Did You Hear About the Woman on the Starbucks Diet?
By FatCat on September 18, 2012
Did you hear about the woman on the Starbucks Diet?
It sounds like the start to a great joke (or at least a joke) and if I had the skills, I could maybe come up with a good response.
However, it's NOT a joke. A woman lost a monster chunk of weight sticking to Starbucks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She steered clear of the snazzy drinks and the pastries and instead ate the food options, beginning with the low cal oatmeal in the morning. Starbucks identifies the number of calories in their foods and, for this woman, that was one of the key reasons.
It was easy for her to stop off at Starbucks. She was able to calorie count. It kept her choices limited. It became her new habit. It worked.
There was an article I just read that looked at the book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. The article relays a story from the book about an overweight woman who drank too much, smoked, was in debt and probably miserable who transformed into a "thin, vibrant, gainfully employed, debt-free, marathon running master's student."
Those words, "thin and vibrant" really stood out for me. Perhaps it was just the word vibrant. I like when I feel vibrant.
I feel vibrant after a workout, after a healthy meal, after a good evening with friends. I feel vibrant lots of times, but not all those times. And those non vibrant times are getting rather old.
The gist of the book and the research was that what allowed this woman to make these changes was HABIT.
I hate having the same routine day after day. At least I think I hate it. I certainly used to hate it. I know I love when things are just "go with the flow" and yet, it has been some of my habits this past year that I have embraced and found comforting - and helpful and beneficial.
The first half of my day pretty much goes like this:
Get up and go to the gym with a friend (with no friend, I just don't go)
Eat 1/2 cup of oatmeal with raisins, agave syrup, flax seeds and coconut milk.
Do stuff with kids, around house, on computer, for work
Lunch - feed kids
And then I begin to fall apart!
In the earlier losing-weight days of this year, I'd have a 6 inch veggie sandwich from Subway loaded with mustard or blue cheese. It gave me clear calorie numbers. But it cost money so then I started making a grilled cheese for myself. I could count the calories, but it wasn't the healthiest and didn't really satiate me. And then I started eating parts of the kids' lunches and kinda nibbling on their stuff and popping pieces of cheese until there was no way I could count calories so then I'd assume I had too much and then not have anything more, but then in the afternoon I'd just kinda float indirectly into the kitchen and open cabinets and find things and....
Then I just didn't have the oomph to worry about the evenings.
I have GREAT habits for the first half of the day and LOUSY habits (around food and exercise) for the second half of the day.
Today is no exception.
I understand why Jared chose Subway and stuck to it for his diet. I understand why the woman chose Starbucks. It minimizes the options. It makes it routine. It fits in.
Today, I snacked on my kids' lunches, but then after they went up for a nap, I made myself some more oatmeal. It's not the best choice, but it works. I know what's in it. I know it will fill me up. I know it will keep me on track. Maybe tomorrow I'll go for quinoa or something. Whatever I do, I know I need to be creating some new habits that I'm willing to live with.
The easy thing about losing weight is going and exercising. It's not always easy, but at least it is the action of DOING.
The hardest thing is the the not eating. The action of NOT eating is kinda like a big black void of nothingness. I think I just have to practice getting through it. For the mornings, I have habits that have replaced my grazing. For the afternoons, I have not.
The article also said that researchers found that people who make their bed feel better about themselves and are more productive and stick to budgets. It was enough to make me wonder if I should start making my bed! Certainly life is better when I start the day off strong with the gym, coffee and oatmeal. But I didn't make my bed today and I rather think it's okay.