It’s not a habit, it’s cool
I feel alive
If you don’t have it you’re on
the other side
I’m not an addict (maybe that’s a lie)
from “Not An Addict” by K’s Choice
My blogging brother Bryan over at Biking To Live has recently enhanced his content to include, among other things, healthy lifestyle content. Personally, I’m looking forward to things culinary.
As a cyclist, fitness is the name of the game. I got into it because I rediscovered my love of the bike, but also because I knew it was a very healthy lifestyle choice. I have been fortunate to continue my love affair with bike riding and also to drop 40+ pounds off of my 5’8″ (manly) frame. I’m also more conscious about what I eat. However, being conscious of it doesn’t necessarily mean that I make the best decisions. It usually means I feel more guilty about the bad ones.
I can remember a time when going out to grab a bite usually ended up at Burger King, and at least 3 trips out for ice cream per week. In retrospect, it was pretty bad. Nowadays, going out for a quick and easy meal means Subway and lot of veggies. Ice cream is held in check – I think abandoning it all together is a little unreasonable.
However, amid this progress some vices remain. I have, and likely always will be a chocolate lover. To be sure, there are times when I have it too often, but I never binge and have been known to refuse it – however rarely.
The one failing that sticks in my craw is my dependence on Diet Coke. It did get really bad for a time. I was regularly throwing down 20 ounce bottles when I really didn’t want one. I just had a craving that had nothing to do with being thirsty. On a bad day it was four bottles. I never had a day absent of one. The rare days that I didn’t have any before Noon would result in headaches and irritability. I knew that I had to do something, but that was much easier said than done.
I have had some measure of success in reducing my habit; now the worst days have three bottles and they are very rare – I think the last time was a few weeks ago. The closest thing I have to methadone is ice tea. It has enough caffeine to keep headaches at bay, but it is not a permanent solution. What is it about this stuff? It’s more than a caffeine habit; I don’t want the caffeine as much as I want Diet Coke itself. I know that coffee has more caffeine and that never had a pull on me (I never liked the taste; too bitter).
I’m concerned by the amount of Aspartame that I’m consuming. I know that the link to cancer is tenuous, but artificial sweeteners always seem to be problematic. Having a history of cancer in my family, I’m concerned. Being a cyclist I feel a little hypocritical. I love the body I have rebuilt for myself. It’s a result of hard work, a labor of love. It has done wonders for my mental well-being. I have a confidence that had been lacking for decades.
This habit has been nagging at me for years. Maybe I should quote another lyric here:
Like a monkey on your back you need it
But do you love it enough to leave it?
I think it tastes great, but I don’t want the guilty conscience. I think reduction of volume will only get me so far. It’s time I take a look at why I do this. I gotta stop, because it’s not healthy. It’s not the way of someone who calls himself a cyclist.