Saturday, March 5, 2016

Life doesn't end without coffee

Seriously.

For decades I have been a HUGE coffee drinker. My husband and I often joke about the time when we were first together we had "his and hers" coffee pots. Mine was black and his was white! We both drank a pot a day!! But he drank his black and I drank mine white (creamer). As time went on, we lessened it to a pot between us and eventually, I took it to 1 to 2 cups a day. He always drank his black until I made him a creamer snob!

I have been "McDougalling" since Oct 2006 and I was successful for the first 2.5 yrs.....getting down to within 7 pounds of my goal weight. Life happened...I had another kid, went through a very sick thyroid gland with ultimate surgery....but the coffee remained stable in my life. About 2.5 yrs ago I began having strange IBS symptoms about once per day...I won't go into details because they're gross (pm me if you want details), but they were odd to say the least and never ever did I expect coffee to be the culprit.

In September of 2015 I got very sick and by the end of October had my gallbladder removed by emergency surgery after a second trip by ambulance to the ER in as many days! Once I realized it was gallbladder, I assumed my strange IBS symptoms would go away and I could happily go back to drinking my beloved coffee.....after all, coffee is the life source right? Life isn't worth living without coffee. Right? Nope, the symptoms came back and I continued to struggle with this way of eating....cravings, on and off plan, I'd lose weight only to regain it.....this stupid circle again and again....for years.

Now of course, I didnt drink my coffee black....I had creamer. I only once measured my amount and it was always over the serving size despite how much it "looked" like the right amount. Anyway....one day about a month ago I had this thought that coffee was the culprit....I had also listened to Dr. M's talk on inflammatory arthritis and oils and a light bulb kind of went off.....the coffee creamers contained added oils....sigh <<<< facepalm So two things, IBS caused by the coffee and my inability to fully get rid of this joint pain due to the oil in the creamer (plus a few other odds and ends exceptions I made routinely) >>>>>double.....no triple faceplam.

I tapered down my coffee and planned to give up the rest cold turkey on our 4 day President's weekend holiday, which only ended up being 3 days for me as one of my school districts was in session and I drove the bus....

I had a bad joint day on that Saturday, so I ended up taking a vicodin and just chilled out....My headache was minimal when that wore off and I went to bed early. I have not had a single headache from caffeine withdrawal once!

And miraculously my joints stopped hurting 3 days later and I HAVE NOT HAD A SINGLE CRAVING FOR ANYTHING OFF PLAN SINCE!!!!! I'm kind of floored, but shouldn't be. It's been 3 weeks and I have had no trouble staying on plan and my so called "hypoglycemia" I used to get DAILY is now fully gone!!!! I think that was "cravings or so called toxic hunger" or the addicted side of my brain telling me I needed something, anything, well anything unhealthy is the only thing to solve it.....

I can say this is THE BEST THING EVER!!!! Well except for this way of eating....Not only did my life not end when I stopped drinking coffee, it actually made it better. I fall asleep faster, I wake better, now I'm no morning person , but who could be at 445 am? But I don't drag out of bed....on the weekends I'm finding I don't really need my weekend alarm to go feed the horses....I used drag out of bed, throw clothes and boots on and groggily hobble out to the barn and throw hay then hobble back to bed to sleep till 9 or 10 am easily. My weekend alarm was set for 730.....this morning I woke up at 615 with no alarm and was ready to go!!!! I find my energy stays mostly stable during the day and I am ready for bed by about 9pm and fall asleep within 20 minutes or so.


And the weight is falling off of me! 2 Saturdays ago I bought a size smaller jeans and yesterday I realized they are now too big...I can pull them down WITHOUT unbuttoning them!! Oh who is this??? In the past 4 weeks I have lost 10.2 pounds....1.6lbs before giving up coffee then 2.2lbs, 2lbs, and this week 4.4lbs. I count not a single calorie and I eat mostly starches with some veggies thrown in and maybe a fruit a day (usually early in the am because now I'm hungry early but from 445 to about 830 I'm busy doing school bus stuff) My favorite meal is oats and hash browns. I eat the oats while the others are cooking.

The only thing I miss sometimes is something hot in the mornings. I now drink a caffeine free herbal tea, peach is my favorite, but mostly I just drink ice water with lemon..I also drink way more water now....

So I write this for those who struggle to stay on plan, for those who say they can't get over some cravings. I also write this for those who say these small exceptions don't do any damage or anything at all. Sometimes they are just masked for a long time...

One more thing I forgot, sorry this whole thing is long.......but I have been tapering down my proton pump inhibitor for months....I tried quitting cold turkey, but apparently when you do that you get symptoms very similar to a heart attack!! Seriously the most scary thing I have endured, even over my gallbladder surgery. Until I quit coffee, I was still getting break through acid attacks. I haven't had a single one since. I am now skipping 3 days at a time and in another week plan to skip 4 days. No one, no doctor or pharmacists told me I had to taper these awful meds. :(

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