Thursday, June 30, 2005

Don't Hate, Carbonate

I'm not the only one struggling with my soda addiction. There are others, many many others.

Now when I say addiction, I'm using the term knowing that my personal addiction to sugary carbonated beverages is not quite on the level of, say, the average speed freak. I know. Maybe it's even offensive to use the term in reference to Coca-Cola. I'm not sure. But I'm doing it anyway.

I'm not actually, officially addicted, perhaps. I can and do regularly go several days without having a soda, and I don't have withdrawls or DT's or anything like that. But I do really like soda, and drink it far more than I should. I am aware that it has made me overweight and has caused my teeth significant problems over the past few years. In fact, the last time I went to the dentist for a cleaning, I swear to you the dental hygienist looked like he wanted to punch me in the face.

And yet I still continue to drink lots of sodas. Bear in mind, I have two roommates, who are similarly hooked on the stuff. We've probably spent enough on 12-packs since I've been living here to pay off all Dr. Pepper's medical school loans. And when you're trying to give up soda, and it's 500 degrees in your bedroom at night, and there's a frosty 12-pack of Cokes sitting just in the next room...well, let me just say, I'm not a strong-willed man.

Anyway, I have found an article by this guy in Roanoke named Neil Harvey, who is going through the very same thing as me! Only he had the foresight to publish his 30-day soda withdrawl period on the Internet, thus actually turning this silly life experiment into cold hard cash. I'm just publishing it on my blog for free, because I'm a sucker.

Here are just a few reasons he offers for giving up the Pop.

Other offerings are thought-provoking but not as easy to verify. I'm told my soda ban will cut 91,000 calories from my diet and cause me to lose 30 pounds in a year. Others have written that cola is used as both an industrial engine cleaner and a pesticide in some countries; that cola syrup, when transported, is designated a hazardous material; that cola works as a handy stain remover; and that cola, when baked with a moist, foil-wrapped ham, transforms into sumptuous brown gravy.

Wouldn't any weight loss/caloric intake change depend on how many sodas you already drink? I mean, I rarely have more than 2 a day, sometimes 3 or more if it's particularly hot or I'm particularly stoned or I'm eating something really spicy. And since I have a empty can of Coke right here at my desk, I can tell you that it includes 140 calories.

So, an average of let's say 3 sodas a day, at 140 calories a pop is 420 calories a day (420!Woooooo!) Times 365 days in a year and you get...153,300 total calories cut in a year. This is probably not a very good way of figuring how much actual weight you're likely to lose, as those calories are spread over a whole year, but you get the idea.

Now, I suppose this means that, if Neil's figures are correct, that he's drinking 2 or fewer sodas a day, which wouldn't really classify him as a true "addict," I shouldn't think. More of a "dabbler." When you consider, as well, that he's enjoying lemonade, apple juice and Kool-Aid in place of soda, it's extra-clear that this won't neccessarily ensure massive weight loss.

It's still a good idea. I'm flirting right now with the notion of giving up sodas cold turkey for a while, just to see how long I last. (I fear, not very long). It would be super super difficult in this apartment, unfortunately, but so is cleaning the bathroom and I've done that. (Seriously! I totally did!)

Nutritious they might be but satisfying they are not, not when what I crave is something toxic, something with phospates, something with bite, something that makes a noise when you break its seal, something with fizz, something that chews into ice cubes with a hearty crackle, something that tickles the nostrils when inhaled.

I love that "tickle the nostril" thing...Man, I think I might have a real problem...Someone call TV's hottest new reality show, "Intervention"!

1 comment:

lonsmom said...

Come on, Lon. If you can clean your bathroom...giving up soda should be a piece of cake!!