Seven years ago my preferred beverage at “every” meal was Coca Cola in a nice tall glass and poured over several small cubes of ice. It is embarrassing to admit now, but I used to drink at least four 12 oz. cans with every meal. I am not joking! I had grown up drinking the beverage and, to this day, can’t even recall the first time I tasted it.
I ended my relationship with Coke oh so reluctantly. I made the choice to end my ritual of having four 12 oz. cans at every meal simply because I was packing on the pounds like a sumo wrestler. I also had been given advice by several friends that there would be other health consequences if my over consumption continued unabated.
During that time I never viewed my little guilty pleasure of Coke consumption as an addiction; that was until I tried to stop drinking it.
Initially I figured, “No big deal, I’ll just stop cold turkey and change up what I drink at meals.”
I received a rude awakening each time I attempted, early on, to deny myself my favorite drink. I, quite literally, was going through withdrawals. I had headaches for the first time in my life and felt agitated, easy to anger. This was not my personality. Those who know me, know how even tempered I am.
I began my path to being Coke free by cutting my consumption in half and giving myself a timeline of gradually decreasing the amounts I drank over time.
It took me more than a year to reach the point where I could say that I was no longer drinking Coke. A year! Well… that was seven years ago and I could have said, before yesterday, that I was seven years Coke free.
Now, about my little experiment yesterday.
Oh, before I start getting the emails, phone calls and strange looks in the streets let me clarify something. This was not an “official” Scientific Method variable compensated blind double blind type of experiment. No it was not. This exercise was purely anecdotal so don’t run off to the presses with an application of my results as evidence for anyone’s social or political agendas.
Here’s what happened yesterday.
I had a long drive I was making, listening to music and felling a little nostalgic. Somehow, some way, and I don’t know where the thought came from but, I got the idea that having a nice cold Coke would be refreshing. I rationalized the decision by telling myself that the caffeine would help keep me awake for the drive.
So I stopped into a gas station convenience store and purchased a bottle of Coke.
I got into the car, opened the bottle, heard the familiar sizzle and fizz and then tilted the bottle back to enjoy my first sip in seven years.
It was disgusting!
There was no familiarity in the taste at all. My first impression was that it tasted like watered down carbonated castor oil. To add to the horrible taste in my mouth, the interior of my nose felt a slight burning sensation and my eyes watered a bit.
It was only a sip!
These physical responses were immediately followed by me belching about four times in a row.
I thought my experience had ended after the final belch but then I was left with a nasty chemical-like castor oil after-taste in my mouth and what felt like a thin layer of milky coating on my tongue.
It took me half a bottle of water to wash down the majority of the after-taste and that still did not do it completely.
My Coke experiment was a disaster for me physically but a success mentally. I won’t be trying Coke again and I am quite sure that I’ve been cured of my nostalgic reflections over the good old days when I could sit and drink four 12 oz. cans with each meal.
Yesterday I definitely did not have a Coke and a smile.
Note: Because I know so many of you will ask, I am just going to tell you. The symbol on my head in the post picture is an Adinkra symbol known as Kuntunkantan. Kuntunkantan is a symbol representing consciousness, among many other things.