I smiled as my husband uttered the reluctant complement. For years I had been trying to persuade him to change from drinking regular soda to diet soda, ever since the doctor first diagnosed his diabetes.

“It’s not too bad………..”

From entrees to desserts, we changed our menus and eating habits — except for soda. Diet soda became our line of demarcation. It represented the difference between two lifestyles: “normal” and ”diabetic.” No longer was food  simply for nutritional benefit or enjoyment. Now it represented something ominous, even life- threatening . Every bite was regarded suspiciously as we became amateur sleuths searching for hidden teaces of sneaky sugar .

“It’s not too bad……….”

Was life to become a series of “not-too- bad” experiences? We hoped not. There’s something depressing about “not-too-bad.” It carries a sad implication of compromise – of setting for second- best or third-rate. Nobody wants that. And yet, the alternative is so much worse.

We changed our eating habits, plunging into a world of sugar substitutes and low carbs. Except for the soda—the lone holdout in a sea of change. Until that one day…

“It’s not too bad…..”

The first sip is the hardest.

Of course,as with any change, we adapt and we adjust. Our taste buds are no different. What was once strange soon became familiar. What was familiar  quickly became normal. And what was normal rapidly  became flavorful.

Now the diet soda in the refrigerator is just another part of our routine. It reflects awareness that it’s the little things that add up to a healthy lifestyle . Walking, exercising, eating right, getting cnough sleep. They all work together for a good life—our good life. Ther’s nothing second – best or third- rate about it, because it contributes to the health we enjoy each minute of every day.

    “It’s not too bad” never sounded so good.