Monday, March 22, 2010

Week Twelve: I picked a hell of a week to stop drinking Coke

I'll tell you right off the bat none of this is going to make sense because I'm all out of whack. Week Eleven, sadly, is still not over. I still have two days of waking up an hour early that I haven't accomplished. Because waking up early sucks. It sucks, it I know, I'm really eloquent. For some reason it's easier on the weekends -- maybe the promise of a quiet couple of hours while everyone else sleeps is enough of a motivator, or maybe it's just that an hour early on the weekends is 8 am, not 6:30. But during the week, I just cannot make it happen without a very solid reason on the other end. And really, the benefit was nebulous...well, except for being able to sit calmly with Hannah for a half-hour instead of rushing around. But it's got to come down to a sleep issue -- I'm just not getting enough. Next week I think I'll give getting to bed on time a shot and see how that changes things. I had actually considered doing that this week but in a fit of pique decided to go in another direction. I'm unsure now if I was ready for that direction.

I was flipping channels while doing the dishes on Saturday morning, and happened to tune in to "Change Your Brain, Change Your Body" on my employer's station just as the host launched into a discussion of drinking your calories. This is a subject that spoke directly to me. There was a point in my life where I was drinking two 20-oz bottles of Coke at work a day and then a couple of cans at home. On a weekend I'd drink half a dozen easy and then get a fountain Coke with lunch or dinner. Or breakfast. So I felt like getting it down to one or two or even three cans a day was pretty good -- from that perspective, it was pretty good. But that was before I started experiencing the weight creep of the 30s. And now that I'm paying attention to calories, holy shit. Coke adds life -- and ass, and hips, and potbelly. A can is 140 calories. Two cans a day over a Cokeless brain is working slowly, hold on...that's 1,960 calories. That's over half a pound a week, or more than, what, 25 pounds a year?! With an aging metabolism I can't see maintaining that kind of habit without a Lark mobility scooter being in my future.

Problem is, I don't think that I can adequately explain how much I love Coke. It's not just part of my daily routine, it's something I look forward to. It's one of the first things I think of in the morning, and one of the last things I imbibe at night. The caramelly sweetness on my tongue, the fizzy bitterness at the back of my throat, the will to go on living it gives me, the tingly bubbliness on the roof of my mouth...except for the tooth rot, calorie bomb, esophagus ulceration and elevated triglycerides, it's the best thing in the world. Drinking Coke is like smoking to me. Smoking crack.  If I could rinse with Coke after brushing my teeth, I would. If it wouldn't go flat sitting at my bedside, I would have it there. I'm a little surprised it didn't come out of my nipples when I nursed the kids. If it had, I probably would have given myself a shot every now and again if I could rig up something to chill it.

And listen -- don't even talk to me about Diet Coke. Just don't. It's SWILL. It is foul and disgusting, and the sad slice of lemon they give you at restaurants does nothing. IT DOES NOTHING. Oh, I'll get used to it, you say? Well, I'd probably also get used to getting kicked in the face twice a day, but then I'd have no teeth to stop the Coke from attacking the tender flesh of my inner cheeks instead.

Coke Zero isn't bad, though. It's not good -- it has the same weird aftertaste, just less -- but it'd do pretty well right now. I'd punch Grandpa in the sack for one of those right now, in fact. My eyelids are heavy, my head is pounding, and this PMS is so much fucking worse without caffeine I can't see straight. Yesterday was even worse: from about 2 pm (a solid three hours after First Coke on a normal Sunday) to about 6 pm, I was pretty close to homicidal. Everything ached in a tired, post-death-march way and I just wanted to lie on the couch and hate people. So that's more or less what I did for a little while, until my family made it clear they expected me to act like a human being. I don't know how much of this detoxing is from caffeine withdrawal and how much is from sugar, and how much is from the deep emotional loss I'm feeling minus my beloved morning Coke, but I do know that even a bright, sunshiny day and the prospect of gardening aren't improving my outlook.

Today, Hannah is home with another ear infection, so at least my co-workers are spared this second day of detoxing. They are luckier than they realize. Fuck this, I'm taking a nap.

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