103 Days without Coffee

first coffee

So, nearly a year ago, I made a 26 for 26 list and the harsh truth is that I have not been that good at actually completing the tasks on it. However, there is one item that I recently crossed off and, in the spirit of celebrating small victories, felt compelled to write about. My goal was to give up coffee for a month, but instead, I gave it up for 103 days. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

Here’s the backstory: I love coffee. Love it, adore it, drink a lot of it, use it as a crutch to give me extra energy when I need to study, the works. In addition to liking normal coffee, I’m also a big fan of caramel lattes and peppermint mochas and assorted other fancy confections. Seeing red holiday cups at Starbucks makes me happy.

So why give up something I love? Well, you see, I had reasons, and they were three-fold (if you know what TV show that is from, and what episode, then we should be friends if we aren’t already). Here’s what motivated me:

  1. Empty Calories: If I drank only plain black coffee, I suppose this would not be much of an issue, but I don’t, and thus (despite attempting to convince myself that ordering peppermint or caramel-laden drinks with skim milk makes them “healthy”), I know drinking coffee led to me consuming a lot of extra/empty calories.
  2. Caffeine Overload: In college, I literally used to get headaches if I hadn’t consumed diet coke or coffee in awhile. I have no scientific basis for this, but I truly feel like I was addicted to caffeine, and I can’t help but think that that’s not exactly a healthy way to go about life.
  3. Starbucks Is Mad Expensive: If I’m being honest, this was probably the number one motivator. Starbucks (and many other coffee establishments) are pricey. I’ve done some mental approximations about how much I have spent on coffee over the years and…yikes. Not pretty at all.

So on September 9, I had my last coffee at a Starbucks in New York, and I went 103 days without having another cup. To be honest, it wasn’t even that hard; once I stopped drinking coffee, I stopped thinking about drinking coffee. I thought that, once finals time kicked in, I would need the extra caffeine, but I made it through exams without drinking a single drop. In fact, I truly believe I could have gone much longer without coffee. So why did I break the streak?

Well, it’s the holiday season, and I made it through finals, so I decided I deserved just one peppermint mocha in a red holiday cup as a treat. It was delicious and it tasted like Christmas. But, you know what? I think I’m going to revert back to my self-imposed ban. I plan to allow myself to have coffee now and then (certainly not at the level I was drinking it before), but for the most part, I’m done. And my wallet is okay with that.

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