March 18, 2007

Addict

I think I finally realized the source of my increasing fatigue.

You see, I am an addict.

There, I admit it. Now that's the hardest part, right?

And now since I've taken that first step, let me explain. I've battled this caffeine addiction for years. It started when I was in high school, innocently, with a sporadic cup. By the time of junior year I would go through phases of an entire pot of coffee a day.

In college, I was largely caffeine free, which I suspect had something to do with the fact that if I was drinking something, it was almost always beer. If it wasn't beer, I wasn't drinking it.

But since medical school, me and coffee have been best buds. There have been a couple of short-term caffeine-free phases, but none for several years now.

At the end of last week, I took a caffeine count. On average, I drink about 40 ounces of coffee and about 24 ounces of diet Mt Dew each day. WAY. TOO. MUCH.

I think my caffeine levels stay so high that any little dip during the day makes me feel tired. And thus, I declare myself an addict.

Friday morning I put it down. I finished my coffee, and that was it. Done. Finished. No more.

Saturday I felt awful. Slept the day and night away, and when I wasn't asleep I was a zombie. I didn't get the headache, but only because I was alternating tylenol and ibuprofen every few hours.

And then, this morning, I woke at 0800 and felt almost great. I've felt little fatigue, and I still haven't had a headache despite having no analgesics since this morning.

I'm hopeful that I can continue caffeine-free. It will help my training by letting me feel a more honest fatigue so I will know easier when to rest. It will help my wallet by avoiding all those damn Starbucks trips.

And it will help me, because I don't want to be an addict to anything.

16 comments:

rocketpants said...

You can do it. I'm sure the parting of ways with the caffine will help the training.

Bike Chick said...

Congrats on giving up your addiction. Now your natural effervescence can shine thru! Seriously, I'm sure you'll feel better all around, like you said. And gee, what will you do with all that money you save?

Megan said...

Doesn't training for an IM qualify you to be an addicit of fitness and exercise? Looks like you picked up another habit...

Nice job on the coffee (as I take a generous gulp of own cup -slurp...) I'm cheering for you!

TJ said...

As one caffeineaholic to another, I feel your pain. I used to be a 4-a-day Mt. Dew drinker, plus coffee. I'm down to 2 dews a day and 1 cup of coffee. I'll be happy if I can cut it down to just the 1 cup of coffee.
Good luck.

Mallie said...

Best of luck on your road to freedom from caffeine. I had to go caffeine-free last year to help with my anemia and after a couple days it just seemed natural. Sounds like you're doing well, too. Congrats!

Shelley said...

Congrats!! I have tried off and on losing the addiction with varied results..I think the addiction is getting worse though!!!

Kylie said...

I think you already have a new tridiction ;) It can be healthier if not out of control, though.

Iron Girl Nyhus said...

Good for you :) I only drink about one coffee and one diet coke a day but can certainly feel the headache when I don't have my coffee... I guess that classifies me as an addict too.

momo said...

i can so relate... i have a love/hate relationship with coffee. i drink only maybe two cups at the most a day - but every once in awhile i will give it up because i think i should.

i've found that moderation is a better word for me than abstinence... :-)

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

i gave up a huge coffee habit for lent and since i dont' drink soda and i drink decaf tea, it basically eliminated caffeine from my life. the first few days were painful, but now i'm feeling so good that I honestly don't know if i want to start back up come Easter. if you want to be caffeine free, i think you can do it. :)

TriGirl 40 said...

Hope things are going well with giving up the caffeine - and that the miserable withdrawal symptoms are just a memory now.

RunBubbaRun said...

Well I think training for two IM in one year is what we call an "addiction".

But I can't give up my coffee, I even look at the cliff gels to see if there is caffeine in them. Ah the simply pleasures, isn't addiction great sometimes..

Good luck with your caffeine rehab.

Triteacher said...

You are a very brave man. Good luck on your quest!

marz_racer said...

I tried to give it up and failed. I think I'm hooked on diet RockStar right now.

Lana said...

Wow - that IS a lot of caffine. You have such will power, though, that I have no doubt you'll be able to kick the habit.

ironjenny said...

I'll drink yours.
I can give up alcohol every year for Lent, but have never even considered coffee. I love it. With flavored fat-and-sugar-filled "creamers" stirred in it.
Mmmm.