I am the oldest and wisest of the siblings in my family. My sister Jenn was the only competition, but it was still a close race. I came in last in the following categories: looks, financial responsibility, general odor, and long flowing hair. However, I am still the oldest and since wisdom is a product of mistakes, I win that category too.
I have a Twitter account, @Atkins2Vegan, that’s dedicated to veganism, plant based dieting, health, and environmental content. While I skim relevant articles during the day, I’m hoping to find some content that seems appropriate so I can send it out to everyone. It is a daily job, but I perform the task because I believe I am doing my part to spread the good word and effect positive change.
About two months ago I was retweeting some of my Tweeps’ link-tweets in the Tweet-o-sphere. If you thought that sounded like bird song, I will translate for you. About two months ago I was sharing some vegan and health related articles with some friends I’ve never met and my sister. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to the content and sent out an article I only half read about the dangers of diet soda.
Two weeks later I received an email from my sister. She handles all of the heavy lifting that is associated with the Twitter account while I get to do all of the fun stuff. In her email she said that the diet soda article was a real wake-up call for her. She spent a few paragraphs talking about the dangers and negative effects and how I had inspired her to stop drinking diet drinks.
As I read through her email for the second time, I drained my tall glass of diet Pepsi and reflected on her comments. Then I refilled the glass and made some connections. Jenn read my blog post from 220 days ago when I talked about giving up diet soda and didn’t realize that I’d started back up a month later. Then she read the tweet and thought I was still going strong and living the clean life I’d claimed to be living. I drained and refilled the glass while continuing to think about diet Pepsi and why I was still drinking it.
I grew up on Coca-Cola. I wore the shirts, hung the posters, watched Max Headroom (a spokes-being for Coke), and even aspired to one day drive a VW Bug that was painted like a Coke can. I loved the brown syrup. It wasn’t something that was in my house growing up, but anytime we stopped at a convenience store I was able to get my fix. As a child I drank a lot of the super saturated sugar solution. I continued to drink Coke until I started my Atkins dieting phase eight years ago. At first I gave up cola completely but I eventually found that diet Pepsi was an acceptable substitute since it didn’t contain any carbs.
If you asked me to drink diet anything before that point I would have either laughed at you or flipped you off… possibly both. I considered diet drinks to be horrible nasty things that tasted like chemicals and had a bitter aftertaste. However, with just a little practice they became my artificial sweetener infused life-blood. Now, sipping actual Coca-cola tastes like an abomination and diet Pepsi tastes like the nectar of the gods.
After thinking about my sister’s email for a few months, I think I am ready to live up to the picture I painted of myself. The plastics are killing the planet, the artificial sweetener is slowly killing me, and since the cost continues to rise, I have finally reached a tipping point. In honor of my sister and in honor of myself, I am done with diet and regular soda. I’ve lived without it for periods of time before, but I am renewing my commitment to living without it- PERIOD.
If you had stock in PepsiCo, sell now. You have been warned.