Give it up – coffee that is

So I have a bit of a guilty pleasure…  I love coffee.  I have had this love for a very long time and until recently had no intention of breaking up with my beloved.  Maybe you are like me?  Maybe you sometimes only get up in the morning because you know you can make this wonderful cup of joy that will get you going.  Or maybe you get to mid-afternoon and want that pick me up that will keep you going until bed.  Of course there are all the in between times like the “morning coffee break”.  A great time to chat with friends or colleagues or just take a break from what you were doing along with  a jolt of caffeine.  And there is the evening coffee to get you through the big project that has to be done.  There are lots of times that I love coffee.

When I was younger I was an all or nothing kind of gal.  And to be honest the substances were a bit stronger than coffee so I really needed to just stop.  But you know and I know that you can say you are going to do something, you can start your day with that intention, you can do everything right and still not make it happen.  I quit smoking about 5 hundred times before I made a decision and stopped.  I spent $80 on a patch, which at the time might as well have been a million dollars, and that was it.  I was not going to waste that money.  I made a decision and stuck to it.  To be fair the patch helped me to transition my lifestyle.  Having small victories builds momentum and that is a great resource.  We are about 90% emotionally driven and so the physical cravings and changes are the smallest part of giving something up.  It’s the voice inside your head that says “just this last time” or ” you deserve it”.  This voice is not helping you.  It is sabotaging you, destroying your health, and making you feel like a failure.  So what’s a girl to do.

I had wanted to do some cleanses this year and felt held back by my coffee habit.  I have three kids, I work, I home school one child, and I try to fit in exercise and self care.  I am a busy person, you are a busy person and we don’t want to fall off the deep end and not be able to fulfill our responsibilities.   Quite honestly I was scared of what I would be without my coffee.  When I realized that I had a lot of fear around removing coffee from my life even temporarily I decided it was time to face that head on.

So about a week ago I started switching out my afternoon coffee for a cup of Chai or Breakfast Black tea.  I gave myself a week but after 5 days I felt ready to give that up for an herbal tea.  In the morning I was still going with one cup of coffee.  I gave myself 2 weeks to adjust to that level.  So afternoons and evenings have been a bit tough.  I won’t lie.  I really wanted a cup of coffee and I had all of the caffeine withdrawals.  My eyes were sore, I was mentally fuzzy, and I was craving sugar.  (I have also cut out most of my sugar intake too – so double whammy)  But I was really surprised that my dread of how bad it was going to be really didn’t happen.  I didn’t fall asleep driving my son to basketball practice or have to take a nap everyday.  The bad moments passed within 10 minutes at the most and I just kept thinking that plenty of people live their lives without caffeine and they are not bed ridden. 🙂

This coming week I will be changing my morning cup of coffee for a caffeinated tea.  I still have fear around this but I am forging ahead.  It helps that I have told people I am doing this and so I have a level of accountability.  I am making some coffee alternative drinks that are really helping bridge the gap and I will be sharing some of those in my videos.  I had wanted to have the experience of living without coffee and to see if I would feel more balanced.  I often feel like I am on a constant feedback from my body concerning sugar and caffeine.  In my experience the more body and mind altering substances that you are playing with the more you feel like you are juggling your addictions.  I need to add a bit more of this now, then a little of that after….It never ends.

When I was in my 20’s I thought that a lot of the issues that younger people had would just dissipate with age.  Somehow being older meant you had your act together.  Boy was I surprised when things just got worse.  So if the problem wasn’t addressed it could still be there 30 years later?  That was mind blowing.  Now that I am in my 40’s I see in myself things that I have not fully delved into.  On top of that I find that habits are more entrenched meaning that it is easy to do the same thing over and over.

So if you have something you would like to give up and it can be just for now, just for today, then join in the fun.  Here are some questions I am asking myself.  They help me to remember why  I am doing this.

What are you gaining from this?

How does this help you to accomplish a personal goal?

What have you gained from this today?

Do you feel stronger?

Are you proud of yourself?

How are you feeling at the beginning, one week in, two weeks in?

Good luck and I’ll keep you posted on my successes.

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