Caffeine, Depression, Sugar, etc

I gave up caffeine about a month ago.    Its been a bumpy ride.

Here is where I’m at:


I’m about 1 month plus into caffeine withdrawal.. and supposedly it takes that long for a body’s sleep cycles to adjust.  I’m definitely feeling better this week, but part of that could also be:  I cancelled most of life.  I’m not going to try to train for the Half Marathon anymore, I’m not trying to be productive in the evenings, I’m just going to work getting it done, get home, and zonk out to some PC games.


  • Not to be confused with life-crippling, stay-in-bed, I don’t want to live depression that some of my friends have. 
  • Also not to be confused with “I want to sit in my pity pot and whine” whine-pression.
  • But a definite marked “down-ness”, nothing feels “exciting” anymore, I have no desire to do anything, I’d rather just sleep and watch TV (be entertained) all day.

Also leading to: “what if I change this will I feel better” and “what if I change that will I feel better” — see last two posts on sleep schedules. (note: neither one really worked).


Always fun when it dawns.  In this case, I did my standard exercise when faced with something not feeling right inside me:   I took a blank sheet of paper, drew a big box on it, and gave myself permission to be as negative as I wanted to be, within that box.     Out came a ton of little messages like “I’m worthless”, “I’ll never be able to do X”, “I’m not useful”, etc —  maybe in a bit harsher language, but along those lines.

After that past, I was able to look at the box with a clean, calm mind, and pose the question: what now [God]? What do you need me to know and/or do?

And the answer came back rather easily:

  • Maybe I have been subsituting sugar for caffeine in an attempt to cope.
  • And maybe I am currently in adrenal fatigue.  [Note: I don’t mean the medical term.  I just mean that my body ain’t right.  the “feel” of the words adrenal fatigue matches my emotion]
  • I may need to change my sugar intakes.


Never jump straight from awareness to action – especially not against well-entrenched habits like what you eat, sleep cycles, and stuff like that.  Sit with it a while, let it sink in, collect data – see what the reality is.  Then the decisions are made from “it has to be this way” (certainity) rather than “I’m going to try my hardest” [and fail] (ego/intent).

Part 1 – collect data on sugar habits.

Eating Habits

I started on Saturday.   I’m taking to getting out of bed (when the cat wakes me), turning on the S.A.D. light, and entering my food for the previous day.. and looking at finances and other stuff like that. (and facebook).  Here is what I’ve logged:


Because I am actually logging it, that does affect my decisions on what I eat.   Its less than what it has been in the weeks past, but as I can see, them sugars are crossing the 100 mark all the time.. and a lot of fuel is coming from carbs rather than fat.    Now, I’m not a dietician, but I know I can do better than two donuts for breakfast in the morning (Sunday, Wednesday) and a crap-ton of bread (wheat) (I don’t do well with wheat).

But why?   I’m not feeling as bad as I once was.  For that, I need to look out to the future:  What do I want to do?


Somebody I looked up to, once clued me in that if I’m envious of somebody or something, it probably means I want to do that .. that’s a dream inside me.  Maybe I’m scared of doing it and thus I won’t recognize it, and instead I’ll be annoyed at those who do actually do it.  Avoidance things like that. 

What has been pinging me lately?  Let me count the ways:

Dream Extent How do I know this to be true?
Run a Marathon. 26.2 miles, at least once. Every time I see a 26.2 sticker on a car.
Every time I hear of people I know doing it.
Run a 5k faster Under 25 minutes.  Currently at 30.  My best ever was 24:50.  Listening to people talking about running them in 22 or so – I would like to do that.
Bike decently. A century, at 15mph or better. Every time RAGBRAI gets mentioned. (I have biked a century before, but more at 8-10 mph avg).
Triathalon The smallest possible one.
Swimming is my weakness.
At least two friends whom I am slightly envious of.
Lose Weight down to 155 lbs, which is the weight at which I can easily take my shirt of, and there’s no pot belly. I was at 159.5 once.  It was wonderful.  Currently at 175.
Finish some damned fun coding projects. Facebook catcher-upper
Chore-Ban (new)
Burn-it (shelved)
Envy when I realize I couldn’t get to the local monthly code mash-up. 
Envy when I hear my co-workers talk about the fun code they’ve been working on.
Travel First the USA – out west, mostly. Whenever we realize we can’t go somewhere because of X,Y or Z reason
Whenever I look up how much time off I have available for the rest of the year.

Road Map

The nice thing is, a lot of these dreams are completely realizable and doable.  But not all right now.   There is a stepping order to it:


Now is not the time for me to work on the “larger” time sink items – but I definitely can make it a point to join my beautiful wife in going to the YMCA.

  • We get to spend time together!   I’m not robbing relationship time for workout time.
  • Currently on Tuesday, Thursday, and once over the weekend.
  • Last night I ran a 28’ 5k, though it was on a treadmill.

I’m not saying anything about the nutrition yet.  I’m not there yet. 

One More Aspect

A lady I respect pulled me aside, and told me that her husband asked his doctor about his lack of energy.  Turns out.. testosterone levels.  I am 42 (almost).. there maybe be a component involved; maybe I’ve been trying to mask that with caffeine and sugar all along.  Will ask doctor to check next time. 

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