I will eat an entire cake and/or pie, and I will down half a package of Watermelon Oreos (sorry, Lindy), but I will die before I drink calories*. I don't know if it was coming of age in the 90s with a mom who was both always dieting and in possession of a Costco membership, but I've indulged in my fair share of diet soda products. The thing is? They're all rank. Well, except for one.
That's right. The queen of all soda beverages, nay, the queen of all beverages: Diet Dr Pepper. She sits atop a mountain of sucralose, working hard to transform that surplus of poison into the most delectable drink ever.
I love Diet Dr Pepper. I drink that shit instead of water when I'm working out. I buy that shit on Amazon Subscribe and Save. I have a graveyard of cans in the back of my car — and guess what? It just makes the car smell better!
No, I'm not getting paid by the company (who owns them? Tasty Soda, Inc? Slurm Soda Corp? Because if not, they should), and no I will not apologize for endorsing a beverage that is murdering me with every sip (DELICIOUS MURDER), because you know, deep down, you love it, too.
In the interest of fair and honest reporting (?), I must address the recent kerfuffle with diet soda. Yes, it is terrible for you. The latest news problem with diet drinks is that they trick your body into thinking it's consuming energy-producing calories, but in reality: That stuff shoots straight through you! The problem is that over time, your body is all: YOU CAN'T TRICK A TRICKSTER, DUMMY.
But our bodies cannot metabolize sucralose. It just passes through us. This is its charm— and its potential danger. Normally, when our body detects that we have eaten something sweet, it anticipates the arrival of much needed energy and activates mechanisms to capture it. If we continuously fool the body with sweet tastes that do not bring any energy or nutrients, we risk teaching our own metabolisms to stop responding to sweet tastes entirely. We are essentially "crying wolf," and when we finally do eat something with sugar, the body ignores the signal and fails to process it properly.
But the thing is, I like the taste of Diet Dr P more than I like the taste of any other beverages. Maybe that's because of the years I've spent being terrified of caloric beverages, or maybe it's because the DDP has taken over my brain and is now typing this sentence (HI MOM!), but it just is what it is.
I'm made peace with the knowledge that my love of Diet Dr Pepper will most likely kill me one day, and that one day all the bodies of women from a certain generation will be donated to science and dissected, and that instead of red, our blood will run clear-ish brown. And they will know we lived.
*without alcohol, obvious caveat