When I started out on my weight loss journey 3 years ago, I had two guns blazing to assist me in my daily battle. Diet Coke with Lime. And gallons of water. If I could curb my appetite by drinking enough water every day – and curb my sweet tooth by swiggin’ some Diet Coke here and there….I’d be able to make it through.

3 years later, 55 lbs lighter – and FOURTEEN SIZES SMALLER (I wore a size 18 jeans when I started losing weight and I wear a FOUR now!!) I’d say, you know what, ultimately, I had a pretty good plan. What could have taken a year or so has taken THREE, but … whatever. It’s finally done. And therefore, I know it CAN be done for others – if they will commit to it. If Sarah Walston, who used to eat as a hobby simply because she really did love food … and if Sarah – the most undisciplined person on the face of the planet – can get into a “workout habit” – quite frankly- ANYONE can do it!

So, I was really annoyed when I recently read an article that was commenting on a study that “proved” that people who drank diet sodas were 40% more likely to become obese than those who did not drink diet sodas.  They study, or rather the article based on the study (2nd hand information) suggested that people eat more because they are drinking “zero calories”. Well. It’s hardly the diet soda making them fat then, right?  Isn’t it the food consumption – their own gluttony that’s the root problem? Not the diet soda?? Perhaps the media is spinning the results of the study a little too fast…it’s apparently made them lose all common sense.

And now – thanks to the media – there will be people trying to lose weight are going to think, “Oh well, I might as well just drink the REGULAR soda that is full of sugar anyway, since the diet one (that tastes a bit funky) makes me fat too!” One step backwards in the battle of the bulge takes about 20 steps forward to close the gap. Good one media! But I thought, oh well, maybe some people will be smart enough to take it as a warning sign that drinking diet soda is really not good for you anyway and they might wean themselves to water.

BUT…the VERY NEXT WEEK I read an articlethat states that drinking water doesn’t help curb your appetite and there’s no real health benefit to drinking “high intake levels” of water. And I was left feeling, for my fellow dieters, quite disenchanted with the very idea of having to “go on a diet.” I was empathizing with them. If drinking diet soda is a detriment to weight loss, and drinking water has no benefits – what motivation is there again??? LOL!  I want to just shake the researchers and say, “COME ON!!  Do you WANT people to just stay fat and unhealthy?? Do you WANT to continue paying BILLIONS of dollars in health care costs because people are going to read these articles, get frustrated, and never even think about beginning to get healthy??”

Obesity is a real problem and it costs us all an arm and a leg. I recently heard that a young woman had gotten her insurance company to pay for her tummy tuck. She had apparently lost a LOT of weight and her insurance company’s way of saying, “Thanks for getting yourself healthy.” was to award her with a tummy tuck. I thought that was fantastic!!  I mean – yes, there’s lots of moral and ethical discussions that can come out of that topic – but on the general level – at least she was rewarded for losing the weight without resorting to surgery or an eating disorder. At least her reward wasn’t extended mental health care to treat anorexia. LOL!

I’m not going to sit here and argue that diet soda is in anyway healthy. It’s not. It messes with every element of your body – hormones, blood sugars, brain chemicals, thyroid, liver, kidneys, acid in your gut, not to mention the cellular damage – AND MORE! But. It can be a helpful tool in the weightloss process!  And so can water! And why would you tell people that there’s no benefit to drinking more water when you already know that people should be replacing their calorie-riddled beverages with water in an effort to cut their calorie consumption?

The whole thing is just mind-boggling to me. It’s like a great big satirical conspiracy. LOL!!