I'm a Coffee Achiever!

The word for the day is coffee.  And lots of it.

Matter of fact…..I would bathe in coffee.  Except then I'd end up in the hospital with third degree burns all over my body.  And hospital coffee is bad, yo.

It never used to be this way though.  Me + coffee, I mean.  I had disdain for coffee.  Oh, I'm not talking about all the frou frou tarted up coffee drinks that were more like dessert than beverages.  Those I was all in favor of.

But your standard "hot cuppa joe"?  Yeah, never really my thing.

MY thing was Diet Coke.  I was a hard core addict.  When I used to work from home, I would go through a 12 pack a day.  Ex-hub #3 once said that my desk was so littered with empty Diet Coke cans that it resembled a Diet Coke graveyard.

I had occasionally tried other caffeine sources.  Red Bull made me want to pull out my taste buds and stomp on them.  (Although Red Bull + Vodka = YUM!).  Little bottles of Starbucks Frappuccinos were tasty as all get out but after the time I spilled an entire bottle all over myself AND my desk I developed a bit of an aversion. (And sadly, I was NOT working from home that day so spent the rest of the day wandering around with a big ol' coffee stain on my jeans….cute!)

Now the Starbucks Doubleshots?  Mmmm…..those are a whole 'nother story.  Talk about your caffeine punch.  20 seconds after downing one of those I was bouncing off the walls.  "Okay, so you guys I just talked to this lady and she said that she wanted to do this and I told her it would be better to do that but then she said this and I said that and she said and I said and she and I and then we decided that maybe this that and the other thing and what do you all think I think maybe she might have a point but I wanted to get everyone else's thoughts just in case maybe I'm reading it wrong and OHMIGAWD guys what do you think???"  It got to the point where Barbie, a coworker and one of my bffs, told me I was no longer allowed to stop at Starbucks before coming to work.

But still.  Although I may have cast a wandering eye towards the others, my true love was always the Diet Coke.


Now I'd heard the stories about the supposed dangers of Nutrasweet.  I listened to ex hub #2 go on and on (and ON….that man never shut up about anything) about how I was poisoning myself and I was going to end up with brain tumors and a collapsed lung and a fourth arm growing out of my forehead but I didn't care cus it was yummy and I LURVED my Diet Coke and no one was going to take it away from me.

Yeah.  Fear of tumors didn't break us up.  You know what did?

Fear of being fat.  Forever.

I hear you thinking.  Diet Coke = Fat?  Let me explain.

One night, early this past summer, I was so down on myself I couldn't even breathe.  Although in many ways I feel myself to be an amazingly fabulous creature, the fact is, I weighed 212 pounds.  I was (and still am!) happy to be single and not looking to get involved with anyone but I also knew that one day, my feelings on the subject might change and if I didn't do something about my weight, I would be alone forever.  Which is great if it's by choice but not so great otherwise.

Not only that but I could feel the excess weight weighing me down.  I quit wearing high heels.  I didn't have the energy I used to.  I knew my cholesterol was bad.  And I have three amazing children and I want to be around for a long time still.  SOMEONE needs to keep an eye on them, you know?

And then, there is the Man I Adore who will now be known as the Duke of Dork.  We're not together, we never will be together, but that doesn't mean we haven't been and won’t be "together".   You know?  ::nudge nudge wink wink::

We had talked about getting together off and on during the spring but in the back on my mind, I knew there was no way I could let him see me like that.  I had to have been a good 40 pounds heavier than I was the last time we were together.

So that night, all of this crashed down on me.  And I wept.  And I felt hopeless.

What's that expression about hitting rock bottom?  Yeah.  I was there. 

Believe me, I'd tried dieting before.  I had managed to lose 30 pounds or so on Weight Watchers before the tedium of tracking points caught up with me.  Other than that, I had always eschewed fad diets.  I also stated that I was a big fan of the "Eat Sensibly and Exercise Diet".

(Errr….not that I'm saying Weight Watchers is a fad diet.  It's a great program, really.  I actually thought about going back on it but I didn't want to do it half-assed and I knew my schedule wouldn't allow meetings and I just didn't have the money to sign up for online so….there ya go)

So yeah…..Eat Sensibly and Exercise.  Great concept!  Except that it never seemed to work for me.  Without some kind of rigid structure, it was too easy for me to fall off track, telling myself, "It's okay, I'll try again tomorrow."

But…..my dear friend Barbie had recently started on Atkins and lost 10 pounds in two weeks.

Hey!  I heard that!  Please do not roll you eyes at me, you Atkins skeptics!  I too was skeptical but I also knew that I had to do something.  And this was something I hadn't tried before..

So I got the book and did some reading and did some internet research and did some talking and did some planning and decided that when I got back from my vacation to Myrtle Beach I would start on Atkins.  At least give it a try.

I knew I'd miss the rice and the potatoes and the bread and the pasta and all that good stuff but what worried me the most was having to give up caffeine and Nutrasweet…..and Diet Coke.


But I was determined to do this right.  I warned my coworkers, warned my friends, warned my coworkers, warned my friends….and my children too.  I warned them that I would be going through caffeine withdrawals, that I would have nasty headaches and would probably be just nasty in general to be around.  But that it would pass.

And it did.  It was a hellacious few days but by the fourth day, I was feeling much better.

Except…..apparently…..lack of caffeine turned me stupid.

As mentioned before, I work in a field that involves decimals and commas and dollar signs.  In other words, money.  And when mistakes are made involving money, people tend to get a little concerned.

And dude.  I was making mistakes.  A lot of them.

Midway through my second week on Atkins, when it became apparent that a pattern was starting, I began to suspect that lack of caffeine was causing the problem.  Thursday, I verbalized this concern to my manager.  Told her I was aware of the errors, that I suspected that lack of caffeine was making my mental processes sluggish and that I would figure out a solution.

On Friday of that week, coworker Cruella brought in a Rock Star energy drink for Chilly Willy.  (Apparently before I joined the department, they had bonded over Rock Stars.)  Chilly Willy was out that day so she left it with me and asked me to give it to her on Monday.

So it sat on my desk.

And then, yet another error was brought to my attention.

I was done.  As much as I wanted to be thin (or at least, not fat) it was more important that I keep my job.

So I did it.  I drank Chilly Willy's Rock Star. 

And it was GOOD.  So much tastier than Red Bull.

(Thankfully, that was a sugar free, low carb drink, sweetened with sucralose, not Nutrasweet.  I might have abstained otherwise)

And it was decided.  I needed to get back on the buzz. 

I did a little more reading and found out the latest version of Atkins states that some caffeine is okay.  But they still no-no the Nutrasweet.


Unfortunately, did you know there are very few widely available diet soft drinks that do contain caffeine and do not contain Nutrasweet?  Yeah.

So, given that I didn't think it would be healthy to maintain a Rock Star habit, I decided I would just have to develop a taste for coffee.

And man, have I ever!  Even just plain ol' regular coffee from the office coffee pot, lightened with plain ol' regular unflavored cream.  It's become nectar to me.  So yes, I realize I've replaced one addiction with another but at least I'm back to being not-stupid and also, I've lost 25 pounds in about three months.

So, you know….SCORE.

I've found out a couple of other things.

1)      Nutrasweet is bad, mm'kay?  I went out one night with my friend Lola Granola and had a few Diet Coke and vodkas.  Had the worst headache the next day and logic would tell you it was a hangover except I don't get hungover, especially not from vodka, plus I hadn't had that much to drink, PLUS even if I had, even my worst hangovers don't last all farking day, damnit!  The conclusion I reached is that it was a Nutrasweet hangover and after talking to a friend of mine who had also recently kicked Nutrasweet, I was convinced.  That stuff is poison and I'm not even kidding. (As further evidence, I had a Diet Coke Sunday when I took the kids to Kings Dominion and sure thing, headache all day Monday)
2)      Alcohol, while not bad (on the contrary, it is very very good) does not like me.  Or maybe my body doesn't like it.  My first four weeks on Atkins, I didn't drink at all.  And I lost 12 pounds.  My next four weeks I resumed my normal drinking ways (two to three nights a week I'd have between one tothree drinks).  And during those four weeks, I lost about four pounds.  So I cut out the booze again and lost six pounds in two weeks.  That's conclusive enough for me.  I'm not saying I won't drink at all but I have cut WAY back.  Pretty much, unless I'm out dancing, I'm not drinking.

So that's where I am now.  Completely readdicted to caffeine but losing weight at a steady pace.  And bonus, I'm completely wired!  And this isn't a bad thing.

Cus you know, given the choice, I'd rather bounce off the walls than walk into them.



Cat said...
October 15, 2010 at 7:20 PM

If I developed an aversion to everything I'd ever spilled all over my pants, I'd never eat or drink. Anything. Ever.

Krumpet said...
October 16, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Good thing I didn't know about the being fat means being alone rule. I guess I have to break up now.

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