Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Soda Addiction

Updates (4/29/2010): My mission to quit soda has officially failed, for the fifth time, in April 2010. This one lasted 5 months .... I dunno what to do =(
One of the worst habit that I have acquired since college is drinking soda, particularly Coca Cola. Perhaps it's the boredom of working in a lab, or rather it's the stress of trying to gather enough meaningful data so that I can draw some kind of conclusion for my thesis in time for graduation. Either way, every day in between 3pm and 4pm, I would dutifully hit the vending machine for a 12oz regular Coke or sometimes Pepsi. If I miss my fix, I would start getting headaches, become irritable, feel extremely frustrated and be completely unproductive for the rest of the afternoon. Since then I have been trying to quit soda (for at least 4 times now I think) but somehow soda just manages to find its way to my fridge or my desk and finally to my mouth in the end.

In the past 6 months, I have switched to diet soda thinking that diet would at least be slightly better than regular soda only to discover that the stupid aspartame in diet is giving me some really bad headaches. Worse, recent studies showed that diet soda increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 67% compared to non-consumption. And I guess I really shouldn't be surprised by the research result. I have always known that soda is simply bad, bad, bad. I know I know. The sugar in the soda makes people fat and messes with the glucose level in the body. The phosphoric acid binds calcium, making the bones weak. And the acidity in soda eats my teeth like crazy and gives me plenty of cavities. Caffeine in it is addictive and keeps me awake at night when I should be sleeping. But what can I do? The carbonation in it gives me the high and makes me feel like I am standing at the top of the world and the simple thought of a soda pop sound gives me tinkles!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But ya, I am trying to quit again .... lemme see .... since 10/26/2009 and it has been 9 days since I haven't had soda. I wonder if I can do better this time ... argh...

Anyway, I found another article ( about "what happens to your body when you drink a coke right now" (copy and paste below). Pretty interesting stuff....

Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? It’s because it gets you high. They took the cocaine out almost a hundred years ago. You know why? It was redundant.

  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
  • >60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • >60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
  • >60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.
  • This will all be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (As little as two if you’re a smoker.) But, hey, have another Coke, it’ll make you feel better.

    Updates: I only had one soda in the last 7 weeks since 10/26. I am doing good so far =)

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    2009 Breast Cancer 3-day @ Washington DC (10/9/2009-10/11/2009)

    I know I have been procrastinating but here they are - my Breast Cancer 3-day pics:


    now I can proudly tell you guys that my teammate Cen and I both finished all 60 miles and despite that fact that I could barely move my legs (by legs, I mean my hips, my thighs, my knees, my calves and my feet) for the next 2-3 days, I was doing great after the 3-day and still managed to gain a pound or two. And two weeks have passed by since then (man, time traveled fast when one buried herself with the drudgery of every day life) and now that all the pain and soreness are gone, it seems to me that 60 miles was rather easy and all my worries about not being able to finish or about having to walk in pouring rain (that was the weather forecast) were quite unfounded. It wasn't until I downloaded my 3-day pictures from the camera and went through the process of organizing/captioning them that I got to relive my 3-day memory (my memory is rather short-termed you see) and I realized that it was not easy at all and I had so much to thank for.

    Here is my list of Thanks:

    • I want to thank my teammate Cen for simply walking with me and encouraging me along the way or else I definitely would not be able to walk all 60 miles alone
    • I would also like to thank everyone who has donated to me. Your donations and all your kind words not only helped raise breast cancer awareness and helped fund breast cancer research but also gave me the chance to participate in such a meaningful event. I would like to give special thanks to Nancy Meyers, a cheerful lady who offered to donate first time I met her in this little gym in the condo complex that I live in. She might not know but I was truly touched by her kindness that day
    • I also want to thank all the crews who volunteered their time and helped the walkers with crossing, medical needs, meal distribution etc. As walkers, we had to wake up around 5:30am everyday to get prepared, eat breakfast but these are the people who woke up even earlier to get everything in place and serve us breakfast and they were also the ones who helped walkers cross at the intersections in freezing rain or scorching sun while also serving as the cheering squads as you should see in the pictures. They are simply the best!
    • I want to thank all the walkers who are also breast cancer survivors. Cen and me think it's incredible (and unbelievable) that we could actually finish 60 miles. But these people, they are our inspirations. Whenever the route was going uphill and my feet (and my mouth) were whining about the hills, I thought of them and immediately all the excuses for not being able to finish the walk went out of the window.
    •  Lastly, I thank God for giving me all the above people to thank for. Thanks for listening to my prayer. Despite the cold weather in early mornings and at night (I couldn't sleep Sat night because it was too cold in the tent and I didn't bring enough clothes), the weather did warm up nicely later in the day.

    I know that all walkers are walking for different reasons and for different people in their lives. Cen and I have both lost someone who means a lot to us to cancer. To my love ones in heaven, I was not able to be there for you all the time while you were suffering but I want you to know that I am walking for you.