My Resolution: Kicking My Caffeine Addiction in 2012

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/21/2011 2:00 PM   :  62 comments   :  12,038 Views

Since I was a teenager, caffeine and I have had a tumultuous relationship. (I'm not the only one.)

I started taking caffeine pills and drinking coffee (bottled Frappucinos, mostly) at 16. An overachiever, I was suffering from an eating disorder, and the caffeine helped keep me energized when I wasn't eating. I was also mourning the loss of a close friend, who had died in a car accident. The caffeine pills kept me from having to deal with my grief, as I never sat still or had time to think.

Some of my friends knew about my habit, and many of them partook in the pills as well. We didn't think there was anything wrong with them.

It took me over a year to realize the damage I was doing to my body. After I passed out for the second time, I decided to give them up. I collapsed as I walked out of AP English. My heart was beating way too fast, my vision went blurry, and the world faded to black.

My doctor diagnosed me as having anxiety attacks, which was only half the story. I realized I needed to cut back, both on caffeine and in life. I prioritized, quit a couple of activities, and swore off the pills.

In college, I pulled all-nighters fueled by coffee, soda, chocolate-covered espresso beans. You name it, I drank it to stay awake during not only late nights spent studying but also spent laying out and editing the college paper.

Not surprisingly, the anxiety continued.

My first real job was on the news copy desk at a large metro daily. I worked 4 p.m. to midnight five nights a week and sometimes worked 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. I drank diet soda like it was my job, and when I went to the bar after work (the only place to socialize after work when you work second shift), I opted for rum and diet cola, which aggravated my anxiety. The work was mentally challenging, and the tight deadlines made it quite exciting but stressful at times. My panic and anxiety worsened.

Throughout the next few years, I continued to combine anxiety medication and caffeine. I didn't connect the two until just a couple of years ago. I swore off coffee and, coupled with some other major life changes, my anxiety dissipated.

As of this time last year, coffee was a rare treat for me. I didn't need it, and I limited myself to the occasional cup (just one!) at Sunday brunch. I like the taste, and I like the feeling it gives me. All other times, I would drink tea.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I started to drink coffee again, more regularly. Then in May, I did a weeklong yoga retreat in Honduras, where coffee was verboten. I lasted two weeks.

Then I was back on the coffee.

Since June, I've averaged two 16-ounce "cups" of coffee a day--and sometimes more. I bought an unlimited coffee deal at a local store, and until I switched to 6:30 a.m. yoga, I was in there every morning and a few afternoons a week.
I realized I was rarely without my coffee. In the car, in meetings, on walks, at the farmers market, there I was, gripping my stainless steel reusable canteen. Iced in summer, hot in winter, sometimes with soy creamer, sometimes black, never sweetened… coffee. My fix.

Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system, changing the brain and the body. While it does temporarily make you feel more awake, it can also cause a host of other side effects, according to MedlinePlus:
  • feelings of being jittery and shaky
  • difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping well
  • increased heart rate
  • uneven heart rhythm
  • elevated blood pressure
  • headaches, nervousness and/or dizziness
  • dehydration, especially after a workout
  • dependency, which means you need to take more of it to get the same effect
As with other addictive substances, the more you consume, the less of an effect it has on you. My usual intake of caffeine was at least 540 mg daily, which puts me at almost double the low-to-moderate consumption level. Still, being reliant on that much coffee to keep me going is having an effect. I did some research into "how much is too much caffeine?" While I do not have headaches or other withdrawal symptoms if I skip a day, I don't like that I am so reliant on coffee these days.

My stomach sometimes hurts, I feel jittery from time to time, and--this is the worst symptom--coffee makes you have to pee all the time! (Caffeine is a diuretic!)

So, in 2012, I'm vowing to cut back. No more than TWO cups (16 ounces=1 "grande"=the size of my coffee canteen) a day, more tea (which also has caffeine but it doesn't give me the jitters), and more water. I drink at least eight cups of water daily, but I am also drinking the equivalent of four cups of coffee. I never drink decaf coffee; I don't like the taste or the chemicals used to remove the caffeine.

I don't want to give up coffee and caffeine entirely, but I do not want it to continue to control me. By sharing these goals with you, I'm putting myself back in control. No more caffeine addiction! (Want to chat with other java junkies? Join the SparkTeam  Coffee Junkies of the World!)

Have you ever been addicted to caffeine? How did you break the habit?


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Comments

  • 62
    I wish you luck. But, of course, you don't need it! You can do this! - 8/19/2012   6:03:49 PM
  • 2DIETORNOT2DIET
    61
    Good luck on that, I can take it or leave it I have 2 cups a day never been a soda drinker so no problem there, I have ALWAYS loved water people used to make fun of me because I always had water long before it became fashionable to carry water I was way ahead of my time with that one. - 1/1/2012   10:59:27 AM
  • 60
    I wish you luck. I'm a tea drinker and found while I was loosing most of my weight - I nearly stopped drinking it because I wanted the sugar calories for other things. Now that I'm stabilized at my weight - still 20 pounds away from goal but at the same weight for nearly 3 years I'm back to drinking my tea and found that it happens to be a trigger for me - I want a little sweet - but have conditioned myself (except for around the holidays) to be content with one 90 - 110 calorie biscotti w/ my evening tea.

    Set your priorities - which you have stated.

    Substitute - other hot drinks - if you want to limit even the tea caffeine try a white tea - IF you find the right one - it's good. I saw adagio teas advertised here on spark - that's who I've bought my white tea - (daily happiness) and a wonderful chocolate tea (Christmas cocoa blend) from. The chocolate gives just a hint of chocolate - which may be a good substitution for your coffee.

    But, I expect to see you begin a streak of days meeting your 16 oz and less goal of coffee! I love sparkguy's concept of streaks - I have 3 running on the back of my front door - my strength training, and my friend whom I'm coaching has a water streak and a 10 minute cardio streak going. Get out the stickies and post in your status each day you keep your caffeine limit streak going! You can do it Stepfanie! I know you can! - 12/29/2011   11:25:33 AM
  • 59
    I've quit caffeine this year - an extremely difficult project for me, as I'm a true addict (as in I have quite a difficult collection of withdrawal symptoms to deal with when quitting). I've been clean for 144 days now. It has been tough, but it is SO worth it not to have my body controlled by a brain altering chemical. Go for it! You'll be glad in the end. :o) - 12/29/2011   2:14:12 AM
  • 1GNPARKER
    58
    Good luck on your quest to cut back on caffeine.

    When I was in my early 20s I worked night shift and every night I would drink two cups of coffee. Then the migraines started and the doctor's advice was to quit all caffeine. It worked and to this day I can't drink regular coffee without side effects. I do occassionally drink decaf coffee, but even that has been replaced for the most part by plain water. - 12/25/2011   11:11:53 PM
  • A_WISE_WOMAN
    57
    There was mention of a dislike for the taste of the chemicals used in the coffee decaffeination process. There are a variety of processes; two that should not produce any chemical taste are the Swiss Water Process (just uses water and filters), or the supercritical CO2 (carbon dioxide) process. I would recommend asking for and trying the decaf coffees using these processes. Good luck! - 12/25/2011   7:50:17 PM
  • CHICA_BORICUA
    56
    One cup of coffee every morning is enough for me. - 12/24/2011   12:43:39 PM
  • 55
    I gave up caffeine for about a month a while back after reading that it has a negative effect on my mental health and actually doesn't do the things for me that I thought did (like inproving focus - all it did was make me more easily distracted).

    After a while I allowed myself to have caffeine on the weekends b/c other people I know drink water all week and allow themselves a soda on the weekends, but that didn't work for me and now I'm back up to two 20 oz Mt. Dews a day or more. One of my goals for 2012 is also to give up caffeine. I know it'll help me mental health as well as my physical health. Cheers! - 12/23/2011   11:06:06 AM
  • 54
    My personal opinion is that an addiction is as addiction, you can't cut down, you have to eliminate, and substituting one form of caffeine for another is not kicking anything...it's just kidding yourself.

    Caffeine is caffeine... I can drink coffee without side effect...perhaps because of ADD...however, stating that one will cut down on coffee and replace it with tea is just lowering the volume of caffeine...and sodas are so bad for so many reasons...

    I don't have reactions to the caffeine and can go days and weeks without, however I truly enjoy a good cup of whatever, and will willingly pass up a poor cup of whatever. - 12/23/2011   10:16:46 AM
  • 53
    Everytime I think about cutting back on my coffee intake (16-24 ounces on a usual day) - out comes a new report on how it helps prevent diabetes, Parkinson's, pancreatic cancer, Alzheimer's ... sheesh! - 12/23/2011   7:41:31 AM
  • 52
    I quit drinking Coke-a-cola about five years ago, so caffeine isn't an issue for me any longer. - 12/23/2011   12:56:34 AM
  • 51
    When I was drinking a half a pot to a pot a day of coffee, I finally decided I was having too much. I cannot remember what made me decide to cut back. I went to half coffee, half decaf, and like I have done in the past with eating, before I could have a cup of coffee (8 oz) I had to drink 12 ounces of water. I have ercently started bringing coffee back into my world and how I limit it is with "coffee singles" coffee bags like tea bags. I allow one bag for coffee a day. if I really need more hotness, I then switch to tea. best of luck!! - 12/23/2011   12:36:14 AM
  • 50
    Coach Stepfanie- I can so totally relate. being a blue collar shift worker, I drink so much coffee it is scary. I think it is one of my big besetting sins! There is a benefit in the first cup or two then after that it is mostly habitual / comfort drinking. Thank you for sharing. On a positive note, I have been able to cut down a little on the early morning consumption by just having a cup then getting on the cycle trainer for about 20 min. that does more than coffee ever will to get my self into the groove.

    - 12/22/2011   4:57:18 PM
  • 49
    I wish I had the will power. Luckily, I limit myself to one serving of coffee a day. Sometimes it is 12, 16, or 22 ounces, but it iis only one serving. - 12/22/2011   3:44:26 PM
  • EMMANYC
    48
    I've had very good success cutting back on caffeine when I do it as a two-step process. Caffeine withdrawal typically produces two major side effects: tiredness (initially) and headaches.

    I have found that it takes very little coffee to eliminate my caffeine withdrawal headache. So when I cut back on caffeine, I cut back on the volume of coffee but keep the frequency (of consuming coffee) about the same. For example, when I'm drinking a lot of coffee, I usually have about 12 oz first thing in the morning, another 8 oz cup mid-morning, another 12 oz cup right after lunch, and another 8 oz around 5-6 pm if I'm working late.

    When I cut back on coffee, I have about 6 oz in the morning (otherwise I simply can't get out of bed) and then about 2 oz at a time (a mouthful or two) mid-morning, right after lunch, and late afternoon - if I start to feel a headache coming on. I still have to deal with the initial sensation of tiredness due to the reduction in the amount of coffee I drink, but I don't have headaches. After a week or two, once my energy levels have rebounded, I find that I can cut back a little further, and I usually end up sticking with my morning 6 oz cup and a post-lunch 2-3 oz cup and that's it. - 12/22/2011   3:41:48 PM
  • 47
    Addictions to caffeine and nicotine are often more difficult to recover from than a drug addiction. It doesn't sound possible, but it is true. Both nicotine and caffeine are legal and readily available. Sharing things with a friend over a cup of coffee isn't only socially acceptable, it's encouraged and quickly becomes socially addictive as well.
    I was addicted to both nicotine and caffeine, and because of exposure to certain chemicals, had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery at age 33. I never smoked another cigarette.
    But caffeine? I drank less because it seemed to make me jittery, but until I started cardiac rehab I didn't really realize the affect it had on me.
    One afternoon at rehab I started having skipped beats. My heart would be beating, and then just stop. My trainer suggested I make an appointment to see my cardiologist about the irregular beating and in the meantime, eliminate all types of caffeine - coffee, tea and chocolate!
    My doctor tentatively agreed with the trainer and told me to return to rehab, minus any caffeine.
    I wet back to rehab, sans caffeine, and never had another problem with irregular heartbeats.
    I do drink a couple of cups of iced decaf coffee (8 oz) once a month or so, a cup of tea once every 6 months and caffeine free diet soda (about 5 cans a week).
    The only problem I have is when I get up in the morning. I have to bounce my head against the hall wall a couple of times before I can really wake up. - 12/22/2011   3:33:44 PM
  • 46
    Addictions to caffeine and nicotine are often more difficult to recover from than a drug addiction. It doesn't sound possible, but it is true. Both nicotine and caffeine are legal and readily available. Sharing things with a friend over a cup of coffee isn't only socially acceptable, it's encouraged and quickly becomes socially addictive as well.
    I was addicted to both nicotine and caffeine, and because of exposure to certain chemicals, had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery at age 33. I never smoked another cigarette.
    But caffeine? I drank less because it seemed to make me jittery, but until I started cardiac rehab I didn't really realize the affect it had on me.
    One afternoon at rehab I started having skipped beats. My heart would be beating, and then just stop. My trainer suggested I make an appointment to see my cardiologist about the irregular beating and in the meantime, eliminate all types of caffeine - coffee, tea and chocolate!
    My doctor tentatively agreed with the trainer and told me to return to rehab, minus any caffeine.
    I wet back to rehab, sans caffeine, and never had another problem with irregular heartbeats.
    I do drink a couple of cups of iced decaf coffee (8 oz) once a month or so, a cup of tea once every 6 months and caffeine free diet soda (about 5 cans a week).
    The only problem I have is when I get up in the morning. I have to bounce my head against the hall wall a couple of times before I can really wake up. - 12/22/2011   3:33:39 PM
  • 45
    Caffeine makes me feel awful so I never drink anything with it. And I limit my chocolate consumption. Sounds like a good thing to cut out if you suffer ill effects from it. - 12/22/2011   2:21:13 PM
  • 44
    This article couldn't have come at a better time. I am addicted to caffeine and realized how unproductive this is to my healthy goals of living an active and healthy lifestyle. I admit that I've been living in denial of the destructive effects of caffeine. I am a bit scared of the withdrawal and don't want this to be a "failure" and not be able to pull this off. However, I know I need to take action because this habit has been going on far too long and the ill effects have been going against me and not for me. I appreciate everyone's posts and suggestions! - 12/22/2011   12:26:30 PM
  • 43
    So much great info and experience! I believe you all have inspired me to make some changes this new year. - 12/22/2011   12:11:15 PM
  • 42
    I am very much additcted to coffee but not in the same ways...When I am working it is better but when I am home I drink about a 12 cup pot and I drink it black. I have been ill lately which has caused me not to be able to drink any coffee and I have the worst headaches...while in the hospital the nurses told me there is nothing to cure those headaches but to get through the withdrawls...they are terrible...however, after reading this blog, my concern would be for the increase in tea instead of coffee...the problem is that tea can lead to kidney problems so make sure that the tea is herbal and you should be alright...now it doesn't help with your caffeine problems but it will save your kidneys...I don't drink soda at all but driank tea more than water, which I drank to, and just had to have 3 kidney surgeries to repair the damage that it has done. - 12/22/2011   11:38:18 AM
  • 41
    Last year about this time I was very sick. On top of the acute bronchitis I was having heart palpitations. The doc said to cut out all caffine. I had a head ache and was nauseaus and exhausted for about a week . I still have the occasional cup of leaded coffee but I feel jittery and sick afterward. Now, I pack with me, individual instant coffee packets and decaf tea in my purse just in case I feel the need. Even decaf diet coke. The change didn't completely stop my heart issues but it helped. I finally got off my heart med after a year. It was quite the change but I'm still standing. :) - 12/22/2011   10:31:14 AM
  • 40
    When I saw the title for this blog, I immediately felt a resistance, but as I read your description, my resistance melted. You have made wise decisions and wise lifestyle changes. I, too, love my coffee and thought I could not live without it until I went on retreat at Kripalu in Massachusetts. I found tea served me just as well, and I did not get the crushing withdrawal headaches I've gotten in the past from trying to quit cold turkey. From that point, I started limiting myself to 2 8-oz. cups of coffee a day before switching to decaf. My Keurig makes it easy, because I set out my 2 high-test and 2 unleaded K-cups each morning, and when they're gone, it's water only for me. Fortunately, I've never been much of a soda drinker, so I haven't had to overcome that habit. Good luck to you! - 12/22/2011   10:06:07 AM
  • 39
    I used to drink two or three 24oz cups of coffee per day. I loved the warmth and felt I needed it to get going. When I decided to get healthy I knew I had to kick the coffee habit. I found an herbal coffee called Teechino that is all natural and doesn't have the caffeine that coffee has. You can brew it in your coffee maker so you still have the good smell and a taste very similar to coffee. After I made the switch, I then reduced the actual amount I drank per day. Then one day I ran out and just started drinking green tea or herbal tea and that is all I drink now. I still have the occassional cup for a treat, but now if I drink more then 1 cup it bothers my stomach and makes me jittery so I know longer crave it. Try an herbal coffee it really makes the transition easier. If you don't initially like the taste start by doing 1/2 coffee and 1/2 herbal and slowly reduce the amount of coffee. Hope this helps. - 12/22/2011   9:53:52 AM
  • 38
    My husband is addicted to Coke Zero. It used to be Coke then Diet Coke. I used to drink Mountain Dew and Coke Classic probably more than 20 years ago, but I was a teen. I can't do caffeine now, it makes me really emotional. My husband has even stopped a couple times. Once he read an article about the chemicals doing horrible things to your body and bones and he dropped the can he was drinking in the trash and stopped for a couple weeks. I just don't get it. He sleeps more than I do. I survive on OJ, skim milk and water.

    Good luck to you all!

    rumbamel - 12/22/2011   9:18:13 AM
  • 37
    Im with you...I have trying to drop coffee for some time it affects my fibromyalgia and allergies. - 12/22/2011   9:03:57 AM
  • 36
    Love coffee. Still drink it. Haven't even given a thought to giving it up... - 12/22/2011   8:42:56 AM
  • 35
    I can relate. I'm with you on this. - 12/22/2011   8:25:34 AM
  • 34
    FIFTYFIFTY50 and anyone else, do you have any advice to offer? I've been a Diet Coke addict for over 12 years. I used to be able to quit for weeks at a time but now I'm completely in its clutches. Four 20 oz. bottles a day and I'm happy--until I'm cranky, exhausted, and my bones start to turn to dust (and who knows what the aspartame is doing to my neurons and pancreas). There's a vending machine where I work--75 cents for 20 ounces. Even if I blew it up, I'd get it somewhere else. I feel powerless and crummy about it. This is not the Sparkpeople way! Any words o' wisdom welcome. - 12/22/2011   7:00:28 AM
  • 33
    I gave up coffe 2 weeks ago after drinking it for many many years. I drink hot tea in the morning now and love it. I too found coffee made me moody. Another pleasant surprise is no more irregular heartbeat; I was having this problem on a daily basis and even going to a heart specialist and thought it was due to menopause, but now I know coffee was the culprit. - 12/22/2011   6:59:12 AM
  • 32
    I'm giving up diet soda but will keep my morning cups of coffee. Good luck to you in your goals. - 12/22/2011   6:23:30 AM
  • 31
    Something is always wrong in this world. I will drink my coffee. I don't drink pop at all. - 12/22/2011   6:05:10 AM
  • 30
    I drink entirely too much diet soda with caffeine! :( I'm grateful that I never developed a taste for coffee. I've tried for years to quit drinking soda and I haven't been able to kick the habit. Quitting smoking was easier!! - 12/22/2011   4:41:23 AM
  • 29
    Interesting since there are so many studies out now that show the health benefits of coffee....
    Diet Soda is not even comparable
    Bottom line I don't believe this article makes much sense..... - 12/22/2011   3:20:41 AM
  • 28
    I can't drink coffee. I get a "rev'ed-up" feeling, upset stomach, diarrhea and a headache with one cup of coffee. I love the smell of it, though! I do drink regular tea but not a lot. I have some herbal teas too. I think chocolate affects me too.

    My mom used to drink coffee ( around 4 cups a day) but we copied Dad and learned to drink tea.
    - 12/22/2011   12:50:48 AM
  • 27
    I used to quit occasionally to give my body a break, and then I finally quit for good in 2007 and haven't looked back since. My last coffee was a cappuccino in Rome and you really can't top that, right? The thing that always worked for me was to quit when I'm sick. The withdrawl symptoms just get mixed in with the illness symptoms and it makes it easier. The cravings lasted a long time but it was worth it. That's not to say I don't consume any caffeine. I do enjoy green tea and chai, but not daily. My daily source of caffeine comes from dark chocolate. ;)
    Good luck! You can do this! - 12/22/2011   12:44:46 AM
  • 26
    I was diagnosed...falsely...with a stroke and was told to limit caffeine. A tea aholic until that day, I stopped cold turkey. Horrible headache for about a week but then my sleep improved dramatically and all my symptoms began to disappear. Caffeine is surely a toxin to be avoided. I learned my lesson! - 12/22/2011   12:23:42 AM
  • 25
    In 1999 I had 2 strokes and was diagnosed with a condition called Central Nervous System Vasculitis. I believe my condition was triggered by a huge amount of stress, little sleep, loads of caffeine and herbal energy pills. I still drink coffee & tea but in moderation. I rarely drink soda so that's not an issue. - 12/21/2011   11:15:11 PM
  • 24
    not interested I love my Tim Horton's too much. - 12/21/2011   10:33:04 PM
  • 23
    I'm trying to find a balance with my caffeine intake, I seem to use it to help fight extreme fatigue from my fibro and chronic fatigue syndrome, but some days I wake up tired after over 8 hours in bed, drink half a pot of coffee with breakfast, and then after trying HARD to rev up for the day I end up going right back to bed and taking a 2 to 4 hour nap. Having about 32 ounces of coffee in my system and STILL passing out for a long nap is part of what tells me something is definitely not working normally with me and caffeine! I try not to end up overstimulated and jittery, and try to keep track of how much I've had and stop and just nap when it doesn't seem to be helping. Some days I might only have 1 diet soda, or 1 cup of coffee, or even none. I don't seem to have withdrawal symptoms when I don't have it but it does make a difference when fighting off abnormal exhaustion. - 12/21/2011   9:12:02 PM
  • 22
    I was totally addicted to coffee up until about 4 years ago. The addiction became worse as I got older - until finally about 13 years ago when because of a medical test I was having I did not have any coffee that day. Early the next morning I got a very bad headache then began throwing up. I thought it was a side effect of the test I'd had (which had involved having a dye like substance injected and after which I was told to drink a lot of water to flush it out). I went to urgent care (it was Saturday) and got a shot of something or other - and my DH (who took me) had to stop the car so I could throw up on the way home. Lying in bed, feeling wretched, (it was probably around noon by then) it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't had any coffee for (by then) two mornings. I had DH bring me some iced tea (I was afraid coffee would be too acid) and that had enough caffeine in it to 'fix' my nausea. I then drank a cup of coffee and I was 'all better'. Still, I thought maybe that was just a freak occurrence because of the test, but I did decide to cut down my consumption. About a year later while visiting my sister (out of town) the same happened - they were out of 'regular' coffee at the hotel; I figured I'd have some at my sister's house but forgot all about it. The next morning I threw up almost as soon as I got up. This time I knew what the problem was and had DH go get me coffee. That decided me - I was GOING to quit caffeine. I cut down to one cup a day but just couldn't seem to get rid of that last cup - until I retired 4 years ago and could take my time about it. I did it very slowly and finally was able to be completely caffeine free. In the past couple of years I've allowed myself up to 2 cups of tea a day (only in the morning or it effects my sleep) and every now and then (like on vacation) I'll drink a cup of coffee. Never every day though - I don't want to go through that withdrawal again. Yes, caffeine IS a drug - and personally I choose not be be addicted to any drug, even a legal one!! - 12/21/2011   9:00:38 PM
  • 21
    Wow, great Blog! I can relate in what you say and have thought over my coffee comsumption lately. Thanks for some much needed inspiration and motivation! - 12/21/2011   8:00:41 PM
  • JULIA1154
    20
    I used to drink coffee (albeit half decaf) pretty much all day long. After some gastric issues I lost my taste for coffee and now rarely drink it, although I still LOVE the aroma. I now get my caffeine from tea but, with the same gastric issues in mind, am mindful of how much I consume. Some caffeine is healthy - needing 18 hours a day is not :) - 12/21/2011   7:36:00 PM
  • 19
    I was not addicted to coffee but to Mt. Dew. I would drink up to 5 a day. That was my diet. If I got hungry I would drink a Dew. I called it my Dew diet. I actually did lose weight too. Of course it was not the healthy way. My friend told my Dr. what I was doing(we have the same Dr.) and when I showed up at his office for an appointment with a Mt. Dew in my hand I heard an ear full. The lecture included the calories, the caffeine, and of course it not being a healthy diet. I started to have only one a day. I did that for a week or so. Then one every other day. On October 31 I had my last Mt. Dew. Do I miss it. Heck yeah. Since then I have had 1 root beer at McDonald's and one IBC Rootbeer at a party. They are caffeine free. I almost bought a 2 litre Mt. Dew today at the grocery store because it's better than having a 12 pack, but I talked myself out of it and continued walking. - 12/21/2011   7:09:18 PM
  • 18
    More power to you for your efforts!

    I gave up all caffienated soft drinks a year ago and never looked back. I also gave up coffee for 21 days in January and that was BRUTAL for me. For the first three days, I had to press my hand to my head because my headaches were so bad. It's scary how additive it is!

    I am now back to drinking coffee because I love it and in my opinion, the benefits outweigh the positives. I've heard it reduces skin cancer risk. - 12/21/2011   5:45:53 PM
  • 17
    Wishing you well on your project. I hope you can moderate but if not, then I hope you can give it up completely. - 12/21/2011   5:19:03 PM
  • 16
    I drink coffee only as a treat, buy my own organic and fair trade beans to grind myself. - 12/21/2011   5:14:53 PM
  • LORTHOM2001
    15
    yippeeeee to the need for lowered coffee (caffeine intake). I have never drunken nor do I have the desire to ever drink coffee, soda/pop/lemone ice-tea or anything like that. I drink (real) tea, tea, tea and more tea...from I was a child. I was brought up on tea. As a child it was only pepper mint or ginger tea. Then at around 25 or so, I began to drink black tea (regular tea with caffeine), but only 1 cup in the morning and that was all there was to that. The rest of the day was only herbal teas, relaxing teas or just warm water...and so it still is until this day. I could never figure out what the "rush" is to get a stinky-smelling cup of coffee?? (yuck! naw, I'm just kidding. I hate the smell of coffee that's all.) - 12/21/2011   5:14:30 PM
  • 14
    About a year and a half ago, my doctor told me I needed to cut out caffeine entirely for a 6 week period. At that time, I was drinking at least 24 oz of coffee and usually a can of Diet Coke each day. I was also noticing that I was becoming much more irritable and little things would cause me more anxiety and make me worry about how I could get things done. As I cut out the caffeine, I had a few days that I was short-tempered, but I did not have any headaches or physical symptoms of withdrawl. However, I did realize that I was becoming much more relaxed about new deadlines or challenges as they came up.

    I now limit myself to 1-2 caffinated drinks per week, and make sure I don't have anything stressful planned for that day. This has made a drastic difference to my overall wellbeing and sanity. I wish everyone else luck if you choose to make the same transition to cut back. - 12/21/2011   4:41:29 PM
  • 13
    I used to be addicted to Starbucks, preferably the caramel frappuccino (always with extra caramel & whip cream!) I don't believe I've ever really confirmed that I was specifically 'addicted' to caffeine, but I do remember the effects it had on my entire body. I remember how I used to feel uppity for a couple hours at first, & all of a sudden I would get a crash where I would end up feeling lethargic, lazy, & tired. I used to order Starbucks at least every other day in the mornings before heading to class for the day. I would be super wired & attentive in class, but once late afternoon hit, I was already wanting to hit the bed for the entire night!

    I didn't necessarily realize I was addicted to caffeine until the weight gain that came with the frappuccino, & I believe it was at that point I also realized the symptoms I was having with ingesting caffeine. While it took me over a year to fully wean myself off Starbucks, I am immensely proud of myself that I haven't drank any frappuccinos or coffees from them ever since! To get my caffeine fix if I do need it for energy, I turn to tea or Yerba Mate! (a natural caffeine-esque stimulant found in nature) - 12/21/2011   4:41:25 PM

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