Throughout the course of my little blogging journey I’ve been trying to make positive changes everywhere I can. But, as we all know, even for the most open of us, change can be bloody hard! Experts will tell you that behavioral change is the most difficult because habits become ingrained into our routines and therefore our lives. That’s why smokers find it so hard to kick the habit, why you’re waking up at 6 am on a Saturday instead of lying in while you have the day off and probably why 9 times out of ten you did lock the door when you left the house even if you can’t remember doing it. Behaviors, people! So change is hard, and it’s not because you’re not up for it, it’s just that you’re battling a consistent behavioral pattern that your mind has gotten used to and doesn’t see a reason to do anything differently because it likes its little routine.
Just about one month ago, I made a bit of a biggie (for me anyway). I cut high doses caffeine out of my diet. Coffee, Coke, Tea (inwardly wails) are gone.
Caffeine and Me
Why you ask? Well, I’m a slight girl with a fast metabolism and I have found that while caffeine can definitely give me an energy boost, the negative effects greatly outweigh the positives for me. I get energy spikes and then massive troughs (which makes me need a boost through food, often sugar) and it has a really bad effect on my sleep. Over the last while I have been noticing that it makes my heart absolutely race which, again just doesn’t sound very good. I’m not a girl to do things by halves and I have been down the “cutting down” road before so I made the decision to just get it out.
I love a cup of coffee. I am the girl juggling a take away Starbucks or Glasgow favorite Gordon St. Coffee cup with my phone and bag while stalking about town. Tea is my go-to comfort drink. I feel like I actually need it when I’ve had a tough day or open a book. There are just so many situations when it’s the most appropriate drink going. Basically, the last month has been very tough. But as anyone who has ever made a decision and stuck to it knows well, it has also been really, really rewarding.
How I managed it:
For the first 10 days I was very tired. Specifically at work which is where I tend to need the pick me up most – I have written a post on staying healthy at work here if you are like me and would like some tips. But I realised that if I was going to make this change, that I would need to really commit to it. So I started going to bed a bit earlier. I started to make sure that I was more hydrated at work – even going so far as keeping a 2 litre bottle of Evian at my desk! Soon, I was finding that my energy levels we actually increasing and (oh joy of joys) my skin started looking much, much healthier! It can be very difficult to break a habit and make a change and the thing about changes to your lifestyle is that they require a consistent effort. But the reward has been so great and I am so proud of myself for sticking to it!
If you are interested in cutting out caffeine, I hope that this post has shown that it can be done. Here is a link to caffeine content in various drinks from The Guardian which was a bit of an eye opener for me.
Have you ever given up something and reaped the benefits? Leave a comment below, we can encourage each other!