I am a filter coffee addict. I was introduced to it in middle school by my frustrated mom when I refused to drink the usual Boost, Maltova or Horlicks. What started off as a drop of freshly brewed ‘decoction’ in a glass of milk, became a full-strength filter ‘kaapi’ by high school. And of course, for the past few decades, it is the drink that signals a ‘Good morning’ for me. You wake up and you drink coffee. Everything comes after that. And then I decided a couple of years ago, that I would try going sugar free for a month. Drinking my usual milky coffee without sugar (though I know a lot of coffee connoisseurs swear by it) was torture for me. So, I thought maybe black sugarless coffee would be a better option. That was a different kind of torture. I missed home- my hygge- my sugary milky traditional filter kaapi so much, that after ten days of trying all kinds of things, I decided I would rather just drink hot water in the morning than any of these variations. That month was hell. ‘Life is just pointless without my filter coffee’ I thought, and at the end of that month, I was back to the love of my life. Filter Coffee.
That was two years ago. Today, I am on another experiment. Intermittent Fasting. And while I am allowed to drink black coffee without breaking my fast, most of the days I CHOOSE to drink just hot water. When I look back, I think that first month of going sugar free and ultimately coffee free was the first step that broke the cycle of dependence. That mental crutch. I am amazed today that I am no longer that person who NEEDS coffee in the morning. I still wake up on the weekend (I don’t do IF on weekends) looking forward to that cup of filter coffee. But it no longer has me in its control. I will drink coffee when I choose to, and I do enjoy it. I am amazed at that transition.
This past week I was working out, with my daughter and I sharing our dumbbells as we usually do. I had been using my standard set of weights for a while now. I needed to upgrade to the next set but hadn’t gotten around to it. My husband’s dumbbells which are much heavier than mine are not something that I even ‘consider’ as an option. This week I suddenly noticed the writing on one of the dumbbells sets that he uses. I realized it was barely half a kg more than mine. I did a double take. Had I been resisting using these just for that measly half a kg? I picked up those weights and they felt super heavy. But I finished my workout with them. I did have a nagging doubt in my mind though that something didn’t quite add up. The weights felt much heavier than half a kg. I then realized that I had just calculated the weight with the numbers written on the ends and did not factor in the weight of the bar. It was actually 2.5 kgs heavier than my usual dumbbell. And yet, because I had told my mind that it was much lighter than that, my body had agreed to complete the workout.
This blew my mind. I am sure all of you have had instances like these where we are so caught up inside our heads and believe certain things to be true of who we are and what we are capable of. ‘I am not a morning person’ we say until that early morning game of golf beckons us. ‘I cannot run’ we say until that first 5k that our friend drags us into. ‘I am this’ ‘I can only do that’ are all stories we tell ourselves and our bodies are only too willing to go along with that story.
I started off by saying, I am a filter coffee addict. Actually, it is ‘I WAS a filter coffee addict’. The mind is indeed a powerful thing. So.. is it time to change YOUR STORY?