I experienced a fitness miracle this evening. Twenty-three days into my conscious, concentrated, and sometimes militant health and fitness revolution, I dragged my post-CrossFit Miami Beach-workout dirt-caked carcass into my apartment and opened my refrigerator door. Bags of organic spinach, beets, celery, carrots, mushrooms and onions greeted me on the other side. There was an open container of organic tofu, a tub of locally produced hummus, and two cartons of organic, unsweetened soymilk. And then, on the top shelf, perched above all else, were two half-empty two-liter bottles: one of Coke Zero, the other of diet ginger ale.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve drunk diet sodas. My mother never brought sugary soft drinks into the house, but 12-packs of diet colas and seltzer were often in supply. Over time, I unwittingly developed a mental construct that dictated that I may not drink calories, only eat them. My stance was later supported by studies I read that showed calories consumed by drinking leave people less satisfied than do calories consumed by chewing and swallowing food, and consequently drive them to consume more calories overall.
That may be sound logic, but my conclusion — that it was all right to drink unlimited amounts of diet soda, with ingredients like caramel color, phosphoric acid, aspartame, potassium benzoate, and acesulfame potassium — was anything but sensible. Still, I went through periods of embarrassing diet soda binging, including episodes where I would take an entire two-liter with me as a to-go beverage in the car. I often wondered what people in neighboring vehicles must have thought when they would look left and see a blonde woman tipping a veritable vat of Diet Coke above her head, throat undulating with every gulp of the chemical-laden liquid. I must have looked like a diet drink drunkard, knee-deep in her cups.
So let me get back to the fitness miracle I promised to share. Tonight, I stood in front of the refrigerator, my eyes darting from one organic earthly gem to the next, but I was acutely aware of these tall plastic bottles looming over me from the top shelf. When I fixed my eyes on them, I was completely repulsed. (Yes, that’s the miracle. Sorry if you were expecting something to explode or levitate.)
I believe that my inner renovation and uncompromising attention to quality of diet has caused a psychosomatic shift. This shift has led my body (and consequently, my mind) to violently reject the idea of consuming the beverage equivalent of petroleum waste products, like it would reject the transplant of a beta max video tape in place of a spleen.
I grabbed both bottles, uncapped them, and flipped them upside-down over the sink in a glorious display of my new freedom from diet soda dependency. I believe that if I continue to meticulously sate my body’s nutritional needs with large amounts of fresh, raw, organic vegetables, fruits, and juices, and continue to get plenty of exercise, my newfound distaste for the dirty drinks that used to excite me will last.
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