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  • Addicted to Starbucks

    This is going to sound ridiculous, but it's the truth.

    I am addicted to Starbucks.

    Everyone in my office loves it. It also happens to be directly across the road from where I work. In fact, it's so close that I don't even have to go outside to get to it. I can just take the elevator down to the second floor and then walk across the skyway.

    I think binging at Starbucks has greatly contributed to my being overweight. I'm 5'2" and 160 lbs. I've been going there for a few years now. The last two years I've been going there non-stop. Sometimes I'll go twice a day on a week day.

    I pretty much always order a frappuccino. Usually it's a grande. Today I ordered a venti for the first time in a very long time. For the last year I've been ordering mostly soy, but I recently switched over to dairy. I'm lactose-intolerant, but I figured that if I'm going to indulge, I may as well get something out of it. I've been opting for dairy so that I can get some calcium into my diet. I don't believe that it's a smart way to get my calcium; I just try to find ways to justify my addiction to myself.

    Occasionally I order sweetened lattes or mochas, but not very often. I don't believe it makes a difference as long as there's sugar in the picture because it's always bad.

    As I said, everyone in my office adores Starbucks and so much so that they occasionally go around taking drink orders and have someone pick it up for me. That saying, I don't even have to leave my desk to enjoy Starbucks.

    My family likes to go to Starbucks as well. Whenever we go out, we often stop at Starbucks or hit it up at the mall so we have something to sip while we shop.

    Sometimes it makes me ill and sometimes it doesn't. However, I consistently feel dirty and gross whenever I have something from there. I feel like I can't help myself, though. I know I could just order a plain espresso, a tea or an unsweetened latte, but I have no interest in those things. I don't actually like coffee by itself; I like my sugar with coffee and cream. I'm also not a big fan of tea. A lot of the time I order non-tea, non-coffee based drinks from there.

    I have a big problem with sugar. I am hugely addicted to it. The problem is that it's always Starbucks that I turn to for it. It's so close and convenient. Sometimes the drinks taste artificial and weird, but other times the yum is mind-blowing. I never know what I'm going to get each day, but I'm always willing to gamble for it.

    Starbucks is burning a hole in my pocket. I sometimes spend close to $200.00 a month there. Occasionally I get their breakfast sandwiches, but rarely. I've been known to go in the morning for a drink and a muffin, and then at lunch for a drink and a panini on the very same day. I'm not going to bother adding that up, but it's ridiculous. The paninis alone are over $8.00 and aren't very good.

    It's mostly the sugary drinks that get me, though.

    I need help. I promised the love of my life that I would never go again, but then one day I cracked because I was tired and went for caffeine (+ sugar, obviously). After that I went again... and again... and again. I went today, too. If I can't do it for him, then will I ever be able to do it?

    I don't want to support Starbucks. I don't want to keep giving them my money. It's not worth sabotaging my health for. I want to feel good again and I want to be healthy. I need to keep sugar out of my diet. My mom and my grandma have type 2 diabetes. My great grandma had it when she died. This could be my future, and it scares me, but not enough to keep me away from Starbucks. Do I need professional help or do I just need to man it up?

    Any tips? I'm lost :(
    Last edited by lazatiger; 12-05-2011, 07:04 PM.
    **Food and Meows**

  • #2
    Brew your own healthy teas or coffee?
    There aren't many problems in life that can't be solved by sleeping it off, or adding more butter.


    • #3
      Tealia, I've tried that. The trouble is that I don't really like them when I make them at home. I only get coffee-based beverages every now and then. Tea is all right. I think the allure of Starbucks beverages is due to them being very high in sugar and fats (the latter I know are good, but combined are deadly).
      **Food and Meows**


      • #4
        Try manning up for a bit, if that doesn't work get some help. Caffeine addictions are hard to break, there's no shame in getting help.

        You'll find that if you were to just get plain coffee from Starbucks that it sucks their sugary drinks are where their profits are! those are amazing! but then, anything is amazing with sugar, milk, caramel, whipped cream and chocolate!
        I get plain coffee there sometimes as it's the only place open on my way to work, and i get it with half and half and i add stevia to it, and it's still just terrible lol. I had coffee in a mom and pop diner that was amazing, much better!

        can't really offer you too much advice, try cutting down a bit maybe then go from there? best of luck to you, a habit that delicious is hard to break--but you can do it!


        • #5
          I'm a big fan of cold turkey when it comes to beating addictions of any kind. Basically, declare the sweet Starbucks concoctions off-limits. When you go there, you only get the unsweetened coffee or tea. Period. As far as you're concerned, there's nothing else there on the menu - just unsweetened coffee or tea. For the record, adding a bit of lemon juice to the coffee makes it more drinkable; my daily morning wake-up brew is espresso with a lemon slice in it. Also, if you give up sweets for a significant length of time, you'll find that your tastebuds recalibrate themselves, and that the sweet concoctions at Starbucks become unbearably sweet. I used to love Starbucks mochas, but I can't drink them anymore - they're too sweet.

          You may also try the "No-S" philosophy when it comes to these things - only have them on days beginning with S. This way you don't have to deny yourself the pleasure for very long - only until the next weekend. (look up No S Diet: No snacks, sweets, seconds, except on days that start with S. for more info on that idea)


          • #6
            It's not going to be fun, but the best thing is to just cut it entirely.

            If you love lattes? Make your own with coconut cream and raw honey at home. Don't go to Starbucks if you know you're going to get a sugary drink! Flee the temptation unless you're 100% certain that you're only going to get tea.

            Please try this (Recipe: How to Make Your Coffee Bulletproof...And Your Morning Too | The Bulletproof Executive)! Maybe you won't like it, maybe you'll love it, and I think it's worth the chance that it will help!
            Making adventure out of this thing called life


            • #7
              You're addicted to sugar. Starbucks is just a reliable and predictable source.

              Manning up sounds like a good idea. But do it with a plan, there's no point just thinking about not going to Starbucks. Plan what you are going to do/eat/drink when you would normally go to Starbucks. Have that thing easily and quickly available to you. Follow through.
              Lost the weight using CW. Now I just want to be healthier.
              Lisa's primal-ish when she feels like it journal.
              Feel free to read and/or comment, but don't expect me to listen.
              Distance walked 2012: 321 kms as of June 15.


              • #8
                A great start is to stop referring to a bad habit as an addiction, and while you're at it, cut the 'I cant help myself' crap.
                You can - you just choose not to.
                Sugar is universally shit, so kick it out.
                Caffeine on the other hand boasts a range of goodness, so embrace it.


                • #9
                  I'm also a big fan of the cold-turkey method, because I tend to have problems with moderation (I'm an all or nothing person).

                  I also have a history of sugar addiction and compulsive eating, and I know that dealing with any food addiction is pretty excruciating, because unlike alcohol or cigarettes or other drugs, we have to eat food to survive, we can't just stop eating.

                  When I'm facing a particularly unhealthy temptation (Last week it was 'hey, since today is my carb reload day, it's ok for me to buy and eat an entire package of cocoa meringues, right?")Instead of saying to myself, 'no, you can't ever have that again it's bad for you" I say "I know you really want those meringues right now, but you can have them some other day. Today you are going to have a sweet potato and some rice, and boy won't that be a treat!" I don't admit that 'some other day' will hopefully never come, and for some reason, it really helps to talk to myself in 2nd person.

                  I recommend following the sage AA wisdom about taking it one day at a time: Focus on your goal of avoiding Starbucks just for today. At the end of the day, congratulate yourself. A LOT. Repeat this the next day. Don't think about giving it up forever, just for today.


                  • #10
                    I love going to Starbucks too. It is that do-something-for-myself feeling, you know. We are very much creatures of habit and routine. It's the way we are wired. Not just humans either. If I mess with my dog's routine he gets stressed out.

                    I would get a venti Chai tea latte every work morning, lining up with all the high school girls getting their candy-bar-in-a-cup, otherwise known as your beloved frappuccino. Actually a candy bar is probably better for you, no lie. After going Primal I realized the Chai was 20 ounces of milk and sugar. I stopped cold turkey. Okay, that's a lie. I had some over the holidays.

                    Anyway, I agree with others, cut it out cold turkey. Think of something else to do for yourself that is good for you.
                    Positively Radical Pigeonholes are for Pigeons!


                    • #11
                      JennaRose: I don't believe that I'm addicted to caffeine. I think the last time I had caffeine was two weeks ago! I've mostly been drinking these creamy, coffee-free blended drinks. I will try to man it up, though!

                      I've heard so many bad things about their plain coffee. I've actually never had it before. I've had many kinds of plain coffees, but not from Starbucks. I've had a lot of what were supposed to be high-quality plain coffees and didn't enjoy them either. I think it's mostly the sugar and fat that I like! Those things definitely add the yum factor :O

                      Thank you!

                      meepster: I had no idea about the lemon juice, but I will give that a shot sometime. Lemon makes everything taste better--even nasty water!

                      I know what you mean about things tasting sweeter after not having a lot of sugar for a while. I went 17 days once without going to Starbucks or eating sugar from anywhere, and the first day I started up again it tasted nasty. You would think that would've turned me away from it again, but it didn't. The second time it tasted normal to me again.

                      I will look into this "No S" diet. I think that's a neat idea. Thanks! :)

                      alg2435: I think that might be why I keep putting it off--because I know it's going to suck for a while.

                      That's a good idea. I may need to avoid the raw honey as it contains a lot of fructose and tends to make me crave even more sweetness. I do have a bag of unrefined green leaf stevia in the fridge, though!

                      I will give that recipe a try sometime! I've been meaning to pick up some ghee from the natural foods store, so I will use that!

                      ljq309: I do love sugar way too much. I found another thread about Whole30. I'm going to start that tonight. That is my plan. Also, I have decided that I'm going to leave my bank card at home until I'm feeling stronger. There's no need for me to have it because I walk to work and don't have to pay for the bus or train. As long as I have a lunch prepared, I should be okay. I saw another thread about a breve latte, which is supposed to just be coffee and cream. I want to avoid Starbucks, but if I have to stop in with family and feel the temptation to buy something, maybe I could get one of those? I was also thinking about keeping a container of the raw stevia that I have in my purse for those occasions so that I avoid the cane syrup they use. The only thing is that Whole30 does not allow stevia, so I may need to go cold turkey on all sweetness for a while.

                      Dave_o: I'm not actively trying to participate in the habit, but I do give in so often that I may as well be. I think a lifetime of bad habits has lead to an addiction. When I try to give up sugar, I start to get anxious, feel nauseous and get headaches. I have dreams at night about sugar and sometimes I binge on ice cream at home. I don't even enjoy it a lot of the time, but it calls to me. I don't have caffeine often and rarely want it, but when I do have it I need to not pair it up with sugar because sugar is extremely toxic. Giving up sugar is my biggest goal in life at the very moment, so I'm going to stop procrastinating (and being weak) and give it all I've got. I think if I was actually giving it all that I had in the past, then I wouldn't be back to the beginning again; I would have kicked it by now and I'd be singing. I have to try harder. Thanks!
                      **Food and Meows**


                      • #12
                        BestBetter: I think I need to go cold turkey as well. I also have that all or nothing attitude. I either eat really bad or really good; there's no grey area for me. This is probably not a good thing, but I guess I need to adapt to it and just be really good all the time.

                        I don't overeat things like pizza, Chinese food or bread. I also don't overeat healthy food, like meat and vegetables. I only overdo sweet stuff. This probably means that I should never have sweets ever again. The only fruits I keep in the house are berries now. I find that overly sweet fruits like melons and mangos make me crave sugar.

                        That's a really great idea. Tomorrow I will just focus on tomorrow, and then the next day I will focus on that day. I will only look ahead when I'm preparing a lunch for the day after, but instead think about what I'm going to have and not what I shouldn't/can't have. That's really sound advice. Thank you!

                        HillsideGina: I do love a good routine! I figure that eventually I have to get used to not having sugar all the time. Maybe I need to work on creating a new routine for myself. I should get up earlier and fix myself a really tasty breakfast each morning. I've been slacking on that lately because I'm always in a rush, and that sometimes is why I end up at Starbucks because buying a muffin takes less time than cooking something. I spent $150.00 on groceries this weekend (all organics), so I should be putting them to good use. I bought a ton of organic bacon and organic eggs. I also have plenty of veggies! I'm going to force myself to get up at a decent time tomorrow and do this for myself.

                        I wouldn't be surprised. A tall frappuccino might work out to be the equivalent of a candy bar, but the grande and venti ones are really pushing it. I think a venti frappuccino is probably more like two candy bars. It's pretty disturbing to think about. I'm glad you put it that way.

                        I agree that I need to cut it out cold turkey. I also need to watch my carbohydrates, because I find that even eating something starchy will get me thinking about sugar. The money I could save from not going to Starbucks would allow me to do more good things for myself, too. :)
                        **Food and Meows**


                        • #13
                          I feel your pain. I do sometimes miss the rich, delicious, frothy drinks!

                          Part of it is for sure the sugar, but part of it is the ritual - going in to treat yourself, smelling the amazing fragrant coffee, those first sips of deliciousness That's why I don't think cold turkey will work for you. I think the best thing to do is to become a real coffee master in your home. Start with great beans that you grind yourself, buy organic whipping cream in a glass jar, and get some organic sugar. Use an italian coffee maker on the stove or a french press. Grind fresh beans and brew them, adding liberal heavy cream, and add some sugar. Start with enough to taste the sweetness - it will still be less than Starbucks. Make a big thermos of it and have it during the day.

                          Then try slowly switching out cream for full fat coconut milk with a little butter or ghee added. And slowly, but surely, start reducing the sugar. I am now at the point where I LOVE a fresh brewed cup of coffee with cream and no sugar. I recently even gave that up, but I still miss it

                          Don't be too hard on yourself - like I said, just replace the ritual with a new and equally satisfying one. It's how my 70 year old grandma quit smoking after 55 years of doing it
                          Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



                          • #14
                            One time I wanted a cookie. It was sitting there looking all delicious in a bag. I figured it would do me no good to eat it, so I walked away with some effort. Later I came back down to the kitchen and wanted the cookie again. But I steeled myself and walked away. I don't regret not eating the cookie.

                            Starbucks, though, is a totally different matter. You are screwed, sorry.
                            You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


                            • #15
                              Here's how I prevent myself from binging on bad foods or drinks at work. I pack my lunch and I bring no money with me. Without any cash on hand I can't buy any junk no matter how much I crave them. Its just a thought.