Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Caffeine Conection

I am by my own definition, squirrely. I use this term to describe anyone that has a hard time sitting still, looses focus easily and could most likely have a practiced psychologist thinking ADHD. My boss…? Squirrely. Some of my past students…? Definitely squirrely. Me? Come to a Program Director meeting and you will see the signs. Don’t put me in a spinny chair and then fail to keep my mind occupied. This could by why I cherish my boss…he keeps things moving, then jumps up and leaves the room. No time for my mind to wander.

Children with ADHD are typically prescribed Ritalin or a similar stimulant. Yes..I said stimulant. For most, the thought of taking that little squirrel that jumps around and now giving them something to stimulate them would be a recipe for disaster. Not for those with ADHD. It gives them ability to focus. It helps increase the inhibition that “normal” (another topic, another time…are there really any “normal” people?) people enjoy without even knowing it. Most normal professionals do not fight to keep from spinning. They sit in meetings, listening attentively, and looking professional. Well, maybe not at the meetings that I go to. Truly, many of my antics are purely because I love to see people laugh. It bonds us together and keeps the mood light and flexible. I have been known, however, to be at the mercy of my brains inhibition handicap at dire moments. Did I really say that out loud?

So where is this heading? Guess what caffeine is classified as? A stimulant, of course! Why, I’m not really doing anything other than self medicating! My staff are all medical professionals. I am now getting why they are voicing fear and apprehension on my upcoming caffeine withdrawal! It’s not mood swings they are afraid of….it’s the fact that I will be climbing the walls and hanging from the fire sprinklers. They feel a sense of responsibility for me. I love them for that.

The question that also needs to be asked is…does caffeine help my weight loss? Look on the Internet. I can find information that helps either argument. It does…it increases activity levels. It doesn’t…it increases cravings. Take your pick. For me? I’m unsure! What I have decided now, though, is to taper my caffeine consumption. This should also help me with my budget. I’ve worked my way up to two Starbucks Double Shots most days at work. This could be my lack of inhibition at work again by writing this. I fully expect to hear from everyone…”Are you kidding?” Let me remind you that I take my lunch every day and very infrequently eat fast food anymore. I don’t have my nails done and dye my own hair at home. Give me this one vice. I’ve been working 12 -14 hours a day for the past few weeks so its been this one little shot in the arm that everyone around me supports! You don’t have to work with me….let me do this for those that do!

So….I’m cutting back next week. One a day for a few weeks and we’ll see where it goes. If my weight starts to creep up, I’m off the wagon. At some point, I’m going to have to learn to use that espresso maker that my husband bought me. Just remember….I will have to be on caffeine when I learn. Otherwise, I’ll just be spinning in the chair while he reads the directions to me!

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