The Coke Monkey
Michael Demmons at Dean's World tells of the evils of dieting, and describes his own experiences with weight loss:-
Over the course of a year, I lost about 100 pounds and my pant size dropped from size 42 (almost) to 32 (at one point, I could fit into a size 30!) The great thing is that I never once felt hungry.
I'm still obsessive about my weight. I'm a little over 200lbs now (I'm 6'1".) But I still have a bad relationship with food. There're only two rules I follow really: First, a full breakfast every morning. Second: Everything in moderation - except Coke, which is heroin.
I obsess about my weight, too. I've never been overweight, but I've always felt that, still a young man, I'm wasting the opportunity to be in really great shape before the skin starts to dangle and unexplainable ear hair sprouts from my head.
I'm around 5'9" (I think), and at the moment I'm about 168lb - a weight I'm very happy with. But it won't last. In the past few years I've yo-yo'd between 150lb and 185lb, going from almost gaunt to decidedly chubby. Right now I'm walking for 7 or 8 hours a day for my job, and I go until 6pm on just a few Maltesers and my trusty Marlboros before coming home to a healthy dinner.
The result of this is that it's almost as if I can't stop the weight coming off. I spent 3 evenings this week at a kitchen-shy friend's house watching
What I wanted to write about, though, was the fact that I - along with Michael - had a fairly substantial Coke problem - the fizzy kind, not Bolivian marching powder. Michael was drinking 3 litres a day of the full fat variety, while I was pouring about 4 litres of Diet Coke down my throat between sunrise and sunset. Now there's some serious chemicals in that much Coke - and at almost 400 gallons a year, that's some serious punishment to the internal organs. 4 litres of caffeine, following some quick sums, equals about 500mg per day - half a toxic dose. Every day.
I decided to quit the Coke around Christmas of last year -not just due to the health worries, but for the fact that it was costing me around 5% of my take home salary to keep the caffeine monkey off my back. Now that's just stupid.
Surprisingly, it wasn't at all difficult to kick the habit. I stopped on New Year's Eve, the day I went on holiday. Conveniently Coke costs a shitload in Fuerteventura, and what with all the heat I just switched to water and never looked back. No cravings, no jitters - not even any traditional baby-walking-along-the-ceiling hallucinations. To be honest, I felt cheated.
Still, I walked into a shop today to buy cigarettes, felt a little thirsty, and bought a full-fat bottle of Coke. God, it was good.