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What the heck was I thinking?

Posted on January 11, 2019

What the heck was I thinking?

What the heck was I thinking?

Almost as an afterthought, I decided to give up caffeine for my New Year’s resolution. Many of you know, while not a coffee drinker, I love my Yerba Mate tea. I love the taste (following the traditional preparation: the cool “gourd” and metal filter straw) and the caffeine boost I get every morning.

I never drank coffee because I never wanted to NEED coffee like so many of my friends. For years, I drank green tea before discovering Yerba Mate. Besides the boost, you get a ton of antioxidants and other good stuff. When I started drinking tea, coffee was far from a healthy habit to start. Recent research is beginning to show that coffee does provide some excellent health benefits as long as you don’t overdo it.

So, Matt, why the heck would you give up caffeine? I found the more I traveled and the more exhausted I felt going from one time zone to the next, the more I relied on drugs to keep me going, especially traveling to eastern time zones. I would load up on Mate in the hotel room then brew another cup during my training and drink it throughout the day. After training, I always felt what I call “wired and tired.” A beer or two might help bring me down, and I felt like I needed melatonin at night.

My habits were not problems, but I realized I was using certain substances (benign as they were) to help manage the effects of other substances. Over the holidays I asked, do I really NEED to consume so much caffeine and, if not, why do I rely on it so much? I started the New Year off with full-day trainings on the 3rd and 4th and, for the first time, did it sans the caffeine.

Results, I’m just as manic and crazy as ever! The “wired and tired” feeling lessened and I slept much better. I never overreact to outcomes so soon on a new journey, but I survived and felt less exhausted after the trainings. After 10 days, who knows if it’ll become a permanent thing, however; once I go for something, I usually stick with it.

I’m interested, did you set any New Year’s resolutions?

6 responses to “What the heck was I thinking?”

  1. Hannah S. says:

    Matt, you’re brave for giving up caffeine! I mentioned I was looking into Intermittent Fasting, and while I started it over the holidays, since the New Year, I’ve committed to it fully, and am already noticing some differences! I also made a resolution to be a conscious, or mindful, parent and have been consuming all the info I can about it. Cheers to a great year!

    • Matthew Bennett says:

      Awesome Hannah. Give me an updates on the fasting. It is fun to hear so many of my readers are trying it out. So far I’m only hearing about dropping pounds and feeling better!

  2. Terry Barlow says:

    I have to laugh because I just STARTED drinking coffee. Consciously. For years I drank about 4 Diet Cokes every morning and about 5 years ago, said to myself, “What was I thinking?” I rationalized that it was my one vice and that with my hectic days, it helped get me through the mornings. (I’m not a morning person!) It took some time after reading tons of information on the effects of Aspartame but I finally did it, I weaned myself off one Diet Coke at a time, replacing each with the equivalent in Earl Gray Tea. Over time, I got down to 1 24-oz. Iced Tea per day. I thought that was good and I was at the end of the caffeine journey. Then a friend urged me to try an Iced Vanilla Latte. Why??? WHY???

    Well, I have succumbed to coffee. However, I will say that in the effort towards being mindfully less unhealthy, my morning Latte consists of coffee, vanilla, coconut milk and Stevia.

    I have come to realize that a simple morning drink can consume a large portion of our thoughts and our days! 😀

    • Matthew Bennett says:

      Terry, pat yourself on the back my friend! You kicked a very difficult Diet Coke habit. Even your morning Latte is so much healthier. I gave up perfection a long time ago and look for small steps. I’ve taken many big steps! So enjoy that morning cup and think about how much healthier it is than those Cokes!

  3. Beth says:

    I’ve been consistently working out for the past year or so about 2-4 days a week. I thought I’d give myself a little challenge. 21 days of consecutive workouts! I’m on day 5.

    What it means for me is:

    My 14 year old gets himself to school. Not a biggie, but I feel soooo guilty. It’s literally a half mile from my house.
    Waking up at 5:15. The only way I can workout and succeed is to get up and do it first thing. Otherwise, it will never happen.
    But this sets off a whole chain of events of prep work the night before.
    Laying out my workout clothes.
    Packing work clothes, shoes, dress, sweater. What have you. My gym is at my job.
    Making lunches for my son and I. I figure it’s the least I can do since I’m making him walk.
    I’m too tired to cook when I get home after work and I’m trying to eat healthier, so I usually pre plan and make meals on the weekend. My Sunday is a nightmare. Though I’ve found lots of shortcuts for healthy meals.

    Benefits:
    I’m early for work, I’m focused when I get there and energetic.
    Im sleeping like a baby. Literally!!! It’s nice.

    And Gwyneth Paltrow thinks “wellness is free”. I have a few choice words for her.

    Congrats Matt and to all of those who have made choices to better or challenge themselves. Lifestyle changes are hard to make. (As most of our clients can attest) Goals are important to have. Whether it’s short or long term.
    It’s a world of self discovery. It will be fun for me to see if I’m able to sustain it.

    • Matthew Bennett says:

      Awesome Beth! Reading your response I see two things. First, great job integrating one of the most important self-care strategies: exercise! Second, research demonstrates that healthy and successful people apply a high level of discipline to their lives and work. I love how you integrated a whole range of practices to maximize your success. Count me as a cheerleader!

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