Although it pains me to admit my wife was right, her constant barrage of information about how I was quickly killing myself finally worked.  I'm kicking aspartame to the curb.

This article is an editorial from my mind alone.  I'm not trying to influence anyone in any way in regards to their consumption of products that contain aspartame.  This is just the story of my journey away from aspartame and the (I believe) somewhat humorous way in which I came to my decision.

"C'mon, it's DIET Coke.  It's so much better than having sugar", I would say, over and over again.  "Sure, it's been known to cause cancer.  What DOESN'T cause cancer nowadays?", is another "Jamie Excuse" as to why I wouldn't give up the diet soda.

There are loud voices on both sides of the aspartame argument, with those promoting the benefits of aspartame when compared to sugar offering up their research, findings and reasoning.  There are those on the other side that are calling aspartame the worst substance ever created by man.  The truth lies somewhere in there.

It's been a long, strange trip to where I'm at today.  I'm not exactly the picture of health or caring for my body.  I'm a trainwreck, to be frank.  My shoulder hurts 24 hours a day.  My foot acts up ever six months or so.  Why should I care about the diet soda I have on occasion?

Photo by Philippe Petit/Paris Match via Getty Images

Honestly, diet sodas haven't been part of my daily drink list in quite a while.  I've been dropping the Mio drops, however, and that's going to have to stop.  I'm actually going to have to drink water plain.  Maybe I can drink iced tea.  I like iced tea without sugar, but that's about the end of the aspartame/sugar-less drink list.  This must be what it's like to be a crackhead and come to the realization that you've got to put down the crack pipe.  Only, for me, the crack pipe is a can of Diet Dr. Pepper.

I kicked my energy drink habit at Christmas when Grandma Betty said she heard through a cousin on her mother's side that heard from a niece on the father's side that heard from the stepson of an uncle that someone had died while drinking an energy drink and made me promise I'd stop drinking energy drinks.  That meant no more Diet Rock Star for me, which hurts, because like the drink suggests, I want to be a rock star, but it's just too much sugar for me.

Since my grandma made me promise I'd stop drinking energy drinks I haven't had a single energy drink.  Not even one slip-up.  My wife then used that same tactic to take down my overall aspartame habit.  This one was tough to give up, not just because I enjoy my diet sodas, but also because of convenience.  Other than nasty tap water, you don't have many options at fast food joints.  See, I told you I'm not healthy, so why should I care about silly ol' aspartame?

Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

My wife tried every scientific argument she could.  I knew the data.  I tried to care.  Nothing struck a chord.  Not until my wife went for my love of a good government conspiracy, ripe with corruption, bribery and potential brain tumors.  The article she emailed me was perfect for me.  It was short, sweet and packed with just enough info to get me all the way through it.

The article, which I've since confirmed isn't a satire article from The Onion, was remarkable.  The story of how Donald Rumsfeld got aspartame pushed through the FDA's approval process to the tune of a $12-million dollar bonus is almost as interesting as the story of how he pushed an entire decade-long was through the approval process to the tune of even more millions-of-dollars..  The question is which cash-grab cost more lives.

I'm not simple-minded enough to give up aspartame based solely on Donald Rumsfeld being involved, but when you see the pieces laid out as to how shady the approval process was for aspartame, that's enough for me.  I truly believe every bit of it, given it was this sort of profiteering we saw two decades later throughout the Iraq War.  Maybe the Dixie Chicks went after the wrong administration official when they badmouthed Bush.

I'll let you know if this aspartame ban works out over the course of my upcoming vacation, but I'm fulling willing to give it my all.  Who knows?  Maybe this will be the thing that kicks me into gear to get healthier overall.  Probably not.