But I got over you fast. Like lightning fast. Even I was surprised. I may have loved you, but I didn't need you.
I'm still talking about my long affair with caffeine, namely coffee (in case any of my past heartthrobs should be reading this).
All of this is true. I stopped my daily consumption of (at least) 16 oz of strong coffee. The kind that moves your bowels within seconds. The kind to which my mom would add enormous amounts of sugar and cream in order to make it taste "palatable".
The reasons were basically threefold:
- I developed a neurological condition this year that affects my eyes. I'll write more on that later, but I wanted to see if I would experience relief by removing ingested stimulants. Bottom line here is that removing caffeine did not help this condition, as far as I can tell.
- Did I really "need" caffeine to function? I provide nutrition coaching to athletes of all levels with all sorts of goals. In order to achieve these goals, it is necessary to make behavioral changes to support the goals. This means changing the mindset, changing habits, doing some experimentation to find what works in a positive manner. Aside from whether you believe coffee is "good" or "bad" for our health and what the (mixed) research shows, I wanted to go through the process of breaking a habit to see what would happen and how I would endure the process.
- For sport performance reasons. I like to use caffeine for its ergogenic benefits during racing. We know that the more habitual caffeine we consume, the more caffeine we must consume to provide ergogenic benefits. Since I'm not in big training mode right now, it made sense to cut the caffeine so that next year I won't need as much to give me the boost.
Not only has the daily habit of coffee consumption been broken, but my emotional tie to it has been severed. It turns out it wasn't that strong of a tie as I thought.
I challenge you to think about some of your habits... or things you think you need in order to do your work, or your training or exercise. Maybe you don't even realize what your habits are! And sometimes, we put too much feeling into things just because we have done them for a very long time. The thought of not doing that "thing" anymore can be scary but once you decide to make a change and you commit, you experience a new sense of freedom and a redefined relationship with that "thing" that had control over you.