Me, Myself & I

Fizz and Coffee Free – Anxiety Challenge

So the other month I decided to set myself the challenge of going 21 days without meat (here) because I didn’t particularly enjoy eating meat. 3 weeks ago I set myself a similar challenge where I would go 21 days without fizzy pop and coffee.

I’ve known for a very long time that caffeine contributes highly to anxiety and panic attacks and yet I’d slowly creeped back into the habit of having 2 or 3 cans of Pepsi or Cola and at least 1 coffee a day (sometimes up to 3). I figured I wouldn’t find it too difficult since becoming vegetarian was really easy for me.

Man was I wrong! These 3 weeks I have felt so drained I thought after 10 days or so I’d be okay but today is day 23 and I am still so tiered. I guess I’d really come to rely on those little boosts more than I thought. My energy levels have never been so low and that has had a knock on affect on my moods. I’ve been feeling no get up and go for my novel, my blog and getting through a workday leaves me drained. I know this will pass given more time but it really highlighted how much I must’ve been relying on all this to get me through just an average day.

I also found for a week or so my anxiety got worse. I seemed to get really bad chest pains and palpitations and a couple of times I was really worried about this and considered going to A&E. I knew the pop and the coffee was a lot of caffeine to drink daily but I didn’t think my body would react so strongly to coming off it. I feel a lot better on that score now, I haven’t had chest pains for over a week so maybe it was just a sudden shock. Now that it’s evened out I can see why they tell you to really monitor caffeine when you have anxiety after the initial reaction my body had my mind is now a lot clearer and calming.

My biggest issue with the challenge was cravings though, unlike with the meat free challenge I have craved these every day especially fizzy pop. I’ll get home from work and my partner will have a cold glass of cola before his dinner, even though I hate full fat pop it takes all my self control not to guzzle it all! Also I was used to having a flavoured coffee at work every morning I’d then sometimes have one on Lunch and then again in the mid afternoon – the morning one especially is one I’m missing that would often be enough to get me going enough to find momentum!

I will say I do feel a lot more hydrated now as I’ve swapped to normal water or fruit infused water. My skin even feels a little better, I’ve never had terrible skin but I feel a lot less spots and my main issue was my skin tends to get dry super easy and that’s eased a lot.

I feel like this has maybe come across a bit negative but I’m actually really glad I did it. It sounds silly saying it’s been difficult but it really has been. I’m wanting to get to a place where I’m really looking after myself and doing it in a way that feels effortless but at first I’m probably going to set myself these little challenges where I focus on one area at a time. I read somewhere once that it takes 21 days to create a habit and though I do still crave coffee and pop I think it would take a lot for me to give in and drink it again knowing now how it’s affected me. As I have quite a competitive nature to though I’m not competing with anyone looking at it as a timed challenge is almost a guarantee for me to stick to it.

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7 thoughts on “Fizz and Coffee Free – Anxiety Challenge

  1. Wow. That is really great, you really put your all into it. Giving up anything that’s become a part of your life and routine is a hard thing to do, some good self-control to not give in when it could’ve been so easy to.
    I’ve cut out red meat for health reasons and then eventually want to turn vegetarian but I know cutting something out all at once causes a relapse and can be hard so trying to cut down and experiment at a steady pace.
    Looking forward to more of your challenges ๐Ÿ˜
    Laura,
    @LauraSpoonie
    lauraspoonie.wordpress.com
    ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒŒ

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time out to read and to comment โค I decided to give up red meat about 5 years ago because it seemed to be makiny me physically sick so the other month when I did my 21 days meat free challenge it was more about cutting out chicken and fish. I hope you’re doing well with cutting it out and that its helped you feel a little better

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  2. Well done for challenging yourself!, Iโ€™m not surprised you had withdrawal symptoms even though you donโ€™t drink much caffeine or pop, cutting out tea or coffee can cause really bad headaches too so Iโ€™m not surprised it affected your mood. I hope you are still feeling better for it and reaping the benefits ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Did you stop the caffeine cold turkey? Do they say “cold turkey” where you live? Here is means all at once… Anyways! If you cut out all the caffeine all at once, your body is definitely in shock since it was so used to such a high level. Your body is going through withdraw symptoms. I had to cut out caffeine when I was pregnant and it was HORRIBLE lol I did wean myself off it slowly, but still suffered the fatigue and headaches for 2 weeks.

    I try and limit my caffeine intake. I have two cups of coffee per day, one in the morning and one in the evening. It is hard not to go overboard some days lol

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    1. lol yes we say cold Turkey over here and I did indeed quit this way. I think I figured cold turkey would be okay because I was in such denial about just how much I was consuming boy was my body ready to give me a wake up call and reality check on that one! This weekend I have jumped right back into the fizzy pop and I’m a little disappointed in myself but I’m back on track now sipping a decaf cappucino as I type

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