Sunday, January 13, 2013

Caffeine Queen Hands In Her Resignation

I loved coffee.  I loved everything about coffee.  The way it tasted, the way it smelled, the way it sounded brewing in a pot.  There is nothing better than that first sip of coffee in the morning.  Coffee and I were team, never to be broken a part.   A nice strong cup of coffee with half and half and sweetener was truly heaven at times.  My identity was so wrapped up in coffee.  Everyone knew I loved it.  Never far from my hand.  My walls and even my Christmas tree is an ode to the love I had with coffee.  BFFs forever.  Everyone knew if I forgot my coffee, I'd be a mess at work.  Coffee and I were simpatico.  Coffee and I, we had an understanding.  I'd often rather drink coffee than booze at a party.  So, where did it all start going wrong?  Why did I decide to stop drinking so much?  I say "so much" because I haven't given it up completely.  I still have one cup a day, compared to the three or four I had before.

I've been toying with the idea for a few years for a myriad of reasons that I willl share with you now:

1.  I wanted to see if I could do it.  Sometimes, I get a wild hair up my ass and when I hear myself say "Oh I could never blah blah blah" I try to see if I can.  Not to prove that I'm better.  It's just something I have to see for myself.  Movie popcorn is something else I've given up only because people often say they can't go to the movies without popcorn.  It's not something I brag about or lord over anyone.  It's not even something I really care about.  Just one day I said "I'm going to NOT get movie popcorn" and I didn't and the movie was just as enjoyable, and now I rarely buy it.  Coffee was going to be harder to give up.  Movie popcorn is easy.  I don't go to the movies that often.  Coffee is an everyday thing, that can make me sick if I don't consume it. Which brings me to number two.

2. My body went through crazy withdrawals when I didn't have coffee.  If I was a few hours late with the caffeine my head would start to hurt and then go into full blown migraine status.  I'd feel foggy headed and lethargic.  I hated that my body needed something so bad, it made me sick to get it.  It was an addiction and that's never a good thing.  What makes caffeine an acceptable addiction?  If I said "Man, I could never give up crack"  or "If I don't drink my vodka, my body sends me into withdrawals"  I'd have serious issues.  I admit, crack and vodka shouldn't be compared to coffee, but what if I said "If I don't have sugar, my body goes through withdrawals"?   Addiction is addiction and I had one and I had to let it go.

3.  It had kind of become a chore.  I had stopped enjoying coffee as much.  I'd want it, I'd crave it but sometimes, it was a pain in the ass to drink it.  Especially in the evenings.  It never tasted as good as that morning cup, yet I felt compelled to drink it.  I'd been drinking it so long and with such fervor that I just continued to do it.  Every morning I would make a to go cup of joe for work.  I found myself drinking it even though I'd rather have water.  I'd drink my water and leave half of it sitting there.  I'd feel bad about wasting it, so I'd chug it down to "get it over with".  

4.  It was a LOT of added carbs.  I drink my coffee with Slenda and half and half.  A few months ago, I started using MyFitnessPal to track my carbs.  Half my daily carb intake was freaking coffee.  One packet of Splenda is one carb.  I was consuming at least 6 packets a day.  One TBL spoon of H&H is 1 carb.  I like a LOT of half and half.  So, I was drinking about 12 carbs in creamer with a grand totals of 18 carbs and sometimes on the weekends, I would have more coffee than that.   During induction, you should stay under 20.  It kind of freaked me out that I was drinking my carbs away. 

5. And this is the biggie.  I have high blood pressure and for awhile, it was getting out of hand and I knew I had to stop.  Even though the verdict is out on whether caffeine helps or hinders BP, I didn't want to let my stubborness over a drink keep me from being healthier.  How could I go to my Dr. and say "I can't give up coffee?  Did I want to take more medicine just to continue to drink it?  Also, I read it can cause anxiety and I'm hoping it will help with that, too.  If stopping will keep my heart from skip jumping with an accompanied feeling of impending doom, that so be it.  People who don't have anxiety can never understand how it feels. 

Anway, that's the scoop.  I'm sure I'll miss it and it's not like I'm giving it up completely.  What's funny is I feel so much better.  I feel more energetic and alert which is something I never thought I would feel without caffeine.  I'm sleeping better and I do feel more calm.  Today, I made my one cup of coffee and set it down as it was too hot to drink.  I got dressed, walked out the door, went grocery shopping and realized I only took one sip of the coffee before leaving.  This is coming from someone who couldn't get her day started without a cup.  I came home, warmed it up,and I drank 3/4ths of it before dumping it.

It's not coffee I've given up, it's caffeine, soda included.  Not that I'll never drink soda, I may have a diet caffeine free soda on occasion, but I haven't bought soda at all and haven't had any in a week either.

Since the change came so easily, I have a feeling I can stick with it for a long time.  Wish me luck!

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