I have people say to me all the time “but I love the smell of morning coffee”. Yeah, me too. And bacon. And donuts. And a turkey cooking on thanksgiving morning. Just because you like the smell of something does not mean you have to have it every day.
I often drive past a coffee shop and think “maybe I’ll stop for coffee”. It was a habit I indulged in several times a day for YEARS. I get it, it’s a hard habit to break. But I’m going to tell you honestly, I have not been to a coffee shop since before the pandemic. I’ve thought about it. But the reason I don’t do it is not to set an example. It’s not because I’m trying to convince others to cut back on caffeine. It’s because I look inside myself and make a decision. “Nah, I’m okay” is always the answer.
That Morning Coffee (or Afternoon Coffee) Craving
There is a risk/reward analysis going on inside my head that goes through the factors:
Do I need a lift?
How long is the line?
Is it worth $5 a drink?
Am I really thirsty? Or hungry?
What would I want?
I’ve got the ability to really analyze what I need. Before it would have ended with question one. Yeah, I need a lift. Because I ran around in a perpetual state of exhaustion that required I feed my caffeine addiction at regular intervals.
A new coffee chain opened in my area and the lines are crazy long. I mean around the building and through the parking lot. And I really want to try them to see what all the fuss is about. They have been in business 6 months and I still haven’t tried them.
I even looked at their menu online to see what they offered that was so great everyone would wait in line for it. They offer a lot of sugar and above average caffeine content. So I get why the lines are so long. 2 years ago I would have been in that line. And honestly, eventually I will try them. But I won’t wait in that line to do it. It will have to be on a day when I see no line and I have nothing better to do than satisfy my curiosity.
Skipping The Morning Coffee Benefits
And not being in those lines every day has saved me alot of money. I was spending well over $200 a month on visits to get drive-thru coffee. Plus the cost of k-cups and premium ground beans (I used both commerical and refillable k-cups for my machine). I consumed a lot of caffeine. More than average. In fact, 3x what the FDA considers the safe limit was my “normal” day. And right up until I decided to cut back I would have argued that I “needed” that caffeine. That I could not get through a day without it.
It is only now that I’m not dependent on caffeine anymore that I can see how bad things were at that time. And it was only because it got so bad I knew I needed to make a change that I would consider not making excuses anymore.
And full transparency, I didn’t give up that mornning coffee completely. I still drink coffee occassionally. When I want to. Not when I need to. And not every day. Not even every week. I drink a lot more water and a lot less coffee and still feel great. I have my natural energy back. When I do consume morning coffee, or anytime coffee, it is as a tool to give me a little extra boost for a busy time. Or as a “treat” that feels and tastes good.
I still love the smell of coffee in the morning. The only difference is I feel good before deciding if I want to drink it instead of drinking it to feel better.