Sunday, April 26, 2009

544 Ounces

It has been -- two weeks, or 14 days, or 336 hours -- since Easter Sunday. For some people (like me) Easter Sunday also symbolizes the end of Lent and the beginning of my binge. Lent is a time to give up something you truly enjoy. For me, it is always the same, year after year, for the past 19 years. And the same binge occurs -- obviously, year after year.

So, why do I even bother to give up "diet coke"? If I end up drinking more and more in my binge, then what good am I doing my body by depriving myself of my one addiction for 40 weekdays throughout Lent?

My binge lasts longer each year. Last year, my binge lasted from -- Easter Sunday 2008 to Ash Wednesday 2009. This year, I have only passed the two week mark and I have already consumed 544 ounces. That is equal to 34 gallons of diet coke. 34 gallons of aspartame-induced, caffeine-injected, caramel-colored carbonated water. I crave diet coke.

My vehicle doesn't even hold 34 gallons. It holds 22. I could travel 510 miles if my vehicle's tank held all the diet coke that I have consumed recently. I could have driven to New Orleans ... I love NOLA! I could have driven half-way to my childhood hometown. We're talking 8.5 hours in a car.

After totalling the number of ounces I have consumed recently, I cancelled my doctor appointment. I begged for an appointment because I insisted that I had developed diabetes due to the amount of time I spend emptying my bladder. And I pleaded for the doctor to see me, squeeze me in for a check-up, since I am not sure when health care is going to become socialized. And, IF, I have diabetes then I didn't want to have to "wait in line" for a year before being diagnosed. UGH!

Perhaps, I should really rethink what I am truly giving up for Lent in 2010. I should probably not give up diet coke -- 34 gallons in 14 days is borderline Obsessive-Compulsive. OCD is not really a label I wear. But this behavior is definitely worth asking for Prozac.

In 1990, the first year that I abstained from diet coke, I switched to iced tea. It took all forty weekdays for me to acquire a taste for iced tea. And now, I have another addiction. Don't worry, I was already addicted to coffee before 1990.

I am at a complete loss for giving something up. I suppose I will give up a "time-waster" and then use that extra time for ME. However, if I knew what was currently wasting my time, then I would surely try and change it NOW and not wait for another year to pass me by.

My daughter's choice for something to "give up" was to not watch "scary shows" on TV. I think she was referring to the commercials that she sees on TV regarding CSI. She doesn't watch these shows so I know she sailed through Lent without any hardship. The other ideas she entertained for "giving up" were school (not an option unless the school wants to prorate tuition), homework (in which she has none in Kindergarten), tootsie rolls (that we do not have in the house but I could buy a large supply for torture), and church on Sundays (which is also not an option).

My husband's choice, which he also does year after year, is to not drink beer unless it is free. Dor is not social. He prefers to be at home ... and more specifically, our home. However, every Lent our social outings multiply. We attend every birthday party, every work event, every club social, every sporting event, and every volunteer organization (in which we participate) event. He gets his free beer and I spend the next six months playing hostess in our home as we reciprocate with parties of our own!!

I have 46 weeks to think about what I want to give up for Lent 2010.

And 46 weeks to learn to drink diet coke in moderation.

But first, I am going to pop the top on 12 ounces and savor the taste.

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