Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sugar Addict

I've discovered that I'm not really addicted to caffeine. For the past fifteen years I've been under the impression that I was and I usually drink no less than a pot of coffee a day. But what I'm really addicted to is the sugar I put in my coffee. How do I know this? Because I stopped putting sugar in my coffee. And I stopped craving coffee.

I've had only a few days in the past few weeks that I put sugar in my coffee. On those days I drank my "normal" amount of coffee. The rest of the time I've drank my coffee black. On those days, I've been drinking 3-4 cups of coffee, max. And I'm not craving it at all. Today is a good example of my new normal. By 8:30 this morning, I had been up for about 3 hours and I wasn't even halfway through my second cup of coffee. Previously by that time I would have consumed at least three cups, and I would have only been up for maybe an hour and a half.

I've been reading lately about all the negative health risks associated with high sugar consumption, not the least of which is cancer. Diabetes and hypertension are also risks. Visiting Ninny in Maryland last week and seeing how hard she's fighting cancer had an impact. Because here's the thing that struck me, as far back as I can remember, she's smoked and drank coffee by the pot. Coffee that was doctored up just like I love mine to be, with sugar and milk. Now, no doubt that her smoking has not done her a bit of good and very well could be a contributing factor in her cancer. But I have to believe it's more than just that. I have to believe it's a whole lifestyle choice that contributes even more.

While I've never smoked, in the past fifteen years I've consumed way too much sugar and other processed food and managed to avoid both consistent exercise and fresh fruits and vegetables. I've always proclaimed that I'd rather have no coffee at all than to drink it black. I guess I'm changing my mind on that. Just for today, I'll drink my coffee black and be grateful that I'm doing something good for my body. Just for today, I'll get in thirty minutes of some sort of exercise and use my body for what it's designed for. And just for today, I'll make a point to eat at least one fruit and one vegetable that I washed the dirt off of. I'm hoping that if I string enough "todays" together that I'll change my future.