Monday, November 26, 2012

I Quit!

This is the story of how I gave up what I swore I'd never give up.

Ode to Coffee

Oh, how I have loved you for decades my sweet and creamy friend!

When I was a child my parents spooned you into tiny plastic coffee creamer cups so my siblings and I could enjoy miniature cups of coffee. I felt special, included, and grown-up like Mom and Dad. It was a rite of passage.

When I was in college and frequently pulled all-nighters to study, you were the drink that kept me going. You didn't mind that my friends and I spent more time socializing than actually memorizing information.

I've spend thousands of dollars over the years perfecting you. I even received an espresso machine from my parents for my wedding gift.

When my mom died you were there for me like a liquid hug reminding me of all the times I'd seen my parents enjoy you.

How excited I have been every year when Starbucks rings in the holiday season with their Red Cups!

When I had three children under the age of two and couldn't remember what week, let alone day it was, you were there giving me energy to make it through another day or night.

I've fought hard to keep you in my life even when money was very tight. When I chose to become fit and healthy I threw out the cookies, ice cream, chips, processed foods, fried foods, and pop, but refused to let you go. I held tightly to you even though you made me dehydrated and made my workouts that much harder. I knew that I could do anything, make it through any day, complete any task, keep any diet or exercise regimen as long as I had you. I'd NEVER give you up! I placed you on a throne and called you sacred.


I realized you were my god. I truly, sincerely loved you, Coffee. I couldn't wouldn't make it through one day without you. I started going to Starbucks twice a day and longed for a third trip. If I didn't drink you by 10 AM, I felt nauseated by a horrible headache. Hundreds of times I've made all three of my little girls climb out of the car, walk into Starbucks, climb back in the car, and buckle their car seats, over and over and over and over rain, snow, sleet, or shine just so I could have my coffee.

You are not my god. You should not be my comforter, my reward, my coping mechanism, my strength to make it through the day. I should not depend on you or long for you throughout the day. I should not be having an affair with you.

And so I have decided...

I am not a victim. I can and will choose to stop being addicted to you.


I have gone ten days now without any coffee and couldn't be happier. Detox was no fun. I did have terrible headaches off and on for six days. I spent the first Thanksgiving I can remember without a cup of coffee in hand. Now I just drive down the street right past Starbucks without it calling my name. The first several days I was very tired without coffee but my body regulated itself. Now my energy level stays fairly consistent all day long. My appetite has decreased too since I don't have the cream and sugar spiking my blood sugar levels. I do find myself wanting to go to bed earlier at night which is a great thing.

Erica McMullen, my fitness boot camp trainer, is always asking our group, "Why are you here? Why are you doing this?" I had an epiphany that it was crazy to get up at 4:45 AM for boot camp three times a week "to take care of my body and improve my health" then go mess my system up with sugary, creamy coffee twice a day. No more! Once I decided in my heart that I was ready to quit coffee, I shared that decision with some members of F.I.T. Boot Camp. I did this to hold myself accountable to them. Knowing someone was bound to ask me if I'd had any coffee forced me to stay committed when the going got tough.
I know most people do not have the addiction problem with coffee that I do. Most people use it correctly. A cup of java can play a helpful role in giving one energy for a workout or the ability to drop some water weight. I am by no means suggesting others should also quit coffee. My husband still drinks it every day and it's not a temptation for me because I already decided I'm not drinking coffee -- period. I finally got to the point where I was able to give up what I swore I'd never give up and I gained confidence by following through with a goal I set out to reach. I've gained back the time I used to spend driving to and from the coffee shop twice a day. I've kept the money I would have spent on my drinks and can use it toward other things.

I don't feel deprived.

                               I feel free.

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