Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Abstinence makes the heart grow... healthier!

I like to think that I have very few vices!
Stop giggling!

I am sad to say that  I stopped smoking 4 years ago. I could tell you the months, days, hours and seconds too if you like, that's how much I miss it. I bloody loved smoking! Everything about it was seductive to me and after 16 years of the addiction I finally and with a very heavy heart gave it up. I was bullied really by my nephews. After them nagging me for months I told them I would give up smoking forever if they would go to bed before 8:30 for a week. I think they may have got  the better end of the deal! I still think about cigarettes and dream that I have started smoking again and sometimes when someone is walking past me with a freshly lit Marlboro Light I have been very close to snatching it out of their slightly yellowing fingers and taking a long, deep inhale on the thing! I have to say, quitting smoking was the hardest thing I have ever done and because it is massively bad for you, I would never ever start again. If I had even one tiny puff I know I would be hooked again instantly. You can't work that hard on something to just throw it all away can you?

Now the reason I am telling you this sad little tale of my nicotine addiction of old, is because I have been thinking about  the fact that a year ago today I gave up drinking coffee and diet Coke and eating crisps. Odd things to give up,  I know, but I will enlighten you!

I can't say that I was a coffee addict really but I did like a cup mid morning and a cup after dinner. But I drank the strong, black kind with a heaped teaspoonful of sugar that went half way up the handle too! The decision to give it up came when I was in Morocco. The villa where we stayed was pretty much stimulant free  but on our days off we ventured out into the real world to get our fixes, and for me that was a nice cup of strong, black coffee. Well any of you who have had a cuppa joe in Morocco can testify to the fact that strong is an understatement when it comes to their coffee. Delicious! That is until my heart started beating triple time and I got the shakes and the sweats and I went into full anxiety attack mode. It was such a horrible, out of control feeling and from then I vowed to never drink coffee again. 
Now diet Coke I am ashamed to say featured heavily in my life up until October 2009. Me, the organic, whole food, free range, home-cooking obsessed yoga fiend! It doesn't seem to go does it but I was on the verge of being one of those freaky eaters who always had to have a secret stash of Diet Cokes under the bed in case of Emergencies! "So giving up coffee Sophie? Then out with the Diet Coke too! Bloody hell! Really! Yes it will be a whole new you! A whole new boring me?..." (This was the conversation I was having with myself! I talk to myself a lot these days. I think I may be mad but apparently real mad people don't know that they are mad - moving on!) And do you know what, I have missed neither the coffee nor the Coke one iota! I thought it would be like the cigarettes and I would cry and crave those delicious goodies to which I was addicted. It turns out drinking coffee and soda is just a habit! Who knew?! And one that can be easily broken. 
The crisp thing is an odd one, I'll give you that! I was eating lots of them and they were making me lardy so I had one farewell bag of Walkers Ready Salted and said adios to the cheeky little fried potato snack! I thought why not, lets make it a trifecta of givingupness!
The question is, now that I have proved that I can live my life free from these things for a whole 365 glorious days, should I say, "been there, done that" and grab a bag of crisps to munch on while savouring my celebratory Diet Coke? Or, knowing that my body is healthier and free of a few more toxins than it had this time last year, do I continue with the ban and see if I can make it 2 years, whilst shining my halo?
The yoga lifestyle is all about cleansing and purifying and leading a healthy and balanced life. Do caffeine and junk food fit well into that? Not so much!  So I think I will keep up the abstinence and maybe even add another, go crazy with my bad self!
But what, you may ask?
I can tell you for nothing that the Shiraz and the Dairy Milk are staying. Non negotiable!
Namaste lovelies!

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