On a beautiful Fall afternoon, I went into my local Starbucks to order a grande chai tea latte to enjoy during my son’s baseball game. While standing in line, the college-aged girl socially distanced in front of me was up to order.
“What has less calories: a grande pumpkin spice latte or a grande [drink I couldn’t hear]?” she asked. The barista, after checking with her colleagues, answered that it was the PSL.
“Is there another alternative with less calories that still has pumpkin spice?” the girl asked. My ears were really invested in this conversation now…but probably not for the reasons you may think. The barista suggested a regular hot coffee with one pump of sugar-free pumpkin syrup. The girl agreed to that and quickly added to make it a venti instead of a grande.
As the barista turned to grab a venti-sized paper cup, the girl—in a last-second hurried panic—requested to add on whipped cream too.
I wanted to tell the barista to instead fill the cup with a pumpkin spice latte, while I put my arm around the girl and lovingly assured her:
Honey, it’s healthier to order what you actually want. Because that alternative you reluctantly settled for—knowing it was going to be lame, so compromised with yourself by adding on whipped cream—isn’t going to feel as good as what you really wanted.
Maybe you’ll criticize yourself later for adding on the whipped cream.
Maybe you’ll reward yourself later for having been “so good” at Starbucks that you “deserve a treat.”
Maybe you’ll binge on something with dairy and sugar later since you didn’t allow yourself to have it now.
I know all these scenarios are possible because I’ve been that girl too. Trying to quickly figure out how to mastermind my order so that it doesn’t ruin my diet. So I 100% get it.
I was you.
But now I know that when I order what I want the first time, things go A LOT better and healthier. I want this for you too. It is possible to heal your relationship with food and body image.