A couple of Saturdays ago at my Weight Watcher meeting, the leader did a “back to the basics” meeting. I always find these kind of meetings so helpful to me because when I started, I had a horrible Weight Watcher leader, so my initiation wasn’t the best that the program had to offer.
I learned a lot of new things that I should be doing considering that I have been following the program for over twelve weeks. I really should be hitting the whole grains because it will help “keep things moving.” I really should be watching my sugars, fats and oils and which ones would be helpful to me. I also learned that I should watch my intake of soda.
As a scientist, I know that case studies aren’t valid data, but I hear a good story and I think, “Man, I should try that.” Logically, I know that I shouldn’t believe it based on one case study, yet my inner Klingon says, “I think we should try it, sir.” So, my Weight Watcher leader says that when she was running, she found that it was easier for her to breathe when she stopped drinking carbonated beverages. She prefaced this story with the statement that it was only her individual experience, so it wasn’t like she was trying to fool us.
So, last Monday, I quit soda cold turkey. I thought it would be a piece of cake, considering that I hardly drink any soda. I was just trying to find a way to make my running easier. Plus, I thought, I would get off what little caffeine I drink every day, so that on the day of the race, I could guzzle down a Diet Mountain Dew and really feel its effects when it actually counts.
Tuesday, I had a headache. Wednesday, I had a massive headache and went to bed with a rice bed buddy. That night, I ended up sleeping almost twelve hours. When the headache returned on Thursday, I started to worry. Maybe I was getting sick. I’ve never had sinus headaches this many days in a row with no help from Sudafed, Tylenol, Ibuprofen or aspirin. It was weird. I began to worry that Melanie must have given me some horrible cold. I began to worry that I might be depressed and not even know it. I began to worry that I was getting a brain tumor. Then, I remembered. Oh yeah, I haven’t been drinking soda. This must be those Caffeine Withdrawals that people talk about.
By the way, don’t bother searching for advice online about caffeine addiction unless you are actually looking for herbal remedies and joke quizzes. That’s all you’ll find. I even went to Dr. Weil. I think he’s a quack, but compared to all those herbal remedy quacks, he looked almost bona fide. His recommendation, along with others, is to drink green tea. Sure, that has less of a stimulant effect than coffee, black tea and Mountain Dew, but it also has other stimulants to get addicted to. I decided to just weather it out.
No headache on Friday. It took four days to get through that headachy time and the only thing that gave me any relief was sleep and a rice bed buddy. Man, I think I’ll skip the Dew on race day just so that I don’t have to go through that again.
03/12/04 How To Quit Soda