Do you have a vice? Write about it here.
Dear Diet Coke (and other assorted diet sodas),
Why can’t I quit you?
I give you up for six weeks every year during Lent.
Then after Easter, I try to not drink you nearly as often as I did before Ash Wednesday.
But usually within a month or two, I am back to having one of you each day with my lunch and sometimes dinner too.
Every time I have been pregnant I eliminated you from my diet immediately after I found out we were expecting until after I gave birth (or sadly, a few times, after I miscarried).
I miss you when you are not in my life. Even though not consuming usually you isn’t that big of a sacrifice for me.
So why when I am without child and not trying to be extra holy/challenge myself for forty days each year, do I end up drinking at least one of you daily?
I know that you aren’t good for me and I don’t want to think about what all the ingredients that you are made up does to my body.
But, I really like how you taste with food or a meal.
I almost never drink you by yourself.
There is just something about you that compliments a lot of what I choose to eat.
I have tried other healthier bubbly drinks, including carbonated water, even the flavored ones, but it just isn’t the same.
It also doesn’t help that you keep coming up with new and delicious variations, such as adding lime and cherry flavoring.
I realize there are worse things I could do to my body, than drink a can or two of soda pop each day.
However, the more I try to eat and feed my family healthier things, the more aware I am of the food and beverages that we ingest. This makes me question why I still want to have you so much.
I am good about drinking a lot of water every day.
During the wintertime and when I am sick I love a cup of tea.
I never drink coffee.
I consume alcohol, mostly beer and wine, socially and in moderation.
So does it really matter that I like my Diet Coke?
In a perfect world I would give you up forever, not just under certain circumstances or times of the year.
I would remind myself why you aren’t good for me and would stop buying you at the grocery store and ordering you at restaurants.
Though I have come to a stage of my life where I try to take care of myself, exercise often and watch what I eat. I also believe that it is okay for me to still have some soda when I want to.
Maybe someday I will change my mind or at least try harder not to have you as often?
But for now, my dear Diet Coke, I will enjoy you when I want and not feel too guilty about it.
Do you have a vice? Tell me about it.
Kathy Benson is a bereaved and blessed mom, writer and group fitness instructor trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and loss for five years. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two living children.