You know what I love? Pepsi Max.
I just love it. I enjoy it. I relish it.
And you know what? I'm a bit tired of being judged for that.
The drinks machine at my workplace is a) expensive, and b) only contains Coca-Cola products. While I'll drink Diet Coke in a pinch, I much prefer Pepsi Max. So I bring my own supply, and leave it in the work fridge. A 2L bottle will last me three to five days, depending on how much I need that caffeine boost.
I can't tell you the number of times I go to pour myself my 250ml mug of Pepsi Max - heavily watered down due to my love of ice - and cop a jaunty yet snide dig from a co-worker.
"You LIVE on that stuff!"
"How much of THAT do you drink?"
"How do you drink soft drink so early in the morning?"
Often these people are stirring their second teaspoon of sugar into their cup of Blend 43, sucking down a Red Bull, or heading out onto the balcony for a quiet cigarette.
Well, let me tell you. I don't drink coffee, tea, alcohol, energy drinks - I barely drink fruit juice due to the sugar content. I always carry a bottle of water with me. Sometimes I'll have a milkshake. At a fancy do, I might enjoy a lemon, lime and bitters.
I know Pepsi Max is not the healthiest drink in the world. But it's got no sugar. And it goes well with a sandwich. The caffeine from a glass or two of chilled Pepsi Max is enough to get me through a 4am to midday shift. I don't criticise you for rushing off to the coffee van as soon as it arrives to nab your morning cappucino - or loudly ponder how you can put such a gluggy, hot, distasteful substance down your gullet.
So you know what?
I'm just going to go ahead and drink my Pepsi Max.
AND YOU CAN JUST KEEP YOUR TRAP SHUT.
If you're THAT worried about my health, I can tell you, the Pepsi Max I imbibe (often with a delicious slice of lime) is the least of my problems.