I recently gave up coffee on the advice of people who should know what they’re talking about. I was told it could be fucking with my pH balance. That the body stores extra acid as fat. That it could be causing me anxiety and fatigue. And that it could be contributing to my chronic dehydration. Etcetera. Etcetera!
Well, I thought, I am pretty cranky, generally, even when I’m blissfully happy, and I have been for as long as I can remember. I nap every day like a grandpa. I teach hot yoga and live in Florida and drink beer and am always, always thirsty. So, what the hell, I thought. It might be fun to kick a habit.
I’ve been an enthusiastic coffee consumer since I was 13. I started on General Foods International Coffee Suisse Mocha Café like the rest of my family and steadily moved up to mainlining espresso. I’ve thought of the year as having two seasons: coffee and iced coffee. And I don’t like to give things up.
But, I did it. And the only negative has been the mild disapproval of my friends and family, who act like I’m a traitor to one of the lesser causes. My friend Megs said, “What’re you, British now?” because I was having elevenses. Just kidding. I was only having afternoon tea with cucumber sandwiches and a Victoria sponge. Isn’t it funny that Brits say “elevenses?” Is that more or less weird than combining breakfast and lunch into brunch?
Anyway, it’s the same as when you give up anything else. If you abstain from eating meat, people tend to take offense, assuming you’re judging them (to be fair, we usually are). Beer drinkers are unlikely to toast your new temperance. Smokers have heard it all before. And coffee lovers are disdainful of the thought of a life off the drip. We are defensive about our habits. I know. But, I feel better having quit the coffee. And when I taste it now, it doesn’t even seem that good anymore. (<—traitor)
I was going to write a different post today. Another, “for your own good, try it” entry, that was annoying me even as I wrote it. But now I’m on a roll. If you feel like you might be better off without coffee, just give it a try. The worst that could happen is you suffer a blinding migraine and wreck your car. And if you wear board shorts to class, try wearing something stretchy instead. Guys and lesbians, I understand. I used to wear them, too. But they’re really awful for yoga. Unless they’re these:
An often used, end-of-class Emerson quote seems to fit here.
“Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.”