Sunday, February 15, 2015

See Ya, Starbucks: 5 Reasons I'm Giving Up My Favorite Coffee

I started out going to Starbucks because it was the glamorous thing to do.  I'd go maybe once every two weeks, and at the time, it was a big deal to me.  It was a privilege, ordering a specialty coffee and savoring each and every sip, discarding the cup only after I was sure I'd captured the perfect, social media worthy picture.  Over time, it became more of a habit.  Today, the barristas know me personally.  They don't even have to write my name on my cups and have admitted my order of a venti Skinny Vanilla Latte and Birthday Cake Pop to memory.  I make an average of around three trips to Starbucks a week and it's now become a part of my personality.  And I've realized that that's a problem.  I've decided to give up Starbucks for good, and here's why.

1. In a world where there are so many less fortunate than I am, it's really not okay that I can spend five dollars on a single cup of coffee like it's nothing.  Without even thinking, I swipe my debit card, step to the left, and wait while a hard working barrista prepares my coffee.  I don't even want to share how much I've spent on Starbucks in the last six months {I've added it up}, and I'm very shameful to say that sometimes I'm even impatient when it takes longer than usual or there's a little bit of whipped cream leaking out from under the lid.  I've come to realize that it's become a prodigal and unnecessary habit that I truly want to break.  {And yes Dad, if you're reading this... you were always right}

2. Although my usual Skinny Vanilla Latte isn't that bad for me, it's definitely not the only thing I get.  Another one of my very favorites, the Caffe Mocha Latte {venti with whipped cream and whole milk} contains 490 calories, 23 grams of fat, 55 carbohydrates, and who knows how much sugar and caffeine.  An occasional treat definitely isn't harmful, but putting this into my body up to three times a week isn't exactly something I'm proud of.  Imagine the effects of removing it from my diet completely.

3. Definitely not criticizing Starbucks here, but they've somehow managed to glamorize and sensationalize little white cups of coffee.  Everyone loves Starbucks because it's just the thing to love.  I think it's been accepted as one of the keystones of social media: something that everyone likes and something that's always provides positive feedback when you post about it.  But think about it: social media is so powerful, so why are we {note the we, I'm the worst of all} using it so often to promote a coffee company?  And it's not just Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media.  I can't tell you how many times I've had a conversation about Starbucks in person.  Imagine if each time we were going to post about Starbucks or talk about it, we instead changed the topic of conversation to something with meaning.  There are so many issues or topics that deserve more attention today, and a cup of coffee or a cake pop gets all the hype.

4. Being raised Catholic, I've celebrated Lent for seventeen years now.   I've always been sure not to eat meat on Fridays during the Lenten season and to go to Mass during Ash Wednesday and Holy Week, but as embarrassed as I am to say it, I've never actually given anything up.  I've always just been content with the pretext of doing more, but this year I really want to abstain from something I truly enjoy because I think I'm at a more mature point in my spiritual life than I've ever been.  If I substitute time spent going for Starbucks during these 40 days with time spent with scripture or in prayer and reflection, I'm sure any loss I'm feeling will most definitely be filled with the wisdom and understanding of my faith, and that's a very comforting therapy.

5. It's fairly obvious that there's not going to be a Starbucks in the DFac at Ft. Jackson.  Breaking the coffee habit before BCT has been in the back of my mind since June and I think this is the perfect way to start.  Starbucks constitutes about half of my total coffee intake, so I'm hoping this is going to slowly ease me into eliminating coffee all together.  I definitely don't want to wait until my first 0400 morning to find out that I really have become dependent on that daily cup of coffee.

So there you have it.  I'm headed out today for my usual Sunday afternoon Starbucks trip, which will most definitely be my last.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to miss Starbucks, because even though it became routine for me, I did thoroughly enjoy each and every sip.  I'm no doubt going to miss Friday afternoon stops with my best friend and even early morning lattes on the way to class.  It was something that I really looked forward to constantly and something that I have an emotional connection to.  But when Starbucks becomes a part of your personality, it's obviously time to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective.  

What do y'all think about this?  I'd love any encouragement or feedback anyone can offer!

1 comment:

  1. I think this is so interesting ans so awesome. It will be worth it in the long run!