Somewhere along the way my preferences changed and I switched to Diet Coke. Oh sure, over the years I would indulge on a Sprite or Dew, but my drink of choice was Diet Coke. Tried and true. There was no other that could give me the crisp, cold satisfaction I craved (not to mention that bubbly carbonation in the back of the throat).
I also drank it for the caffeine. I never really got hooked on coffee. It was too much work to perfect the flavor. Besides, I would rather pop open a fizzy lifting drink than scald my mouth with bitterness! It was my personal preference to start my work day with a 44oz DC from Speedway! It gets me going and keeps me going through the day. I rationalized that it was mostly water anyway, so why not? Besides, it's my summer indulgence for a mere $.79! What a deal! And when you buy 5 your get the next one free! Whoo-hoo! Life is good... Then it happened.
On Saturday, November 8, 2008, while standing in the audience of the FCC Women's Conference, I listened to our speaker, Joani Tabor, rattle off the following list to help keep us out of the stew of stress:
- Pray more.
- Go to bed on time.
- Get up on time so you are not rushed.
- Say no to projects that don't fit into your schedule without stress.
- Delegate tasks to others.
- Simplify and unclutter your life.
- Less is often more: one may be enough, two may be too much.
- Allow extra time to get places.
- Pace your self and spread out hard projects, start with little changes.
- Separate worries from concern.
- Live within your budget.
- Have backups for everything you don't want to lose.
- Try to eat right (Diet Coke will kill you).
- Become as organized as possible (don't spend your time looking when you could be doing).
- Write down thoughts and dreams and revisit the list in 5 years to see your progress.
- Find time to be alone every day.
- Talk to God on the spot – don't wait.
- Make friends with godly people.
- Start keeping a folder or journal of your favorite scriptures.
- Be grateful. Jesus is the bridge between despair and hope.
- Learn to laugh.
- Laugh often and laugh loudly.
- Take your work seriously, not yourself.
- Develop a forgiving attitude (you may need it sometime).
- Be kind, especially to unkind people, they need it most.
- Sit on your ego. God is smart, you're not.
- Talk less, listen more.
- Slow down!
- Remind yourself every day that you are not the General Manager of the Universe!
- Romans 8:31...What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Did you catch #13? Diet Coke will kill me. Make know mistake, she said "kill". This is the fourth time in the past 3 weeks that I've overheard this statement. Someone even went so far as to tell me carbonated sodas are made with distilled water, which depleats your body of natural vitamins and minerals.
So, at that moment I made the decision to quit, cold turkey. I'm an all or nothing girl, there is no middle ground here.
(Fast forward 2 days.) I cannot tell you how many times I've tried to talk myself back into it. "I've been drinking it for years...at least it isn't saccharin! Just one won't hurt..." and on and on... Two weeks later and I am still experiencing withdrawals. The painful headaches, the irritability, the mood swings, the self doubt, the anger for not being able to kick it so easily... This is a diet soda we're talking about, not a narcotic!!! For goodness sake, why is this so painful?!
The other night at dinner I had a 44oz cup from Speedway on the table. My 7-year old daughter looked at me and questioned it's contents. I assured her it was unsweetened iced tea. She sighed in great relief and said, "Mom, you're doing great!" (Thank you, Jesus. With you, I can overcome this.)