Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Coffee Challenge

I was challenged by my health coach to give up coffee for three months.  I really did not want to do it, three months is an awfully long time to not have a cup of coffee.  I'd already weaned down to one very small cup per day, 1/2 decaf. Why on earth would I want to give up that measly bit?  And the answer I got back was well, why can't you give it up?  Hmm, because:  1) really enjoy it  2) I don't actually need it  3)  It's only a little bit  4)  I could stop if I wanted to.  And then I realized I sounded like an addict and I don't want any food or drink to have that much power over me. 

So I did it -  for  three whole months.  I really didn't feel any differently without it.  I wasn't completely caffeine free as I did have regular iced tea some days.  When I originally cut my coffee consumption down I felt better.  I had been having stomach aches from the acid and irritability.  This time around I didn't have physical symptoms but I did miss it.  I walked with people leaving coffee houses so I could smell their coffee. 

I did have a two sips of a flavored coffee in early July while I was on vacation.  It was eh and I had to have some water to get the after taste out of my mouth.  My reaction to this was panic.  Did I really lose my taste for coffee?  After years of enjoyment could it be possible that I don't actually like it?  But I was still looking for dark bitter beers to mimic the taste of coffee and I enjoyed those.  Maybe it was just bad coffee or I don't like the flavor. 

I actually discussed this with people.  Some were a little smug and said, "see you have changed and will no longer enjoy the taste."  Others said, "It was probably just bad coffee because coffee really is delicious."  Yes, I surround myself with fellow addicts.  I wanted to believe the latter but wasn't sure.

The three months were up on Sunday.  It was crazy hot and I passed up iced coffee for a raspberry chocolate chip gelato.   Later we were in Whole Foods and there was coffee to sample.  I took the three ounce cup, added my milk and it was delicious, just as I had hoped.  It was slightly bitter, smooth and flavorful.

I haven't had any since and I haven't wanted it.  The three ounces were enough.  I like knowing I can have it again when I want it.  I also know that I will only have it occassionally and not be a slave to it any longer.  It's just another tasty beverage.

Do you have a food or drink that feels like it's impossible to give up?  I'd love to hear from you.

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