Let me start this off by saying that there was once a time in my life that I never had caffeine because I didn’t like coffee. Then I discovered creamy, sugary, coffee creamer and we fell in love. I’ve gone back and forth between going months without coffee to cut my sugar and never suffered the withdrawals of caffeine. Drinking coffee in the morning became my morning ritual and it just felt good to hold that hot cup in the morning. Since coffee never gave me that boost of energy I would even drink it at night to fulfill my sweet tooth craving. Yea, weird right?
Then I started my job at Life Time Fitness and my entire life style change. I went through periods of barely eating because I didn’t have time or the money to keep up with my regular diet and supplements, my schedule constantly changed from either an early morning shift to the late night crew, working weekends that weren’t planned, having random months without a day off and constantly worrying about making the paycheck to pay my bills #TheGlamorousLifeOfATrainer. I was progressively getting more tired as each month went by and now my morning workouts were no longer effective for the boost in energy and I started relying on energy drinks to get me through the day.
Towards the end of my employment, I decided that it was time to do something for myself again no matter how challenging it may be and that was to compete for my second show. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy and it certainly wasn’t going to help my energy situation but I needed this for my soul. I needed to focus all my free time on me and this was my way of doing it. So now on top of my crazy schedule, I’ve added in harder workouts and the physical stress of putting my body through a demanding weightless regimen. It was probably stupid timing but I would do it all over again.
Naturally as you get closer to the show, you’re energy drops. Between the lower carbs and the caloric deficiency, there is just no way that you aren’t going to experience fatigue which is why show prep can be so hard. So what do you do? Up the caffeine, take fat burners, consume anything that could possibly give you a boost. FYI I did take fat burners for about 3 weeks and had to stop. This was my second time and whatever is in them blurs my vision almost like my eyes are jittery, noooo thank you! Anything that messes with my eyes I stop. And I know I said coffee didn’t give me that boost in energy but at this point, I will willing to drink anything to help me with even the slightest boost to get through my long hours of work.
The show is over and now I start my new desk job. My entire lifestyle changed for the better but I was now really feeling the consequence of show prep and the high stress job I had for almost two years. I was drained; I could barely get through the day without consuming an energy drink and the only way I could manage in the gym was taking a pre workout. My weekends were shot and I bummed around napping in between because I could never get the energy I needed to want to do anything fun (not to mention the post show funk I was conquering through).
It wasn’t until recently that I decided I need to stop with this caffeine dependency. I realized that I was literally caffeinated from 7am till my work out at 6pm; I was a caffeinated mess. The path I was heading towards was not going to be a good one and I knew I needed to make a change before I continue to damage my body and fall into adrenal failure. Thank god for the timing of my mini vacation to Florida, where I lounged around and only had a 1/2 cup of coffee day just because I didn’t have the taste to finish the rest. I didn’t need to have energy drinks because I was partially distracted with family and we didn’t do anything terribly exerting. I came home to an unanticipated highly stressed week where I didn’t have time to take care of my responsibilities, go to the gym and sleep in my own bed for more than two nights. Stressed?! I was beyond stressed and felt like a zombie my entire way through. Strangely enough, I didn’t have a desire for coffee or energy drinks. Well, I didn’t have an appetite at all and barely ate for a week, but I was using that to my advantage when it came to my coffee detox.
I’m 4 days of no caffeine and 2 weeks in on my adrenal supplements. I can’t say I notice an extreme difference in my energy levels yet, but I know that will come with time. I do feel like my skin has began to clear up and I notice a difference in my digestive system. I would not be surprised if I had a sensitivity to caffeine. I feel confident in saying that I’m on my way to conquering this one monstrosity of a habit and preparing to tackle my next; SUGAR!
Have you ever cut caffeine? Share your experience in the comment box below!