Saying goodbye to old friends

They say people change, that we shouldn't try to hold on to childhood friends just because we used to be so close. Friends we used to have a ton in common with, fifteen or twenty years later could be completely different than we are. In fact, a lot of our friends from our younger years have probably gone in a direction that we deem to be not so good, or healthy, or smart. Not the direction we've decided to take in our own lives.

That's why I've decided to get rid of my dear old friend, Diet Pepsi.

I grew up with Diet Pepsi's cousin, Pepsi, and let me tell you, we were really close. Anytime I needed Pepsi, she was there for me. I found myself hanging out with Pepsi every day. Sometimes, twice a day. And surprisingly, my parents were okay with that.

Then, I grew up. I also grew out. Yep, I found myself to be a pretty, um, round girl. At 237 pounds, and 5'4'', I wasn't too happy with myself. So I decided to change. And that change meant giving up some of the things I'd loved for so long, the things that got me through the good times, the bad, the stressful times, the bored times. No longer could I depend on Pepsi and cookies to make me feel better when I needed them. No longer was I going to be a slave to the things that were making me fat. That was nine years ago.

I made drastic decisions, and drastic changes, and ended up losing more than 100 pounds. Pepsi was completely out of my life. Sometimes I missed her. But, the weight loss I was enjoying was more pleasurable than Pepsi had ever been.

Fast forward to a few years later. Maintaining my weight loss had become a habit for me. I kept a food journal, counted calories, and made sure to work out at least five days every week--and it was all working. I looked and felt better than I ever had before. However, I did find myself missing some of my old friends from time to time. That satisfyingly fizzy midday caffeine kick that I hadn't enjoyed for quite some time was sounding pretty good. Pepsi could never come back to my life; there was no way I was going to drink extra calories. But, there was always her calorie-free cousin, Diet Pepsi. Yeah, why not enjoy a Diet Pepsi every once in a while? Calorie free; check. Satisfyingly fizzy; check. Caffeine kick; check. It had everything I needed.

My relationship with Diet Pepsi started slowly; an occasional treat. Then, it grew to a daily meeting--every day around lunch time I had to have my Diet Pepsi. Lunch wasn't complete without her. Soon, I was using Diet Pepsi to stay awake while writing some of my not-so-thrilling pieces for work, maybe one at dinner, too. I'd have one to get me through the day after a sleepless night with my little boy; I'd have one to accompany a few pieces of chocolate as my afternoon snack.

It's been going on like this for a couple of years now. Lately, I haven't been sleeping well, prompting me to feel like I need the Diet Pepsi even more during the day. Often, during the afternoon, I feel bloated and full. Although I wanted to believe otherwise, I knew Diet Pepsi was the culprit behind my issues.

I had to get rid of her. I told myself over and over, After this 12-pack is gone, that's it. No more Diet Pepsi. Not only was the caffeine terrible for me, but the chemicals! Do you have any idea what aspartame does to you? It's not good, and I don't need that stuff in my body. I tried to sever ties with my friend several times and never made it longer than one day. Weak, I know. But this time is it. I'm getting rid of this long-time friend for real this time.

Today is day three. The first two days were pretty tough, especially at lunch time, but I'm determined to succeed. No more Diet Pepsi in my life. Even after only two full days sans Diet Pepsi, I'm already sleeping better and feeling better in general. Getting rid of this friend was necessary, and I'll be so glad that I did it later.

Lesson learned: Just because something or someone has been in your life a long time, doesn't mean they're necessarily good for you. Sometimes, we just need to say goodbye to old friends in order to better ourselves. And that's what I'm going to do.


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