Diet Coke vs. Water

 I opted to make no resolutions this New Year's.

I didn't need to. I already had a huge and daunting change ahead. Ok, huge to me ... nothing really that big.

Last summer I tried to give up Diet Coke. I didn't succeed and it's been on my mind ever since.

For the last gazillion years (ie - as long as I can remember) I've been a huge Diet Coke fan. A two 2-liter bottles a day fan. It's all I drank (except when pregnant). But I knew, deep down, that it wasn't good for me. So I decided that when the kids were with their father over Christmas break I'd give it up FOR REAL. I'm pretty sure I decided this in August.

So, on January 2nd of this year I gave up Diet Coke. I had one bottle that got me through the headaches, they'd hit in the afternoon and around 5 pm I'd have a few ounces of that bottle and two ibuprofen and I was good to go. That one bottle lasted a week, until I tossed that flat soda down the drain.

Withdrawal ... the headaches did hit, but nowhere near as bad as I expected. They started a little later each day and were a little weaker each day and gone after about a week. The day after I gave up the Diet Coke I slept for 13 hours. My body was so used to being on caffeine that it crashed. It took about two weeks for the "sluggishness" to pass, it's hard to explain but it was just really hard to get moving in the morning, like swimming in molasses.

I replaced my beloved Diet Coke with water. I hate water. At least I thought I did. I cannot believe how much water I happily drink now. It's nowhere near as bad as I thought it was. I actually kind of like it just fine. And, I must say, I like what it's doing for my complexion and weight loss plan.

I splurged and bought myself a nice big water bottle, both for around the house and to avoid having to buy water. And quickly realized that this bottle would perspire (gotta have ice in it) and that just wasn't going to work. Enter the reversible quilted bottle cup koozie, make in a few minutes immediately before a meeting. The bottle cover is just two pieces of fabric sewn together with batting, then flipped right sides out, quilted, and topstitched. I added velcro up the side and headed out the door.

No, the cup isn't actually leaning like the Tower of Pisa. Weird.
So far, almost a month into this new Diet Coke free lifestyle, I have no desire to go back. I never thought I'd say that, and actually be happy about it!

March 8 Update:
Two months in and still Diet Coke free. One day while teaching math I realized I was drinking about a gallon of Diet Coke every day. Holy crap - there's no way that's good for anyone.

I remain amazed that it was easier to quit than I expected. I have not allowed myself to splurge at all, I really don't want to go backwards and I'm afraid I will if I get off the wagon. 

This page gets a lot of hits so I know I'm not the only person fighting this battle, or considering fighting the battle. Feel free to message me at if you want, I'll answer questions and provide whatever information I can.

July 2013 Update:
Almost 7 months without Diet Coke. Actually, without caffeine at all.

One recent morning I walked downstairs, mentally planning my morning, and my first thought was to fill my Diet Coke cup. My second thought was to smile and grab a cup of ice water. Old habits die hard.

During our recent camping/hiking vacation we drank a lot of water. We were in the desert and it was hot, there's no way we could have gotten by without water. A year ago I would have though, and probably would have gone into a panic when I couldn't get any Diet Coke (we were in some remote campgrounds), and I don't even want to think of how bad the headaches from being dehydrated would have been (we were without ice, so it would have been straight Diet Coke all day, every day).

Some people lose weight giving up soda, even diet soda. I did not. That kind of sucks!

Oh, and I still use the same water bottle as above, but I did add a second one (same exact style and color). :)

For me the decision to give up Diet Coke had nothing to do with all the reports about how horrible it is. It was just my personal choice, largely made to save money but also so I'd, hopefully, live longer and be healthier in general.

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1 Comment

  1. Good for you! I'm not quite ready yet. I'm usually between half-litre to one and a half-litre a day (with some days none, and it's not the only thing I drink), but it's the only thing I've found that'll take the edge off a migraine, of which I have a ton (climate-related, not DC-related, I checked!) Coffee kills my stomach and the caffeine pills make me crazy and unable to sleep so I'm going to hold on to the DC for a bit. But it's encouraging to hear of another addict who's kicked it. :-) I wish you continued luck and success!