Caffeine is my worst vice and my biggest nemesis. Add in sugar and you’ve got one potent addiction. I lurve me some Coca-Cola! It hurts so good….
However, I know that I’d be better off in terms of my fertility and minimizing controllable risks for miscarriage if I give it up. Breaking the cola habit would also be a big help in controlling my weight — and we all know that that’s a plus for fertility, as well as a personal stressor, given that since TTC and the molar PG I am at my highest weight ever. From past experience, I know that giving up Coke and/or all soda can be really helpful in improving my overall health. Soda is kind of “gateway junk” for me: if I am drinking soda, I am much more likely to eat other crap (what’s better than a Coke? Coke and cheddar cheese Combos… Coke, chips, and dip… Coke and anything salty and fatty…). Once I start eating more healthily I can often work on other health issues, exercising more, finding ways to destress and relax.
So why the hell do you keep drinking 16 teaspoons of sugar per can? you say. Well, it’s a delicate balance. If I give up everything, I can last a few days or a week until I begin to feel deprived and either blow everything all at once or take the more insidious route: one treat won’t hurt me… see? one was ok, so a couple will be fine… what’s a little Coke or chocolate every now and then going to do?… until I’m right back in the same place again. I can’t seem to manage moderation, but total control only lasts for so long.
When you add in the factors of depression and immediate gratification versus long-term benefits, the challenge becomes even greater. Food, in particular my friend Coca-cola, is an instant boost. Unfortunately, it leads into a downward spiral of guilt and self-hatred which sometimes feels inescapable, as Cecily observed. Unlike Cecily, I’m not to the point of considering weight-loss surgery — but I also haven’t been able to decouple my stress about trying to get and stay pregnant from my worries about food, health, and the demon beverage.
What about Diet Coke? you inquire mildly. Ahh, there’s the rub. Artificial sweeteners scare me. I don’t like all this tinkering with nature. These products haven’t been around long enough to know what the long term risks of major daily consumption are. But is that merely an excuse, a rationalization that will allow me to stick to the sugar? Quite possibly. This past weekend I did buy a Diet Coke with lime (hoping the lime would disguise some of the NutraSweet taste) and try it as a substitute in an attempt to wean myself. It hasn’t been a total failure or a roaring success yet.
I’ve given up Coke and/or soda altogether three times in the past five years, with success ranging from 10 months to 5 days. Right now I am focusing on one day at a time, and not beating myself up when I do give in.
I would end this with something witty, but without the buzz of sugar and caffeine, the snappy remarks just aren’t there at this hour of the morning.