You’d think without caffeine in your daily routine that you would struggle to stay awake each and every day wouldn’t you? Well you’d be wrong! Around 4 months ago I decided that I would try an experiment in which I would wean myself off caffeine as much as I possibly could. I used to drink around 4–5 cups of caffeinated tea and occasionally I’d have a cappuccino thrown in there too every day, so from there I cut down gradually by removing the coffee entirely and replacing some of my cups of tea with decaffeinated. I didn’t really notice any difference with my body when I did this but when I cut down to having only 1 regular tea in the morning I was able to fall asleep much more easily at night as the caffeine was out of my system by this point in the day but I was still having that mid-afternoon lull in which I would’ve loved another cup of caffeine to wake me up. After 2 weeks of having only 1 cup of regular tea I then cut it entirely and moved to drinking decaffeinated tea for every cup during the day. It’s fair to say that the first week with no caffeine was no walk in the park: I suffered. Everyday I was incredibly tired and I just couldn’t shake it, this resulted in my body just shutting down and I found myself falling asleep during the day for at least an hour to recuperate. On top of the tiredness I had headaches almost everyday so I tried to fill myself up on water as much as possible in order to stay well hydrated but sometimes I just had to reach for the painkillers to get it gone. Around 8 days later I was working away and then realised that I hadn’t had a headache yet and that I wasn’t feeling tired at all! It had actually worked and since that day I haven’t had any caffeine — well that is until my mum forgot I was drinking only decaf and she bought me a pot of tea full of caffeine, safe to say my head was in agony that day with the overload and I had a bit of a buzz but thankfully it didn’t cause my body to go through the detox stage again afterwards. Going without caffeine is just a personal preference for myself and I wouldn’t necessarily tell everyone that they should stop drinking it right away as caffeine does have some benefits but I was certainly growing tired of the dependency on it and I’m sure many other people in our society are.
In addition to cutting out caffeine in my life I have cut out alcohol, the last time I was drunk was in June 2016 and I vowed that this would be the last time that I would drink again. OK OK! I did have 1 bottle of strawberry cider on the 30th of August but who’s keeping track right?! I have never enjoyed the taste of alcohol unless it tasted really fruity (hence the strawberry cider) as then it would mask the alcoholic taste and on top of that I absolutely dread the feeling of being drunk as I love to be in control at all times. I upsets me greatly when I don’t have control over my own body and I look like a binge drinker stumbling around unable to hold my own stance, so from that night in June I decided enough was enough and I wouldn’t be putting myself through it again. It is such a liberating feeling to decide that you are going to remove from something for the rest of your life that you do not enjoy in the slightest. I used to feel like the odd one out when I went out to a bar with friends as I was the one who always refused a drink but now my friends know exactly why I don’t drink and they never try to pressure me into drinking anything; I’m the one always sitting there with a glass of water in their hands.
People say that keeping the right balance and never cutting anything from your diet is the key to a happy life but I don’t necessarily see that as an anecdote that fits all. Some people have to remove key foods from their diets due to allergies or intolerances, however I’m removing items from my diet in order for me to live the happiest life that I can possibly have. Now after all that, would anyone like a decaf?