I needed a coffee intervention.
As the days started getting darker and colder, I relied more heavily on my BFF, a warm cuppa Joe… though this time I noticed the side effects a little bit more intensely.
I had been noticing (and promptly ignoring) that around 3pm everyday I start to feel a wave of anxiety go through me. Just outta the blue. Also, I’d feel really dehydrated every day and notice that sometimes when I’d smile at people I’d feel my face actually shaking a little bit. The jitters were real.
Though perhaps the ultimate reason why I wanted to take on #NoCoffeeNovember challenge was realizing how much I NEEDED IT and barely wanted to make eye contact with anyone before I had a cup of coffee in hand. That neediness reminded me that YES, coffee is a drug and a powerful one.
The Start of the No Coffee Adventure:
“Wiped out” would be the best way to describe this week. I decided to start the challenge on a Monday, a couple of days before November started to ease into it. On Day 1, I felt okay during the day… though when I got home I fell hard into #pillowlife. I literally got home, fell asleep and emerged from Zombie-mode 13 hours later. The second day, I slept for 12 hours. Both nights I had plans to go to martial arts class, though the ZZZs won. After the first two days I was able to ride out the week on chai, soda water, and Dandy Blend Lattes. (Dandy Blend is exactly what it sounds like… a drink made of dandelions and other wild herbs).
My real challenge came on the weekend. My weekends are usually super chill. I hang out with my boyfriend, run errands and relax. Coffee usually takes me from chill to HIGH ON LIFE. I found it really difficult to not have that ‘high’ on the weekend. One way I distracted myself was by going for a run, and I seriously considered almost buying a $7 ‘coffee-like’ drink from a fancy health restaurant (filled with things like mesquite, maca, dark cocoa, raw coconut oil, etc.). It would’ve been an okay splurge (it’s healthy right?) though I realized that it would be more fun to attempt to make something like this at home instead and was able to stave off the craving. I’m also on an airtight budget with little room for $7 drinks.
My other challenge was that I ate A TON of sugar this week. Normally, I don’t eat a lot of sugar, though this week it was more than my body could handle. I ate candy, opened a beautiful box of chocolates to eat myself (and then attempted to share), and decadent vegan marshmallow cookies. It was all so delicious… though my body didn’t find it that great. My skin immediately broke out like crazy. I hadn’t had a break out like that since last year! Dammit sugar.
Armed with new information that it takes THREE days to detox the body and then it’s a psychological battle, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and fight a new battle. I’ve found that my crutch for a ‘hit’ has become soda water. I’ve never drunk so many in my life. Dear God, I hope they’re not bad for me. I also curbed my sugar cravings this week with purely fighting it off and also drinking more smoothies. I also attempted to replicate a smoothie from one of my favourite restaurants (it takes like chocolate ice cream, and it’s healthy and satisfying)!
Week 3 and 4:
These weeks I was deeply missing coffee. It felt like a roller coaster of emotions. From one minute neeeeeeding it, to the next being okay. This stuff is truly powerful and addictive. And it was mostly the challenge of the weekends. Oh, the weekends. I craved it with a vengeance on Saturdays and Sundays. One particular weekend was spent watching the black belt test at my martial arts school and I really wanted a coffee. The experience of watching the test is super stressful, and I wanted to hold something warm and comforting. I settled for hot chocolate… and it was the worst. Turns out nothing can take the place of coffee.
So Did I Complete the Challenge Successfully?
I DID IT!!!!!!! Yo. This was a true challenge. Many many times I said to people, ‘Maybe I’ll just get a decaf. That’s okay right?’ Though technically it would have been breaking the challenge, and HELL YEAH I didn’t do it.
Was It Worth It?
Honestly, I’m on the fence about this. Yes, I felt relief to not need it everyday. I felt more hydrated. And I felt more peaceful. Though I picked up some habits around eating way more sugar and soda water to compensate which didn’t feel too great.
So what’s next?
This challenge taught me a lot about myself. And from what I know about myself, I would still love to have coffee be a part of my life, though I’d like for it to be a weekend treat instead of a daily necessity. So that’s how I’ll approach it going forward: the weekends (or holidays) are for coffee 🙂
My December Challenge:
Alrighty, new month, new challenge time! My December challenge will be: pay in cash for all holiday purchases. I am a devotee of the monthly budget and realize the holidays are the perfect time to let all hell break loose. WELL, NOT THIS YEAR! I’m going to use the envelope method and actually budget how much I will be spending on different people (and food) over the month!
With fewer than 30 days left of 2017, what challenge could you take on to help you make mo’ money and mo’ progress?