hypnotherapist and addiction specialist Jason Demant has helped people beat far tougher addictions. He probes my childhood, my adolescence, the connections I make when I contemplate the supreme majesty of a can of Diet Coke. I explain the teenage eating disorder, filling up on Diet Coke instead of having lunch.
I am fully recovered, I explain, but Diet Coke has stayed in my life nonetheless. Do you always do the right thing? Yes, I respond, slowly. I work hard at my job, I try to be a good friend and partner, to eat well, to exercise. I am going to do what I want to do, which is drink gallons of this stuff. What you need to do is find something else that gives you that feeling. What about, instead of rewarding yourself with Diet Coke, you could do things for yourself that felt loving?
I incorporate small gestures of self-care into my day. I spend more time playing with my cat. I watch trashy TV.Addicted to coca cola side effects
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