I have been easing myself through the first week of my diet. Translated, this means several things. Although I have been watching my caloric and carbohydratic (yes, I made it up) intake, I have still been allowing myself caffeine. If you have to ask why, then you don't know me very well.
What's that you say? You don't know me very well? Ok, first of all, I am a barista - fancy word for "someone who works at a coffee shop." I work a lot of early mornings - like 4 a.m. early. Caffeine is an absolute given at that hour. Secondly, at four-something in the morning, I am filling a lighted display case chock-full of muffins, croissants, scones, cakes, breads, cookies and bars of all kinds. None of which, I don't have to tell you, are allowed on my diet. And third - wait. Seriously? Do you need a third reason?
"Ok, so may I please have a small decaf, sugar-free vanilla, soy, no foam latte? Oh, and could you please make that at one-hundred-eighty-one degrees?" Seriously, do you need a third reason? No, not "to deal with the crazies." It's to have the mental acuity to remain detail-oriented. Seriously. No joke.
I love my job. I absolutely do. I know the names of most of my regulars, and their drink orders. I think it's normal to order a cup of coffee with six ice cubes. Or half a packet of sugar substitute. I understand the logic of a non-fat mocha with whipped cream. For I, too, have my eccentricities, when it comes to food and drink.
When I was a kid, I ate cereal, dry, with a glass of milk on the side. In high school, my after-school snack was a Milky Way bar and a Diet Coke. As an adult, I used to eat so slowly that, halfway through dinner, I had to get up and re-heat my plate of food. Sometimes, it was then too hot, so I would have to wait for it to cool down again.
I think perhaps when I really noticed my specificity, was when I was introduced to the shrimp burrito at Serrano's Super Salsa in my home town. First of all, this burrito is the bomb! It's got big plump shrimp, rice, cheese and velvety guacamole. Oh, Em, Gee! I shouldn't be thinking about it while on this diet!!
Anyhoooo, here's where it gets weird. I have to have one mild salsa, one hot salsa, and two lime wedges. I open the burrito, spread each salsa evenly over the entire inside of the burrito, and distribute the lime juice evenly also. Then, I carefully re-fold the burrito and cut it in half. I will eat one half now - well, you know what I mean - and one half later. That's my shrimp burrito ritual.
So when I take your drink order, go ahead and let me know that you want only one and a half pumps of hazelnut, and just a splash of breve in your iced coffee. If you want a triple shot of decaf espresso, I promise I won't ask you "What's the point?" And if you want a non-fat latte and a sausage sandwich, you'll probably work your way just a little closer to my heart ♥
P.S. If anyone's wondering, at the end of week one, I have lost 4.1 pounds.