Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cravin' the Coolatas

This mini-goal is perhaps not the best one for me to divulge first, because I have not been terribly successful at taming this Baer. Every day at work, I make a "poor man's mocha" which consists of our free (but awful) office coffee mixed with one creamer and a packet of Swiss Miss. In the past, I was drinking as many as three of these in an average day. I have switched to the "No Sugar Added" version of Swiss Miss, which brings the number of calories per cup to about 75, but these are completely empty calories which offer no satisfaction. Hence, I continue to crave more. You'd think caffeine was addicting, or something.
Anyway, the reason I have struggled with limiting and/or eliminating these empty calories, has been that I have no idea why I drink them.
Some possible reasons:
1) I am always freezing in the office, to the point where I literally wrap my hands around the warm cup as if it were a roaring fire (note - I would not recommend doing this with an actual roaring fire).
2) I am actually hungry. I often crave this concoction in the morning, and pour myself one before eating breakfast.
3) Hmm...I have no idea. Many times, I get up and pour this drink for no particular reason. Maybe I was on to something with that addiction idea - I wonder if the surgeon general knows about this.
I made a few rules, like no coffee before breakfast, and no coffee after noon. I promptly broke most of them. So, one week (week #4) I made it a goal to drink no coffee. It worked for a while. But last week, I was up to two cups a day on some days. And I don't remember being that cold. So this week (week #15) I have made it my mini-goal to have zero cups. While I am generally against self denial, it was just getting out of control.
Monday was challenging, to say the least. I would suddenly find myself in front of the Swiss Miss cabinet, coffee cup in hand, reaching for that inviting sugar packet, and it was like waking up from sleep walking. I had no idea how I had gotten there. It is so tempting to think how just one cup couldn't hurt in the long run, and how this was a stupid goal. Somehow, I managed to maintain self control, and headed back to my cubical with my empty cup. That night, I got home, ate dinner, and promptly fell asleep watching "Antiques Roadshow" which comes on at 8:00pm.
Tuesday was marginally better. I craved my fix in the morning, but the feeling was less intense. I still wonder how I managed to stick to the rules, considering I was the one who made the rules in the first place. But I consider it a matter of principle. Once the rules have been made, I shouldn't break them. So I found myself cursing "the man", in this case me, for not making the goal to have only 3 cups this week or something. Why did I decide to go cold turkey? Again, I managed to muster some will power, but I have no idea how.
Today, I don't think I had a single episode. I don't remember thinking about coffee once. I think I have this goal tackled. For now. Next week, I will probably allow myself a cup or 2, and so the cycle continues. But, as I said, I am not a proponent of self denial. At least I know that I have the ability to control this addiction, and I can enjoy a moderate amount if I try. I am almost guaranteed to meet my calorie goal too - I managed to cut 375 calories from my week.
My reward - a shopping trip with my sister on Sunday. Yay!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

A suggestion for the coffee fix: You could drink a mug of hot water in the morning.
I have been told countless times that when you feel you are hungry at odd times in the day, it is usually because you are actually dehydrating. So if, after breakfast, you still feel like having that cup of coffee, you could replace it with a cup of hot water.
It would feel the same going down your throat as coffee, and you could still wrap your hands around the hot mug if they are cold.