My trainer put me on a scale like no other. It measured weight and gave all sorts of measurements that angered me. I knew I gained weight but this scale told a thorough story. That night I renounced my beloved Java Chip Frappuccino.
Friends were shocked. The manager at my favorite Starbucks didn’t approve, stating the one constant in his life, was over. I’ve been faithfully drinking the Java Chip Frappuccino nearly every weekday between 11 am and noon for more years than I care to admit. I had also added weekend Java Chip Frappuccinos to my routine.
Last year I even dressed as a barista and performed a dance solo as a tribute to the Java Chip Frappuccino. I’ve written poems about my drink and even commissioned a friend to paint Frappuccino art. As you might suspect, I’m the FourSquare Mayor at my Starbucks—a role I’ve taken to the extreme by selling Java Chip Frappuccinos to complete strangers.
Friends asked when I’d return to drinking my Frappuccino. I had no idea. Maybe I treat myself to one a week? Maybe I have one for special occasions? Maybe for Christmas? January 1st is a good day.
Every Friday I celebrated my anniversary of giving up the drink. But really, I didn’t miss it. This was shocking to most people. Instead I enjoyed racking up the days…the weeks…the months of not drinking or missing the Java Chip Frappuccino. It turned in to a game quite quickly. Why quit quitting the Frappuccino, unless I have a good reason to have a drink? And what reason is good enough to have a drink?
I reached 13 weeks + 4 days and had an epiphany. I’ve proven it can be done. I can give up my all-time favorite drink and not miss it at all. If I have that much determination I can apply it to anything. I found the switch in my head to turn off the craving. I have no doubt in my mind I can continue without the drink. So why not put my energy into something more important? I set a date to drink my first Java Chip Frappuccino: December 31, 2014.
I drove 30+ miles to reach my favorite Starbucks. By this point I will admit, I was giddy, grinning ear to ear. I half expected a Welcome Back Parade. I’m proud to say I only drank half the drink before throwing it out and moving on with my day. It was, after all, just a drink.
Here are 6 lessons I learned from this 13+ week experience:
1. Disgust is an excellent motivator.
Harness disgust, disappointment, anger and frustration toward achieving something positive. If you don’t like your circumstance you can get mad and do nothing. Or you can get mad and make positive changes. It is your choice. Most choose to do nothing and spend their time wallowing in negativity. Instead, use the emotions as fuel to change in a positive manner.
2. Create your own happiness.
As much as I enjoy drinking my beloved Java Chip Frappuccino—it doesn’t determine whether I’m happy or sad. No, I create my happiness by choosing to be happy. I make a conscious effort to remain active and productive.
3. I don’t want a Java Chip Frappuccino tomorrow.
I was genuinely concerned that once I’d “fall off the wagon” and have one Frappuccino that’d be the end of me. I’d certainly want one every day for the rest of my life. It turns out I have more self-control than I thought. It’s just a drink and there are other ways to stay happy. Sure, I’ll have one from time to time but not everyday.
4. It’s ok to find pleasure in things but never forget they are just things.
We all like things. New things. Shiny things. Techie things. But they aren’t the be-all-end-all to happiness. Take time to build relationships with people instead. Take time to be grateful instead. This will make you happier than anything you can buy.
5. I enjoyed freedom from things and routine that I originally thought were important.
For the most part, the day could not end without having a Java Chip Frappuccino. You can imagine how difficult it was to travel to places where Starbucks are not as common. I’ve spent more than $6 on a Frappuccino in foreign countries. Once I gave up the drink I was free. No nagging feeling for the drink or the routine.
6. I am capable of giving up something I love.
I’ve described the drink as the “elixir of life,” the “nectar of the gods,” the “reason to get up each day.” I don’t mildly enjoy the drink. I love the drink. I guzzle it down in under 10 minutes every time. Despite all this—I’ve proven my self-control is stronger than my love for the drink—and that is power! That power can drive me to accomplish far more than I expect!
Now I encourage you to identify with at least one lesson and try applying it in your own life!
About the photo:
I required my friend to stop at Starbucks before we went to the Dallas Arboretum!
Camera: Canon PowerShot G11
Date: March 2013