Did you slip back into any old habits that you wish you hadn’t? Did you gain any new habits that you wish you would have walked away from? Did you discover the evils of Nutella? ‘Fess up … we won’t tell.
This prompt may sound dark and dreary, but we’ll be back to our sunshine selves tomorrow. Take today to reflect on a vice (or two or twelve) that you’d like to give up in the new year.
Without debate or doubts, my vice is Starbucks. Not just coffee, but Starbucks. In the last week alone, I’ve been there four out of the last seven days. And more frequently, I’m realizing that I’m not satisfied in a simple nonfat latte, which I still believe is the best bang for your buck, calorie wise and nutritionally. But I’ve been slipping into the habit of the next best thing to a caffeine IV: a trenta–TRENTA–iced coffee with 2 or 3 pumps of pumpkin spice syrup and a splash of half and half. Under 150 calories for sure (possible close to 100 if I stick with 2 TBS of half and half and 2 pumps of syrup), but a mind-blowing 300-ish mg of caffeine in a 30-31 oz cup. It’s like the classy coffeeshop version of a Super Uber Big Gulp.
For some people, it’s not a big deal. For me–the person who swore off caffeine in 2010 and largely maintained that or at least a significantly reduced (one 8-oz cup of coffee or a tall nonfat latte) consistently for a year and a half–this is a major transgression. Also, I made FUN of people who would be the trenta orderers. That was before I found myself ready to cry when my local Starbucks once told me “Oh… we’re out of trenta cups. Would you prefer a venti?”
Here’s why I consider it my vice: I want it indiscriminately. It’s my first choice as a “reward” for a bad day, poor sleep, overcoming a challenge, surviving what I anticipate will be a bad day at work, because it’s Friday or Sunday or Monday or whatever other day of the week ends in -day. Bad mood? Go to Starbucks and get a coffee IV!
It started gradually: a decaf iced venti with extra ice. But it evolved into a caffeinated monster which, quite honestly, doesn’t really add value to my life. And that’s the clincher for me. It actually–no matter how much I may try to convince myself otherwise–removes value from my life. It takes my money, it increases my anxiety and crankiness (good LAWD, have you ever tried to focus or deal with something stressful when you’re already amped up on caffeine?) and I believe it makes it more difficult for my body to release weight (so does soft-serve and chocolate, but we’ll save that for another day).
So in the remaining days of 2011 and throughout 2012, I will be ending my love affair with Starbucks. Or, more accurately, making sure that it’s on my own terms. I will bring back decaf green and herbal teas. I’ll wean myself from caffeine (gradually or that will be one bitch of a headache for the next week or so). And I’ll save my money for better rewards: new clothes as I lose weight, books to read as I’m sipping a decaf latte, a new set of sheets for the bed where I’ll be spending much more restful sleep.
I’m committed. As soon as I finish this one last iced trenta.