As of now, I haven’t had a fancy coffee beverage in a full 48 hours. For a sane human being, this isn’t all that remarkable.
Generally, however, I am not a sane human being, I’m a powerhouse of wonders, who just also happens to drink a shit ton of fancy, ridiculous, delicious, joy inducing, overpriced coffee beverages. (In case you were wondering, shit ton is an industry term.)
For me, this marks the beginning of my annual latte fast. There aren’t really any rules, beyond: don’t drink lattes, and don’t replace them with anything other than tea (no cream or sugar) and water.
People generally think I do the latte fast to save money or lose weight, both of which would be reasonable expectations. I, however, do it to prove that I can, to see if I feel any different, and to heighten the high of fall’s first latte.
When I explained this to a coworker, she said, “I really think you have a problem.”
And if I were giving up crack cocaine for a while just to make the high feel all the sweeter… I’d agree. But frankly, coffee, even with all the warnings about dairy and sugar, just ain’t that bad for you. Put another way: if the worst thing I’m doing to myself on a daily basis is drinking a latte – my life is golden.
However, I have done this several years in a row now, and here are the general results:
1. We do save money. I haven’t talked about this too much, but there’s just not that much in life that I care enough about to spend money on. This explains why I hate buying clothes, shoes, and hair. (I really hope I meet ya’ll someday, just to prove that I’m not a total TROLL, but in the meantime, let your imaginations conjure their worst.) But I LOVE lattes. I meditate on each one, making sure it’s still bringing me joy. And they always do. So I still spend like $200 a month on them. (A frugal angel just died.)
2. After about a week of crankiness, I don’t really feel any different. This one always surprises folks, because they say things like, “But you must feel SO much better,” and then look at me as if I’ve grown a second head when I say, “No. I really don’t.”
That may be only because lattes are such a major force of joy in my life that they overpower any negative feelings my body might have about them. It might also just be that I have no problems digesting dairy, and that even though they make up a fair percentage of my daily calorie intake, I never give them up long enough for it to have any impact on my weight. Who knows.
3. A major driving force in the whole thing is just that I like to prove to myself that I can give it up. I can function with a much lower caffeine intake, and live my life as normal. It’s also a nice reminder of a time when I couldn’t afford fancy coffee bevs, and each one was a special treasure that I looked forward to like nothing else. (By now, you are wondering about my priorities in life. It’s cool.)
4. The first one back is sooo good. Like sooooooooo good. It’s just really insane. My body reacts to the caffeine in ways it didn’t before. This is evidenced by Facebook posts that say things like, “WHY DID I EVER GIVE THIS UP” and “I AM SEEING NOISES.”
The fact that I’ve played this little game with myself every year makes me wonder what other kinds of challenges I should take on. After all, a lack of lattes leaves a big hole in my life. Maybe I could use some of the space in that void to do something else.