Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A Bite from the Apple...

I quit caffeine five years ago, when I started having stress-induced heart rhythm problems. The doctor off-handedly recommended that I cut out caffeine. Scared ****less by the whole affair, I got very religious about that particular lifestyle change. Didn’t touch a drop of caffeine for four years.

Last summer, in the middle of the season with my concession trailer, I was always so tired…and cranky. There were the 14-hour days, the travel, the set-up and take-down... But ten years ago, I worked sixty hours a week, and always seemed to have enough energy to get through the days, plus have a life outside work besides. I thought I’d lost my edge. Then it hit me…CAFFEINE.

I argued with myself for a bit. I had made this body-cleansing change, and I didn’t want to backslide. But I realized I was pissing off everyone around me—employees, husband, festival management (which I could NOT afford to do.) In the end, I revived the "latte in the morning, Pepsi in the afternoon" habit that got me through decades of restaurant management. I honestly think it saved my business. I was able to jump right back on the wagon when summer was over. How cool is that?

Now I’m faced with another temptation. The diet sucks... I’m down to losing less than 2 pounds a week, and I’m starting to feel way sorry for myself. And bitchy. And constipated. All of which can be cured by the wonders of caffeine. Last summer’s cheating proved to me that I CAN ingest it without having a coronary. So I’ve taken to sneaking REAL coffee in the morning from time to time…maybe just so I can feel like I’m cheating without trashing the diet.

This afternoon was an eye-opener, though. I decided to slug a HUGE cup of coffee to stay awake during a meeting. I had no sooner gotten the first few sips past my lips, than I was transformed into this bright, cheery, witty, talking-a-mile-a-minute livewire. After the meeting, I whizzed around the kitchen, juggling fifteen tasks, smiling and gabbing with the other girls, joking with the residents. This is NOT me…at least, not the me I’ve been for the last five years. It was absolutely mind-boggling. So now I’m thinking: What’s the harm? There are worse addictions. If I can get this euphoric from a stupid cup of (legal) coffee, why the hell not? Looks like I’ve fallen off the wagon for real this time.


  1. Looks like I’ve fallen off the wagon for real this time.

    This line had me chuckling out loud. Thanks Lisa! :)

  2. I drink Diet Pepsi morning, noon and night. I hate coffee, but am seriously addicted to caffeine. It can be 6:00 AM and you'll hear me popping the top of my can of DP. My husband says it makes me nutty. I just know I cannot not have it, and I figure since I don't smoke, do drugs and rarely drink alcohol, if I want a Diet Pepsi with caffeine, I'm going to have it. If that's the worst of my bad habits, I'm thinking I'm doing alright...

  3. Legal addictive substances -- caffeine, nicotine and sugar -- are my biggest vices, and I honestly don't know which is the hardest to quit. If you must fall off the wagon, just keep an eye on the heart.

  4. I stopped drinking both Coffee and Coke recently to cleanse myself too. I don't remember getting quite the buzz that you got, but then maybe I didn't drink ENOUGH!!! LOL Hmmmmm, maybe I just need to jump off ye' old wagon meself. :-)

  5. I am a bad influence in this department, because I am convinced that coffee keeps me alive! I think I could give up anything but my morning cup/s of Joe!!!

  6. Just be careful that the wagon doesn't run you over! Kristi

  7. Good LORD what was in that coffee?!!

    I thought I loved my morning cuppa Joe before, but if it made me "...this bright, cheery, witty...livewire" you'd have to pry that pot out of my cold, dead hands to get me to stop... :)

  8. Hey, losing less than 2 pounds a week is fine! I've read that you don't want to lose the weight more quickly, and most anyone's body is going to strongly resist doing so. Trust me, losing even a half a pound a week is better than what some of us are doing. :-/

    I can't comment on the caffeine. Um... I'm in the same boat, and I don't even feel guilty about it. I've recently given up the regular sugar drinks for the diet or water. That's quite a feat for me, lol.