My firefighter stopped drinking coffee.
THAT is a very bold statement from someone who works at a super busy inner city engine house that takes over 6000 runs a year. In fact on his last shift, he was on the medic and did not lay down for sleep until 5:15 am. (which at that point you can hardly call sleep). Back in the day that might have been called a really rockin’ night on the town. But by the time you hit your 40’s, it could mean ruin for your next 2 days off before coming back on shift.
But I have to say I am SO PROUD of him for what he is doing.
Here’s a little background story…..
I tried out coffee in college. Until I realized driving home from an early morning class that if they had a test for driving under the influence of coffee, I would FAIL. My racing heart and inability to focus eyes made me feel dangerous behind a wheel after drinking coffee. So I never drank it again. But after my 4th child was born, Starbucks had entered its glory years and coffee became quite the social phenomenon, I succumbed. It’s delicious! And having that warm sweet drink every morning was one little slice of heaven in my crazy world with 4 children ages 7 and under and working a full time job that frequently took me overseas. (Not to mention you can barely step foot in a European country without sipping an espresso with a someone.)
But it was shortly after that time that I began to take my family on a journey of cleaning up our diets. I started watching documentaries about what’s going on with our food and seeing symptoms in my children that I could not stand. So we slowly eliminated high fructose corn syrup, gluten and other genetically modified foods on a journey towards cleaner living. But the coffee remained.
Finally, after cleaning up nearly everything in my diet, I realized that irregular sleeping patterns and heart palpitations were NOT right and the coffee must go. After a 28 day cleanse, I was down to only decaf. Just craving the sweet warm drink each morning but nearly 100% caffeine free. (yes I realize decaf still has a little caffeine)
That’s my story. But what about my firefighter?
A couple months ago, I watched him spend 3 days in a row being grouchy and sleeping on the couch all day. I didn’t think much of it because we were in a rough busy season and he’d had some bad nights at the station. On day 3, I asked him if he wanted me to make him a pot of coffee. His response “No, I stopped drinking it 3 days ago.”
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.
Did he really just say that? And how do I go 3 days without noticing? And why didn’t he tell me? I must have been killing him with my sweet cups of decaf lying around. And the kicker….
Isn’t that just like a stubborn “I can do anything” firefighter to just drop caffeine cold turkey and suffer through the side effects?
(there are easier step down methods in case anyone was wondering)
But the point remained. He was taking a step towards a healthier lifestyle and I couldn’t have loved him more for doing that for himself and our family. Ok then. Me too. Water it is. I don’t even want to tempt you with a decaf. I’m done.
So it’s been about 2 months and we are both holding strong.
So strong that we can even treat ourselves to the occasional Starbucks Grande-Decaf-Sugar-Free-Soy-Vanilla-Latte without falling off the wagon.
And the guys are the station have been so awesome. Because you all know there’s always a fresh pot of coffee brewing at a firehouse. One guy bought him a case of hot chocolate as an alternative and tries to always make sure there’s a pot of decaf if he wants some.
My drink alternatives have been an occasional hot chocolate but more often Apple Cider Vinegar, Hot Water and Raw Honey (google it….super awesome health benefits).
So, why deny ourselves such a delicious “in crowd” beverage? These days isn’t that a bit like being those extremist religious zealots who won’t touch a drop of alcohol?
Well, sort of. I do believe God is calling us to live an “uncommon life.” There are 2 driving points for us.
#1 We want to be in control of our lives and not feel so compelled and addicted to NEED something so badly everyday.
#2 Our health. Period. If you want to read more, check out this post by Dr. Mark Hyman.
I’m also a big fan of Jeff Goins who is a writer and inspiring blogger. He has given up coffee for Lent and wrote another great perspective on his over-reliance on coffee when so many places in the world don’t even have fresh drinking water.
So there you have it. 2+ months of nearly zero coffee. (and if any of you guys at his firehouse want to squeal on him, you know where to find me 🙂 )
Here’s to YOUR health!
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