I blame my first job after college–as editorial assistant at Dog World Magazine. That’s when I became addicted to Coke products. I was never really a coffee drinker or caffeine addict before. I made it through college without this addiction. I used to be able to wake up, have some breakfast, maybe a little orange juice, and then be on my merry way. Yes, this was before I had real pressures in my life (like paying real bills, taking care of kids, career aspirations, etc.) and life was good.When I started my first real job after college, the pressure was on. I was determined to make a good impression, to succeed in the field of journalism–to not fall asleep at my desk at 3 p.m.–that every day at around that time I would trudge to the vending machine and get a regular Coke. I’d guzzle it at my desk while working on the monthly breed feature or some such dog-related article (which explains how I know waaaay too much about canine hip dysplasia and renal failure!), and I’d feel renewed! Rejuvenated! It was great. Until I noticed I was packing on a few pounds. I got engaged to Anthony and wanted to look good in my wedding dress. I started going to Women’s Workout World in Berwyn (do these places still exist??) and one of the trainers turned me on to Diet Coke. I never, repeat NEVER, thought I would become one of those people–the people who drink diet soft drinks. Willingly. Just for the taste of it? Yeah, right. I drank Diet Coke because I needed my caffeine fix but I didn’t want the 200 calories. I don’t know when I started drinking it in the morning. It never felt good–I just knew I was addicted. And if I skipped my one Diet Coke every morning, my eyes never really opened for the rest of the day. That was about 13 years ago. I have had one Diet Coke every day since, even through two pregnancies. No more, though. I am done! I don’t want the chemicals in my body anymore. I’m not giving up caffeine, just soft drinks. It’s just the second day, though–and I feel rough.