I just finished a 6- mile run and I’m sitting here slurping on an oversized soda. I’ve been looking forward to it all morning. I know chasing a run with a bubbly Diet Coke isn’t the healthiest thing. but coming from someone who is kind of a health nut, I just don’t care because I believe e all need to be naughty sometimes. It was the first thing I asked for after giving birth to each of my three children. I had my then husband go out to McDonald’s and bring me back a large soda. Once I even demanded two. I didn’t want food after all that pushing. I wanted my thirst quenched with a brown, carbonated beverage.

Nothing else would do.

My first-born’s first sentence was, “Coke Mama,” and I feel no shame. We’d pick up a treat for Mama every day, and it wasn’t long after he started saying words, every time we passed a fast food joint, or gas station, he’d blurt it out—I was so proud.

You can have your Starbucks; your iced coffees; your lattes with double whip. I like a nice tea, but nothing compares to a cold one for me. It feels so fantastic going down my throat, I can’t suck it down fast enough.

While going out to breakfast with family or friends, they are all over there with their steaming cups of coffee and give me the side-eye when I ask the waitress for a Diet Coke to go with my pancakes or Eggs Benedict.

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Some people use meditation to keep them centered and focused throughout the day, I use artificially flavored and colored bubbly water.

I prefer it through a straw. but I’ll take it any way I can get it. I’m obsessed with Freestyle soda machines and I’ve even considered buying one for my house.

Diet Coke is my vice and I make no apologies for it. If my kids and I are headed out on a road trip, we aren’t getting very far unless I’ve got my sippy cup full of the good stuff. Does it drive them crazy I have to stop when they are over the moon about getting to our destination? Yes, but I don’t really care. I’m the boss and I make the rules. Plus, I get them fries and a shake so we all win.

If we are getting a snowstorm and the roads are going to be bad, and there may be possible power outages, while others are stocking up on batteries, water, and canned goods, my only worry is if I’ll have enough Diet Coke in my fridge to last for a few days if I get stranded.

I take my carbonated elixir in the shower with me on occasion. It’s fun to sip on one while shaving my legs and exfoliating.

It goes great with breakfast as I’ve said, and even better with lunch, and I try to stay away from having caffeine after 12 pm, but hey, sometimes even adults make bad decisions.

I like it extra cold and I rarely go through the drive thru because I like to have control over the way it’s poured into my cup. I can’t have a lot of ice, and I have to let all the foam on the top settle down, then I fill it to the top.

I’ll also drink it from a can, bottle, a wine glass, whatever. Not much comes between me and my drink of choice. I’m totally addicted and I don’t care who knows it. It legitimately makes me a better person, and I practically squeal like a baby when I know I’m getting my hands on one. This beverage never gets old and our love affair will last until my dying days.

Yes, I know it’s bad for me, but I could be into something much worse. There are times when I realize I could bet setting a better example for my kids and just drink water all the time and deny myself this pleasure.

But I’m not going to do that.

We all need a boost; we all have our vices. Mine just happens to flow freely from fast food restaurants and gas stations. And we aren’t breaking up anytime soon.

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Cheers.