The Sacrifices We Make For Our Kids, or “How I Undid the Dew”
When we have kids, we make sacrifices, lots of them. Sleep, for sure. Alone time. Romantic time with our partners. Privacy. Personal hygiene. The ability to eat food while it’s still hot. Adult conversation. ANY conversation that doesn’t involve the word “poop.”
Sometimes the sacrifices are bigger. Our careers. Our sense of self. Our addiction to Mountain Dew.
Why yes, I did just group “addiction to Mountain Dew” in with those biggies, you read that right. You’ll need to sit down for this next one: I, Jennifer Seiderer, being of sound mind, freely gave up Mountain Dew for good on Sunday, February 17th, 2013.
“Big deal,” you’re saying to yourself. I assure you it IS a big deal. It’s the end of an era. How long have I been addicted to Mountain Dew, you ask? A very, very long time.
I’ve been off and on the Dew wagon a few times. I quit cold turkey when I was pregnant with Big, only to Do the Dew again with a vengeance after his birth. I didn’t quit when I was pregnant with Little (oh, how things are different with your second-born!) but I did cut it down to one a day and I did switch from high-test to Diet Mountain Dew. In the two years since Little was born, though, I steadily ramped up the intake to about four sixteen-ounce bottles, or sixty-four ounces, per day.
“Big deal,” you’re saying again, “there are many worse things to be addicted to.” I concur. I don’t drink or smoke (look at me, I’m Sandra Dee). Diet Dew’s got zero calories. Shit, man, I already had to give up peanut butter, my OTHER favorite food, because of Big’s allergy. Just let me sit here and swig my electric yellow/fluorescent green shot of caffeine in peace, man. That’s what I’ve told myself for years. Decades, even.
But then I saw this: “Diet Soda Associated With Higher Type 2 Diabetes Risk, Study Finds.” From the article:
” . . . when comparing diabetes risk between the diet soda drinkers and regular soda drinkers, the diet drinkers had an even higher risk of diabetes . . . the women who drank more artificially sweetened drinks also craved sugar more than those drinking the regular drinks, which could explain the association . . . But regardless of whether diet sodas really do bring on diabetes or not, maybe we should be cutting back on the beverage for other health reasons. Past studies have linked it with weight gain, and increased risk of stroke and heart attack.”
Following a link from the article, I read that, “The risk of developing diabetes is 15% greater with the consumption of half a litre per week and 59% greater for the consumption of 1.5 litres per week, respectively.” (Source)
So I broke out my handy dandy conversion chart (damn those French with their metric system and their snooty “litre” instead of “liter,” anyways) and I came up with this rough estimate. Please forgive me if this story problem gives anyone grade-school flashbacks.
Q: Jen drinks sixty-four ounces of Diet Mountain Dew per day, which is the equivalent of 1.9 liters (or “litres”). If there is a 59% increased likelihood of Jen developing diabetes if she drinks 1.5 liters of Diet Dew, what’s the self-inflicted damage level for 1.9 liters?
A: Something like 75%. Jen has a 75% likelihood of developing diabetes if she continues this nonsense.
That was all it took. Maybe the stars were aligned just so, maybe I was feeling particularly open and receptive (or particularly fat, who knows) but those numbers did the trick. It’s not like the basic premise — “soda is bad” — was new to me. It’s just that it hit home for me in a way it never had before. I don’t want to be unhealthy. I don’t want to be unable to play with and keep up with my kids. I don’t want to leave my mister without his missus or my sons without a mother. I don’t want to die.
So yeah, it’s kinda a big deal. I can still laugh about all the years I referred to Mountain Dew as “nectar of the gods” and joke that if I hadn’t stopped, my next step was gonna be an IV drip of the stuff. But I’ll be around and healthy to crack those jokes.
Oh, and somebody please give my mister a medal for putting up with me while I detox. I love you, baby. Sorry I’ve been such a bitch lately (um, more so than usual).