ZUGZWANG - a move in chess whereby a player is forced to make a move knowing that every possible option will only make the situation worse.
This is how I feel right about now as I embark on my ‘Year of Quit’. This February I have decided to abstain from drinking fizzy drinks - namely diet coke.
While this does not include beer (alcohol is for later in the year when my will power is hopefully more durable) it does mean that my 15 year obsession with the aluminium can will be brought to an end for a full 28 days.
It is really an effort to stave off bad skin, grumpy behaviour and my dependence on a carbonated drink that looks like muddy water and has the nutritional benefits of a punch in the face.
I have come to loath it as much as I love it. I hate the way it prides itself on being ‘sugar-free’ which really means it contains more sweeteners than a Silvio Berlusconi court witness backhander.
So far I have craved the silver tin daily, but none more so than last Sunday lunchtime. I had met up with a fellow journo who was in Manchester and as we hacks tend to do we went out and got morbidly drunk.
On Sunday morning after an excruciating trip round Ikea my good lady took pity on me and suggested we go to Nando’s for lunch - resolve I thought.
However, it was only when ordering I realised that I could not order a ‘bottomless diet coke’ - the cure of every hangover I have ever had.
At the counter, now resembling a child who has just discovered a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking, I asked what else they do.
I can conclude that there is very little on offer in Nando’s that isn’t fizzy.
I have been surviving on at least one can of diet coke every day for years and I find it helps me get though many an afternoon stuck at my computer as my eyes and inspiration fail me.
I thought that giving up fizzy drinks would be an ‘easy’ start to my Year of Quit - how wrong I have been so far.
It is quite worrying how much I rely on diet coke. I know it has been linked with everything from cancer to acne, but the fact is - I love the stuff. I shall be back in a couple of weeks to let you know how it went - wish me luck.
Any suggestions for future months of 2013 - tweet me @AndyEdgeworth