Caffeine: Why I Stopped Using

I have been addicted to caffeine for 11 years. Everyday for 11 years. Picture a little baby face on its way to high school at 8:00 am with a Starbucks in hand. 😳 I know, right. 

As a kid, I started out slow. A mocha here, a caramel latte there… but it wasn’t before long that I discovered espresso at 15 years old. By my early 20s, I was downing 10 espressos a day. Hell, one month I was downing 10 espressos a day.

So what happened a month ago? I was browsing through a bookstore and picked up a guide on healthy living with PCOS.

I was diagnosed with PCOS at 19 years old. PCOS can vary from person to person (see symptoms here), but as far as I’m concerned my symptoms were never that bad. I mean, sure, I had a little chunk around the middle, my mood was a rollercoaster, and I had ridiculous sleeping crashes after almost every meal… but none of these symptoms really bothered me that much. Until…

HAIR LOSS. 👴🏻 That’s right. Over the last few months, I have noticed a RECEDING HAIRLINE, which has been kindly confirmed by my mother, sister and hairdresser. (My boyfriend strategically has not noticed🤔).

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After necessary research, I discovered that my poor hairline was in fact a victim of PCOS and constituted the female equivalent to male pattern baldness (*dying*).

So what was my solution? 

My research revealed that the symptoms of PCOS are exacerbated by blood sugar spikes. In eliminating most forms of carbohydrates from the diet, a person suffering from PCOS could essentially, over time, reverse the symptoms.

But carbs were not the only culprit… I also learned that caffeine can wreak havoc on your blood sugar.

Think about it. 10 espressos a day. Each day. Little did I know, I might as well have been eating cupcakes all day! And I thought I was being healthy… 🙄

So I set myself up with a plan to quit caffeine entirely. I knew I had a fair amount of withdrawal symptoms ahead of me (only 11 years worth), so I wanted it to do it right.👊🏻

  • Week 1: quit coffee. Replace coffee with a maximum of two matcha lattes or green teas daily.
  • Week 2: quit all forms of caffeine.

I am currently at the end of week 4. Can I be real for a sec? It’s been hella hard. I mean, I know it’s not like being homeless hard, but quitting caffeine is way more than just a physical battle for me. Coffee has always been more than just a drink- I’ve used it as a crutch for years! Sad? Caffeine. Happy? Caffeine. Stressed? Caffeine. Reward? Caffeine. Cold? Hot coffee. Friend date? Coffee shop. Studying? More caffeine. ☕️☕️☕️☕️

I would even use coffee to diet. Every time I wanted a snack or treat, I would just satisfy my craving with coffee. 

Caffeine was my first response to a dozen different emotions and almost every new situation.

Yes it’s a socially acceptable drug, but it is still a drug. Would I have quit if I didn’t have PCOS? Hell to the no! But that’s not my reality.

Since quitting caffeine a 3 weeks ago, I am surprised at how challenging it has been and that challenge has been a true wake up call. Are there additional reasons, other than just blood sugar spikes, that I should be giving up the caffeine?  Even something harmless can become harmful when used to fuel an addiction.

 – Queen Real