I’m driving to the grocery store when I suddenly realize that the low fuel light is glowing on the dashboard. I don’t know if it just switched on or if it has been that way for a while. My fiancé had borrowed the car and had promised to stop at the gas station. I don’t have time to be angry with him because my entire body has gone into panic mode. The gas station isn’t a quarter-mile away and I get there without incident; however, as I’m pumping gas, my hands are visibly shaking.
Too Much Caffeine
I hadn’t eaten breakfast but I did have my customary two mugs of black coffee (the equivalent of my 4-cup coffee maker’s full carafe). I wouldn’t say that I felt buzzed with that much caffeine but I was a bit edgy. In the morning, my routine is – go to the bathroom, feed the cat, make coffee. The coffee wakes me up so I am alert enough to drive to the gym. When I was drinking coffee after exercising, I just didn’t feel like I was working out effectively.
For years I followed my mother’s custom of having one cup of instant coffee each morning. Once I started drinking automatic drip, I couldn’t go back to the dried crystals. One cup. Or I should say, one mug, which corresponds to two-cups (one of the reasons restaurant mugs have always bothered me). A year or so ago, I started having two mugs of coffee in the morning. The funny thing is I was one of those people who refused to drink any caffeinated beverage after 2 p.m. I was a little concerned about the caffeine, so I switched to a half-decaf blend.
Caffeine Diet Aid
I was drinking my morning coffee from 6-to-7 a.m., before breakfast. This summer, I realized that I was dragging in the early afternoon, so every so often I’d have a mug of coffee. One mug became two mugs. Every so often became every day.
Not only did I feel more alert, but I didn’t snack in the afternoon. Instead of going for a little pick-me-up treat, I had black coffee with artificial sweetener. To counteract the jittery feeling, I moved around a little more than usual. All this seemed great – increased work productivity, no aimless snacking, and added activity.
Can I Have Some Caffeine with that Caffeine?
Can we say, “Caffeine addiction?” I was able to ignore the tense feelings of caffeine coursing through my bloodstream because I was only looking at the positives. Sure, in the evening, when I crashed, I CRASHED. And I probably ate too much dinner because I was looking for energy to get me through the few hours until bed.
The funny thing is I’ve been trying to do the whole intuitive eating thing and paying attention to my body. I’ve also been trying to cue in on my emotions as I try to figure out why start binge eating. Yet, those shaking hands holding onto the gas pump told me that I haven’t been paying attention to my body. In fact, I’ve set things up so I can’t pay attention to my body at all as I buzz through my day.
I find it ironic that while reading about intuitive eating and trying to engage in mindful eating, I’ve been setting myself up to fail. My body is so stressed on caffeine that I really can’t hear what it has to say. As I get frustrated with myself for binging at night, I’ve been so caught on psychological reasoning that I totally have been ignoring the basic physical state of being over-caffeinated.