If you know nothing about me, know this: I am obsessed, addicted to, and inseparably in love with espresso. Like a girl-who-met-the-man-of-her-dreams kind of love. It’s the one thing that speaks poignantly to my passionate personality. I ritualize it and everyone around me knows.
But there are times in my life when I feel I need to go through a radical change; a change that could enhance my life and revive dormant elements.
A recent challenge at church to give up something for 40 days had me feeling some kind of way. I was immediately uneasy, but I knew why. I knew God was talking to me about coffee. There aren’t many other things I simply can’t and don’t live without. It’s my my morning glory. I don’t hide that.
I took the challenge on, but first contemplated what my “sacrifice” was going to be. And would I survive.
It was either coffee or jewelry. Or shopping. Or Facebook.
I finally settled on coffee. And jewelry.
FOR 40 DAYS.
Yes, cuarenta días.
If you follow me on FB, you know I did a coffee challenge exactly one year ago, but only for 16 days. And for different reasons. That was hard. Everyone thought I had lost it. Why did I do it? Truthfully, nothing major. I wasn’t cleansing, fasting, or trying to shed some inches. I simply wanted to challenge myself to break a delicious but somewhat vicious cycle of drinking coffee most of the day. The crux of it all was to know I could live my life without being tied to and dependent on something. A liquid. A dark liquid that when had in excess, gives you the shakes and stains our pretty teeth.
(Morning glory, via my Instagram)
I did it successfully without losing my couth or passing out on my keyboard every day! I went 16 full days without taking sip of any form of coffee. I was mildly tempted to have instant coffee out of a pack since it’s mostly soluble, but even that counts. I was committed to it!
This time, the experience has been totally different. My mind hasn’t wandered off to coffee lushness wonderland, where most of my friends hang in the morning. I’ve not missed it, actually, and haven’t suffered from dangerous withdrawals. It could have everything to do with the spiritual element. Yes, that’s completely it. There’s something bigger in store for me after these 40 days.
It feels quite great, really. And I’m still nice. No roaring over here.
Read Related: Espresso-Infused Dark Hot Cocoa
If you’re toying with the idea of taking a break, if for nothing else, to see that you can actually live without something and know you don’t have an addictive personality, try these steps for ensuring a successful break. You’ll regain an exciting sense of ownership and might actually shed some inches. I did last year and I think I’m on to having a slimmer waistline this go ’round.
Find a partner in crime.
There was no way I’d be able to complete the challenge last year without an equally obsessed coffee drinker to support me. My friend Mario drinks very standard American drip four times per day and more on the weekends. It was a challenge for him, too, but he stuck it out with me and never complained. It helps with staying focused when you know someone else is probably feeling miserable too.
Thankfully this time, because of the fasting nature, I’ve not recruited anyone. Didn’t have to, making this much more gratifying!
Drink green tea. Or a smoothie
Not just any tea, but green. Not only will you replace el cafécito with a warm caffeinated drink, but you’ll also start promoting some weight loss. After day two, you’ll start enjoying green tea more than ever. I suggest limiting it to three times a day.
Smoothies are also a great option. On the complete opposite end of the hot caffeinated beverage lane, as luscious blueberry and strawberry smoothie will kick tart your metabolism. And we all already know how important it is to break fast! This one right here! Ooh, lala.
Hide all coffee & coffee makers.
This is key! Do you see my inventory below? That was in Atlanta a few years ago. It’s only grown. Okay, only by three, but three more I really don’t need but love.
If you have visuals or whiffs of the the very thing you’re trying to break free from, then you may not go through with it. If you drink coffee every morning, I’m certain it’s within hands reach. Get rid of it. Don’t chuck it, just put it away in the pantry you never open. Same thing with the coffee machine or stovetop espresso maker. Out of sight, out of mind. Literally.
State of Affairs
I’ve been spared the temptation through prayer. I make coffee for my mother every single morning and not once have I snuck in a sip. You’d think something’s not right. But it’s all so good! But just in case you’re not where I am, hide them all!
If you stick to these three essential actions, you’ll see how easily you can win the challenge! Do not let a taza, no matter how delicious, keep you from owning yourself! When it’s all over, the reward of sipping your best ever beverage is golden!
Here’s a coffee alternative. Chai latte. Some friends say I’ve been cheating. Nahhhh. No way. It’s caffeine, yeah, but it’s not coffee. Nowhere near. Not even as good. It’s delicious, but not sultry, robust, and sexy like my morning café con leche. And I’m not addicted. That’s the point.
I’ve been swearing by a homemade cup just about every morning, just to awaken the senses. Let’s blame the need for a hot beverage on the ferocious winter weather we’re shoveling through.
Otherwise, it’d be espresso again before the 40 days were up.
But it’s day 30 and I’m solid as a rock. Won’t stop now.
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.