Posted By LocalShops1,
Sunday, November 6, 2011
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It has been a month since I got laid off from the St. Petersburg Times, and I haven't had a diet Coke this entire time.
Now, for all you health-conscious people out there, a month without a diet Coke might not seem like a big deal. But for me, pre-layoff, going even one day without my carbonated fix would have been a huge feat.
My diet Coke habit had gotten out of control. Two or three (bottles, not cans) was typical, and that was just during work hours: one around 4 p.m., on my way in (newspaper people often work crazy hours): one around 9, halfway through my shift, just before the nightly conference call; and one about midnight, to keep me going for a few more hours, since I'd have to be up several hours after I got home, to work on projects for my own business.
• • •
Often there were more diet Cokes,
too, before work. On especially bad days I even started the day with one
because it was faster to grab a diet Coke than to wait around for the
coffee to brew.
My habit had gotten so bad that my boyfriend staged a one-man intervention. I agreed to cut back to one bottle a day. That lasted about a week.
The last time I had a diet Coke was around 1 p.m. on Oct. 6. Later that afternoon, I walked into the St. Petersburg Times and found out I no longer had a job there.
• • •
I didn't make a conscious decision to give up soda; it just happened. I didn't even realize it until about two weeks into it. And the strange thing is I don't miss it at all.
Scary realization, No. 1: Drinking more than one soda a day — regular or diet — increases risk of
obesity and related health problems such as type 2 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. A recent study (reported in Times magazine) found that among frequent drinkers — those who consumed two or more diet sodas a day
— waistline growth was 500 percent greater than among non-drinkers. Excess weight, especially around the belly, is a risk factor for a variety of ills, including
cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the article says.
Scary realization, No. 2: My diet Coke habit was costing me more than $1,000/year — or close to $10,000 during my years at the Times.
What was I thinking?!?!
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