Posted by: thatjen | April 5, 2005


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.



  1. ok, i am with you on the diet coke is scary thing- but i’ve become quite fond of the new C2! that splenda/sucralose stuff is pretty great and doesn’t taste so funky & artificial. but who am i to talk? in cutting down on my cokes, i’ve taken up a killer peanut m&m habit. i too, am stepping up to say, I AM A SUGAR ADDICT! ok, now clap or something 😉

  2. I hadn’t given C2 much thought, but with the way that one soda tends to rapidly become many sodas for me, 1/2 the calories still ain’t so grand. My friend tells me that they are coming out with a new drink that’s all sucralose. I’m still scared of it, but a smidgen less than I am of Nutrasweet and saccharine. I may give it a try if near-total abstention proves too difficult

  3. just found your blog. i’ve been trying to have a baby for 18 months. i hope things start looking up for you.
    ok, fake sugar sucks and coke is awesome. i was a major addict for years –it wasn’t until i started cutting it with plain seltzer a little at a time–first just pour out about 1/8 of the coke and add the same amount of seltzer to your coke. Do that for a while to you get used to it, a week or so later, pour off a little more coke and add a little more plain seltzer. after a while you will lose the taste for a straight coke -it’ll just taste tooo sugary–and you will be cutting the thing in half or more–

  4. Diet Barq’s rootbeer did it for me. The fizziness fooled my brain into thinking it was caffeinated. I am now down to one to two caffeinated drinks a week, and I had no withdrawal symptoms. And it’s been a year.

  5. You read Cecily? How cool! She totally rocks. Anyway… I could have been reading my own entry here, except that i do drink diet coke because for some odd reason sugar in soda (tea and gum too) leaves a sour after taste in my mouth and it’s yucky. Apparently this happens to my birth dad too, so at least I know where that comes from. I hate the FDA rigt now because tey have for quite some time now, refused to approve Stevia as a sweetener (you can read about it here: ) But I’m going with caffeine free diet pepsi for now, but I do need my caffeie fix at least once during the day…It’s horrible :oP

    -Carrie Jo

    BTW, I found your blog through FF.

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