Let me preface this by saying this post is long. It contains a bit TMI and there are no pictures. I still hope you read it though because it's good information!
For people who have been living in a cave, or for those who just haven't visited my blog before, my name is Brittan and I used to be addicted to diet coke. I started drinking diet coke in high school. Ninth grade would be my guess. I drank it regularly for about 14 years. For the past three years, I drank at least three diet cokes a day. Some days I'm sure I drank 5-7.
About two months ago I decided to stop drinking diet coke. I was having a lot of health issues and a lot of people were pointing fingers at my DC habit. My intention was to stop drinking it so I could prove to them that wasn't the problem. I was wrong. They won.
3 reasons I'm glad I stopped drinking diet coke:
1. I no longer look like a middle school girl who just went through puberty.
I have had terrible acne since middle school. I'm 29 and yes, I still had horrible acne every single day. I used to laugh at my friends who would point out their one tiny pimple that would be gone in a day. I had acne on my face, chest, and back.
Now, I only break out a little bit when I'm PMSing OR if I drink a soda. (more on that at the end)
2. I have energy!!!
I don't know if my body had just had enough but about a month before I stopped drinking diet coke, I was absolutely exhausted. I slept for 15 hours one Saturday and like 12 two Saturdays later. I was dragging every day at work and just felt bad. It got worse, like I said, about a month before I stopped drinking it; but, I didn't have a "normal" level of energy until I quit.
3. The mystery symptoms are gone!
Those of you who know me, know that I have had stomach problems for years. Again, getting increasingly worse with time. Due to my family history of stomach problems (my dad & cousin had ulcerative colitis) I assumed it was related to genetics. My symptoms were all over the place: stomach pains especially at night, stomach pains worse when hungry, bloated, weight loss (oh darn!), constipation frequently & diarrhea occasionally (keeping it real!), fatigue, and acid reflux.
Over a period of two years, I had a colonoscopy to rule out ulcerative colitis and other intestinal diseases. I was tested for Celiac Disease, Hyperthyroidism, anemia and who knows what else. I had blood drawn frequently and went to the doctor at least once a month. I was prescribed all kinds of medicines to "see if this would help." I don't even want to think about how much money I spent.
And now...almost all of the symptoms that I had for years - gone. Adios. Sayonara. One downfall - the weight loss is gone too. Boooooo.
So - yes, I stopped drinking diet coke (and all sodas). I stopped cold turkey despite the advice to wean myself off of it. To me, that would have been harder. I didn't have any soda for two weeks. After that, I felt like I was no longer addicted to it and now I drink one when I want to - no more than one every 2 weeks. I find though, that when I do drink soda, I break out about two days later and I have stomach pains that same day. I also typically get constipated again for a few days. Needless to say, I really only drink a soda now if I'm desperate for a pick me up.
I have definitely increased my water intake. The first few weeks of just drinking water and cranberry juice I felt very bloated. I guess my body just wasn't used to being hydrated. I stopped drinking cranberry juice regularly because I realized that is very acidic, which irritates my stomach. I then started drinking sweet tea. I know -it's bad. BUT, I like my tea watered down with not much sugar so it's still better than soda.
Since I've kicked my DC habit though, I have gained weight. I'd say around 5 lbs. :( I think if I were to just drink water, I'd lose it but I'm a realistic person & I can't deprive myself of everything!
I never wanted to believe everyone who harped on me about how bad diet coke was, but I will say it - they were right. BUT if you're one of those people who say that diet sodas are bad and you drink regular soda - stop it! I have had regular sodas and diet sodas and they both make me feel like crap. Artificial sugar is bad, and so is tons of natural sugar!
Maybe I just gave you a New Year's Resolution idea...
Have you experienced something similar with sodas? Other foods that make you feel awful?
Are you an avid diet coke drinker like I used to be? What are your thoughts now?
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