I did a thing. A crazy thing. You should know this about me-- I am a coffee LOVER. A caffeine fanatic, if you will. There's nothing better to me than a jolting cup of black coffee in the morning. I love the smell, I love the taste, I love the quietness it brings to my morning as I brew and pour a steaming hot cup of mental alterness.
But then I did a crazy thing. I broke up with coffee, with caffeine. I put my foot in my mouth, remembering every time I hashtagged #DeathBeforeDecaf.
And I learned a few things.
I'm stronger than I thought I was // I have always been a #DeathBeforeDecaf kinda person. I swore by coffee. I literally tweeted one time "I don't trust people who drink decaf". I was a caffeinated a-hole when it came to my coffee. But when I started experiencing some interesting health issues, I read about people who can be allergic to caffeine. Since I'm seemingly allergic to everything that's delicious, I figured I probably am one of those people. Turns out, I don't think I am, but I continued cutting caffeine for the rest of the month because it became a challenge to see how strong I was to say NO every day to something my flesh craved.
I have to tell you that knowing that I went a whole month without caffeine feels PRETTY DANG GOOD. I can't tell you the last time I did something that was this hard with as much perseverance as I did this with. I feel so empowered that I can do anything.
I don't like being enslaved // It's crazy to me how long I lived with the NEED for caffeine. I've been drinking between 1 to 4 cups a day since I was in the 8th grade. That's almost a decade of needing a cup of coffee before I can be a human. When we were in Disney World, normally, I would have needed to stop at Starbucks before we got to the parks. But I was able to get up and go with no delay. It felt SO GOOD to just be able to be myself first thing in the morning!
My body is talking to me // When I got rid of caffeine, I discovered that what I thought were caffeine headaches for so long...were actually cries of dehydration from my body. Wowza. All this time, I had been dehydrating my body MORE when really, all it wanted was a glass of water. Needless to say, my body is nice and hydrated and happy now!
We're naturally energetic // I realized how amazing natural energy feels. I can't describe it, but I notice a definite difference between natural energy and caffeinated energy. Natural energy feels so much more pure and alive. I used to think I was a monster in the morning because that's just me-- but it turns out that I'm actually not too shabby when I first wake up now that I don't need caffeine to make a miracle outta me. I can feel my body get natural energy from healthy foods, a long walk, or a good night's sleep. And it's SO GOOD.
It's amazing to challenge yourself // If you have never challenged yourself to cut out something for a month, I hereby challenge you to find something-- and I mean something that REALLY would be a challenge...I'm watching you....-- and cut it out. See if you can do it. Hold yourself accountable. Write down your goal and post it where you'll see it everyday. I promise you that you will grow into someone you love. You'll realize how bold and fierce you are. I have such a boosted self-confidence by getting through this month and I know you will too if you push yourself to grow.
The Verdict // It was more challenging than I thought at first, but then it got super easy at the end. I didn't feel a huge change in health, but the natural energy I found was pretty incredible. I think I am going to stay 90% caffeine-free by sticking to decaf coffee, but perhaps sneaking in some green tea here and there.
Are you a coffee drinker? Could you give up coffee for a month?