In my teens and early 20s, I got myself massively addicted to caffeine.
I didn't like drinking water. I drank Diet Coke instead. Now, when I say 'I drank Diet Coke', I used to manage around 8 litres of it per day. Every day!
When I first met my now-wife, she noticed that I had issues with my sleep. As you can imagine, it was pretty erratic. My mood and energy levels were also suffering, and it was because of all the caffeine I was consuming.
So, to tackle this, we decided that completely cutting out the caffeinated cola and going for a caffeine-free version would be the best thing to do.
After a relatively short time, I began to feel the effects of caffeine withdrawal. Honestly, I thought I was dying.
For weeks I had a headache from hell. I felt sick. Even putting the lights on hurt my eyes.
One evening we were meant to be going out for a meal. But I really didn't want to go. When the waiter came to take our order and asked what I wanted to drink, I went straight for a Diet Coke. I knew that it would break my no-caffeine rule, but at the time, I just didn't care.
After taking just a couple of sips of my Diet Coke, my headache cleared. I felt normal again. It was a miracle. It showed me that completely cutting something out wasn't the right way to go.
We take this very seriously at the Academy. Our coaching programmes won't demonise foods or drinks. We fully understand that to have a well-balanced life, you need to have a well-balanced diet. That includes the occasional drink, takeaway, or treat.
By removing foods, at best, all we do is increase the desire to consume them. At worst, we create a poor relationship with food that can have devastating effects.
Understanding how to create a sustainable eating plan is at the core of what we do. So if this is something you struggle with, then let's have a chat. Let's see if we can make things a bit clearer for you.