As a Catholic, I have been observing Lent for as long as I can remember. Soda, Candy, Cookies, Carbs, I’ve given it all up at one point. This year I made the most impulsive decision ever. I decided to give up Starbucks for 40 days. I asked my husband to do it with me because I knew I needed some serious support for this one. We didn’t give up coffee, just Starbucks.
I gave it up because it was my “daily splurge.” My favorite meal of the day was my Venti soy latte in the morning. My second favorite meal of the day was the iced coffee I drank after lunch.
But in actuality, I gave it up because I thought I’d lose weight.
For 40 Days, I drank WAY less caffeine & a lot less lattes. My husband and I went to local coffee shops for small cappuccinos on the weekends. I’d have a lackluster latte from Dunkin Donuts (sorry I said it) that I wouldn’t finish cause I wasn’t the same. Sometimes I’d have a blueprint coffee cleanse drink for breakfast to fill the void. All and all I probably cut my coffee consumption down by 3/4. Enough that I should see a large difference.
For many of us, we blame our weight for all our troubles. If we were ten pounds lighter the world for us would be a better place. Whether we want a new job, a new relationship, a new life, it’s always the weight that’s holding us back. It’s the fairy tale of weight loss, our problems will disappear with the pounds. To take that delusion one step further, I think we all have one food (or food group) that we let carry the bulk of blame for our weight. For me it was Starbucks. More specifically, my love for a morning and afternoon latte, like I mentioned earlier. I would say, “If I could just kick my latte habit I’d lose the last ten pounds.” And if I lost the last ten pounds then everything and anything I didn’t like would change. Truth be told, we wrap our entire lives into our daily calorie intakes.
Do you ever have the worst day ever? A bad day at work? You got in a fight with a friend? You’re frustrated with your current life situation? Yet, all you can focus on is the way you looked in the latest picture hiding on your I-Phone camera roll. Why does our mind go their first? Why?
When you think of how you will lose the weight weighing you down, it ALWAYS starts with one food. Every diet I ever contemplate starts with drinking a green tea every am instead of a latte. I have a friend who literally blames all her problems on cheese. Anytime anything is going wrong, it always goes back to the cheese. I’ve heard others blame soda. Alcohol is a common place to point blame. So are carbs, cookies & candy.
These foods tend to stress us out a lot too. My lattes stress me out ALOT. Every morning I panic over the size of my drink. I’d stress over the milk I choose. I spend way too much time thinking about how the calories this drink contains plays into my day. I’d worry the caffeine was causing my cortisol levels to rise and turn store weight. And I’d make up stories about how the artificial sweeteners in my sugar free hazelnut syrup were affecting my metabolism. All this time I was focusing on my lattes, I ignored everything else. I’d ignore the whole bag of skinny pop I eat every night. I’d ignore the 17 spoonfuls of peanut butter I ate at my desk. I’d completely forget about the 9 Dove Dark Chocolate Squares I ate throughout the day. And I’d breeze over the fact that I hadn’t been going to the gym as much as I used to.
To take it off of food for second, we also do this with lifestyle circumstances. We blame the long hours of our jobs, our busy lifestyles, our cravings and our social lives. I’ve even been known to blame my weight gain on my current haircut. True story.
I’m confident all of us can fill in the blanks of this sentence….“For me it’s ______. If I could just cut out the _____or find time to _______I’d lose weight.”
With that being said, I gave up Starbucks for 40 Days & Here’s What Happened….NOTHING. Not a single thing. My weight didn’t change. I wasn’t down a size. I didn’t have less wrinkles. I didn’t have more energy. I wasn’t less moody. I was the same. Exactly the same. Kind of depressing but honestly AMAZING.
It proved my irrationality. The nonsense I think on a daily basis. The false sense of reality I create in my head. The belief system I have inherited for myself through my experiences.
We all have a tendency to do completely irrational things in the face of weight frustrations. We swear off entire food groups, buy hundred dollar juice cleanses, sign up to run half marathons, buy expensive gym memberships and most importantly, we torture ourselves.
If nothing in my life changed when I gave up Starbucks then nothing in my life will change if I weigh less. It’s not one thing that’s going to solve our problems just like it’s not one thing causing our problems.
I can’t tell you how much lighter I feel currently drinking my Starbucks Latte. Leave it to Lent to have all the answers.