I gave up coffee last year in October. I wanted to cut down my sugar consumption and the most blatantly obvious sugar overload part of my diet was my daily coffee(s).
I never liked coffee. I didn’t like the taste, although I still love the smell, which I find interesting because smell and taste are so closely related. For the longest time I didn’t drink coffee at all until one night, while driving from Christchurch to Dunedin in the wee small hours it was suggested that a coffee might help me stay awake, so we stopped at the first open servo we saw to fill the order.
Wow did it help! I was absolutely wired with energy to burn. The only thing keeping me from bouncing off the walls was the fact that I was driving a decent distance an important task to concentrate on, but I was incredibly animated for the whole trip, until the caffeine wore off after we reached our destination and I slept like a baby.
This didn’t start a coffee addiction. For the next couple of years I would only have a coffee if I was desperately tired. I was always tired, but every now and then it would reach an extreme point. Coffee ALWAYS helped, possibly too much, I would be ridiculously hyperactive afterwards. As far as I was concerned though, it was a good solution for those difficult days.
The strange thing is, I was a regular Coca Cola drinker at the time too. Maybe regular is the wrong word, I was drinking a couple of bottles of the stuff a day. I loved it and had no desire to drink anything else. But I was convinced that the caffeine in it had no effect on me due to the amazing effects that the occasional coffee had on me.
Of course the regularity increased and it wasn’t long before I was having 2-3 coffees a day. With a couple of teaspoons of sugar in each one, because I still didn’t like the taste. I knew it was too much sugar so a few years ago I decided to try and cut down how much I put in. I managed to get it down to half a teaspoon (which took a really long time) but I just couldn’t go without sugar in it at all.
When I started eating clean I knew that coffee had to go. It was the only thing I was physically adding sugar to so it was an obvious place to start. At this stage I’d been drinking the sugar free cola for years (probably even worse for me but I convinced myself it was good) so I didn’t think I needed to make any changes there. I now know that I was wrong about that, but small steps are often better than diving in head first.
I’ve digressed quite a lot from why I originally started writing this post. Last night I attended a Hens Night for a good friend of mine. It was a fabulous night, filled with silliness, laughs and embarrassing dares for all. Being a special occasion and at the point I’m in with my physical health due to my elimination diet, I decided that I would join in the drinking festivities (carefully of course, my last experience after abstaining from alcohol for so long wasn’t such a good one).
There were plenty of drinks on offer, including bourbon and coke which used to be my drink of choice, so for nostalgias sake I chose that. I paced myself, drank plenty of water, ate lots of food and as I mentioned above, had a fantastic night. I was particularly excited by the fact I got to wear a tail for the night.
I got home after 1am, had some more water and went to bed. I had a feeling there would be a hangover but I figured any steps to head it off should be taken. Damn, when did I get so responsible?
I fell asleep almost instantly, but only for an hour. I lay awake all night. I was incredibly tired, all I wanted to do was sleep, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t sleep anymore until after 9am and again, only for a short while. It’s now Sunday evening, I’ve done nothing all day, I’m exhausted but still not sure about how well I’ll sleep tonight. On the plus side, there was no hangover.
Life is a learning curve, I truly believe that we never stop learning. This year has been all about self discovery for me. I have experimented, with both success and failure. I have made lots of mistakes but also had lots of wins. And I have learned so much about myself in the process. What I have learned this weekend, is that I don’t need caffeine. At all. I also proved to myself that I learned from my last drinking experience. I’m happy with that.
Smiles and Sunshine