I have an admission to make; earlier in the blog I said I had given up Diet Coke and even added a photo of me pouring my last one down the sink. A month ago, feeling somewhat tired and harassed, I was sitting outside a cafe when I was suddenly and inexplicably seized by a desire for a Diet Coke. A friend, who knows of my tendency to become addicted to the silver monsters, gently suggested I shouldn't but nevertheless I drank it down in devil-may-care defiance of all good advice.
That was the start and since then my Diet Coke consumption has been steadily increasing. I hadn't stooped to buying multi-packs but I was making far too frequent visits to Bargain Booze and the Co-op.
So at the weekend I decided enough was enough: I would give up again after a month falling off the wagon. Horror stories of cirrhosis of the liver and other nasties had been related to me and I knew the day of reckoning had come. Yesterday was day one of my detox - not too bad and I managed to assuage my desire for a Diet Coke with some bottles of carbonated water. Today though has been awful. My head is banging away and I feel totally wiped out. Yet I know that if I can get through the next few days the worst will be over.
But how to stop myself going back to the Diet Cokes? I think the root of my problem lies not only in an addiction to caffeine but also to my tendency to body dysmorphia. Basically I always feel fat. It doesn't matter how thin I am, and I have been rather too thin at times, inside I feel like a great brick outhouse of a girl. And so, I watch what I eat and jump on and off the scales with alarming regularity checking my weight. If I put on weight I feel miserable and a failure, if I lose some triumphant and set up for the day. Like many women I have a weight that makes me feel like I'm in control and the ideal is to be a little under this so there's some room for manoeuvre. Writing about it like this makes me realise how screwy it is but I also know it's pretty common and in most other respects I'm a well-balanced, sensible kind of person.
Diet Coke is a major weapon in the weight obsessives armour. It's almost calorie free, gives you something to do when you feel hungry and something to fiddle with, 'fills you up' and makes you feel like you are controlling the situation. I've read about models who live on Diet Coke in an effort to maintain their underweight silhouettes.
Of course all this confession to the ether is fuelled by feeling a little bit down owing to withdrawal from my upper of choice. In a few days I will feel more positive, the headache will be gone and I will see the wood for the trees. For now though, it's crap!