I have been engaging in monthly personal challenges in order to flex my discipline muscle on the regular. I laugh at how a few days of jumping out of bed at 4:30am “because I said I would” can make me feel like I’m spreading my wings on the deck of the Titanic.
Zero coffee for a month was my first personal challenge. I had been feeling a little too addicted to the ritual of coffee (no doubt the drug, too). I define addiction (in my life) to be an involvement with an activity or substance, without which I cannot function normally. Keep in mind “function normally” means that I’m not having obsessive thoughts on the topic. I find the powerlessness associated with a dependency on anything outside of me to be unpleasant. I NEEDED to know that I could go without un cafe a day and still operate. If I could go about my life for a month sans coffee, I would then just have the knowing that I was drinking the coffee and the coffee wasn’t drinking me.
In this post I’m going to list the pros and cons of the experience, and then let you know where I stand with coffee today, 2.5 months later.
Have you heard all of the noise/debate around coffee and whether or not it’s “good for you?” I prefer to use my intuition; learn by experience rather than get caught up intellectualizing the topic. So without further discussion, here are my pros and cons of the experience:
NO COFFEE PROS
- LESS FOOD CRAVINGS
- LESS OVEREATING
- FEWER INSTANCES OF IRRITABILITY
- NO COFFEE BREATH (my mouth just felt more clean)
- LESS $ SPENT
- LESS DISPOSABLE COFFEE CUP WASTE
- SLIGHTLY LESS ANXIETY
- SOMEHOW I FELT LIKE I HAD MORE TIME (i felt like i was rushing less)
- MORE ENERGY LATER IN THE DAY (I felt as though my energy was slow burning all day, not just coming in big waves)
NO COFFEE CONS
- TOOK A LOT LONGER TO BECOME ALERT IN THE MORNING
- I FELT A BIT BACKED UP AT THE START (this went away after a few days)
- I MISSED THE FLAVOR
Clearly, the pros outweigh the cons. So, I have stopped consuming coffee on a daily basis. I have an occasional late morning coffee (maybe once per week). Each time I do that I become more acutely aware of the caffeine buzz and subsequent crash (followed by an awareness of how much I don’t like that experience).
I’ve introduced chai tea to my mornings as a coffee replacement. Even though the chai has caffeine, I feel less attached to that morning ritual. It’s as though I don’t mind if I have it or not. I feel less attached to the feeling of coffee. The caffeine doesn’t “hit me” as hard with tea.
After this experience, I understood that the only thing keeping me hooked on coffee was the way it makes me feel. I was getting used to the jitters and it felt normal. I think from here on I’d like to be really in touch with my natural energy levels as well as my feelings. Maybe as a really sensitive girl, I should mind the drugs coming in JUST to be able to tune in better. I always like to make choices to increase my level of true aliveness.
Will you try giving up coffee? Tag me if you do @valthehappy
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