My Weight Watchers teacher is back on the soap box about soda. She has stopped drinking soda about five weeks ago. Her flatter stomach and the absence of weight swings have been attributed to the carbonation fast. She is drinking only water now and she is adamant about the benefits of getting off pop.
I leave her meetings thinking, “I guess I should stop drinking pop.” I’ve stopped drinking pop before. I was testing it for myself. I wrote an entry on how to quit soda. I didn’t notice any improvements in my running. I didn’t notice a flatter stomach or absence of weight swings. I DID notice the caffeine withdrawals, though. All of this, and I still leave her meetings thinking, “I guess I should stop drinking pop.”
I found myself planning a weekend of headaches so I could quit cold turkey. It takes me about four days of caffeine withdrawal headaches to get “clean.” I was thinking of sacrificing an entire weekend to “coming down” off Diet Mountain Dew and gourmet coffee. If you could look me in the eyes right now, I’d look sheepish. Yes, I have started drinking coffee. Just two cups a morning, homebrewed. I’ve found that those expensive tiny little packages of coffee that are in the coffee aisle at the grocery store aren’t as bitter as Folgers and I’m able to almost mainline my caffeine.
Maybe that’s why I’m tempted. Maybe I feel out of control. A few months ago, a Diet Mountain Dew felt like a treat. Now, it’s a treat I give myself every day with my lunch. I stop drinking soda after five in the evening so I can sleep, but other than that, I’ve gotten really interested in my daily caffeine dosage.
If I don’t get a good dosage of caffeine, I end up with a mondo headache. If I get a little bit of an over dosage, I end up writing three or four blog entries in one day. If I get an over dosage, every day, I end up needing it to prevent those headaches, at which point, the creativity spurt that used to come from the over dosage is long gone and I need even more caffeine to have that hyper-real writing experience.
All of that sounds like addiction to me and I hate to think that I am addicted to anything. Ok, I’d be happy if someone said that I was addicted to writing or exercise or healthy living. Those are addictions that I could live quite well with. Addiction to caffeine is such a item of contention in Salt Lake City that I feel like I need to be free of it.
Then again, there are all of those studies that say how great caffeine is. They say that caffeine makes us alert, increases physical stamina and makes us hyper-aware of our surroundings. There are just as many studies that say it’s bad, bad, bad, however. I just don’t have the attention span to research this issue and I don’t trust anyone enough to take their word for it, not even my Weight Watchers teacher.
So, what do I do? Well, I’m not quitting next weekend. I can tell you that much. I’m not pinky-swearing that I won’t drink pop/coffee. I’m not increasing my intake. I’m just going to lie low and make the decision later. Right now, I’m enjoying sampling all the fancy coffees in the grocery aisle.