Yesterday, I had my first cup of coffee in just under a month. Today, I am having green tea.
Back in October – timed just after Canadian Thanksgiving – I began a 30 day cleanse program. After having horrible reactions to past attempts with different programs, I took to this program with a sense of moderation: I ate better, but certainly not as strictly as the program wanted. I negotiated with myself. Some things got cut back. Some things were eliminated. Some things stayed.
But even I surprised myself by choosing carbs over two-coffee-a-day habit.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am fully aware of my hard-core carbohydrate love affair. I like breads. And potatoes. And crackers. A lot. But I require coffee to function like a normal human being. There are immediate consequences beyond simple cravings to cutting out the coffee.
Yet I did just that.
And I did pay for it. Two days of headaches and lack of concentration that I passed off as trying to fight off the cold going around the office when, really, it had to be the [lack of] coffee. But cutting the caffeine is something I have done before – over six years ago, after the Magpie was born. I’d cut back my consumption to half a cup a day while pregnant but the combination of breastfeeding and the completely irrational sleep schedule of a newborn meant I needed as much water to drink and as much instantaneous sleep as I could get. Coffee contributed little to either one.
So, if I could survive without coffee after the emergency c-section of the very hungry ten pound child, surely I could again survive it in the light of regular 9-5. Eventually. Besides, everyone knows caffeine is a drug. It puts stress on your systems and screws with anxiety levels. Surely this was the bigger evil to battle.
But carbs? Okay, sure. Dr. Atkins and others who followed have very little fondness for them. But, truly, I just didn’t want to give them up. Yes, I cut back. But they were my reward for ditching the coffee. Or cutting back on the dairy. Or not inhaling the chocolate bar hiding in plain sight in the back of the shelf above the stove….or all of the above.
Fast forward 30 days. I do feel better. In the first two weeks, I got rid of the recent 7 lbs that were sneaking up on me. They stayed off for the remainder of the cleanse [and they continue to stay away]. I am actually not craving carbs the way I would before, preferring the veg or proteins with smaller bits of bread. Now, I thought, I could relax a bit and have a small coffee.
I wasn’t able to finish it.
My stomach didn’t want the acidity and the taste wasn’t quite the level of pleasure I recalled. Okay, fine. Not all coffee is created equal. Some cups are better than others. But, when faced with the opportunity to have a cup today? I chose tea. Because that is what I wanted. I did not want the coffee.
After nearly 25 years of coffee intake – in some small form or another – it never occurred to me that I would not want to have a cup.
Yet there it is.
And if I do this again? If I decide to undertake another 30 cleanse in the future? I may not have the caffeine to drop like a hot potato. I may have to drop the potatoes.