Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Habit #1: Pop

Posted by Trixter on January 5, 2006


For two decades, I’ve had a pop (soda, soft drink, fizzy, whatever your local vernacular calls it) next to my keyboard every time I sit down to compute. I’ve been doing this since the family got a computer when I was 14. It got worse in college; I covered an entire wall with my discarded Mello Yello cans once every semester. Once I hit age 26, my metabolism slowed way down, and the weight started to pile on… Give it up completely and switch to water? I… can’t. I know that’s a cop-out, but that’s my problem; I can’t just give it up cold turkey. So just switch to diet pop, right?

The problem is, I can’t stand diet pop. I absolutely hate it. To me, it’s ass in a can. But I have to switch, because I’m consuming between 450 to 750 calories a day on just pop. (We’ll conveniently ignore the state of my teeth for now.) So I’ve done a lot of taste testing research, and here’s my list of diet pop for people who can’t stand diet:

  • Diet Dr. Pepper: Surprisingly close to the real thing. Must be the prunes.
  • Diet Pepsi with Lime: The lime is a blatant cover for the already citrus-y taste of diet sweetener.
  • Fresca: I didn’t even know this was diet until about a year ago! A pleasant surprise, because I’ve always liked it. Recommended.
  • Diet A&W Root Beer: If chilled to within a degree of zero celsius, it’s very hard to notice this is diet, and goes down smooth.

If you absolutely can’t stomach diet pop, then at least try Coke C2. I highly recommend this for anyone first starting their journey: It’s Coke, but with half the sweet (and therefore half the calories). It’s not terrible, and slowly gets you adjusted to the taste of pop that doesn’t have 150 calories of sweetener.

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4 Responses to “Habit #1: Pop”

  1. Hey there, I just stumbled across your blog. Good on you for trying to cut down on fizzy drinks, good luck with it. I’m heavier than I’d like to be and I also used to drink far too much of the stuff. I agree with you in that most ‘diet’ versions of soft drinks are horrible. I’m lucky that I really like water, so I’ve managed to start drinking lots of that and a lot less pop. It’s not a massive step I guess, but it all helps.

    Oh, and does it make me a huge geek to have total respect for anyone who calls their boys Sam and Max?

  2. trendthrift: Trixter (Jim) vehemently maintains that he did not name his spawn after the computer game characters:

    http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/sam-max-hit-the-road/trivia
    “Sam and Max are the two children of MobyGames co-founder Jim Leonard. They were not, however, explicitly named after this game. :-) ”

    But what a coincidence. :-)

    Trixter: It probably doesn’t help that you work for a tech company that is all too happy to provide the employees with unlimited soft drinks, right? I know the feeling.

  3. I recall my own self going “Sam and Max”? To Jim the first time I met the sprites.

    I now drink sugar drinks of any sort as a reformed heavy drinker might have a beer. Both as an occasional (once a month) treat and as a “see, I can have just one” thing. And the thing is it’s not really a treat for me. I really can’t handle them anymore.

    Stuff I drink:

    Diet Coke (I hate it but got used to it)
    Sugar Free Mountain Dew MDX
    Diet Red Bull
    Sugar-Free Full Throttle
    Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry-Vanilla

    I’m on weight watchers, so the times I do in fact drink sugar stuff (like, say, fruit things), they’re on the watch, so I might get a fruit drink a couple times a week and then I don’t have much else.

    The Atkins was fun for me until I realized the problem wasn’t that I wasn’t filling up fast enough, it’s that I was not capable of filling up! I will literately rat-dog myself and eat until I fall asleep, far after signals are saying I’m full, far after it goes “dude, we’re backordering intestine” and “yo, stomach says reservations only”. So switching to weightwatchers works fantastic for me, because I grab Lean Cuisine and there we go, cheap little stack of boxes that go ‘You get 25, here’s a 3 and a 5 and a 4 and a 6″, etc.

    Weight Watchers suggests (I’m sure you’ve heard this) just checking weight once a week (in your case, checking fat percentage, but whatever, taking a measurement once a week) so that you’re not fucking with yourself like you’re a day-trader and your weight is your portfolio.

  4. Trixter said

    Trendthrift: Yes, it just worked out that way (was not intentional to name them Sam & Max) but I’m glad it worked out :-) They’re six and nine, in a year or two I’m going to try to get them to play the game with me.

    And as for water, there is this flavored water (“Fruit20” or something similarly silly) that we’re going to give a try. Yes, I know I could just stuff a lemon wedge in my water, but I hate lemons :-)

    Mike:  I’ve never had the priviledge of working at a tech company that provided free food to the masses, unfortunately.

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