Vice:

a practice or habit considered immoral, depraved, and/or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a defect, an infirmity or merely a bad habit. Synonyms for vice include fault, depravity, sin, iniquity, wickedness and corruption. The modern English term that best captures its original meaning is the word vicious, which means “full of vice”. In this sense, the word vice comes from the Latin word vitium, meaning “failing or defect”. Vice is the opposite of virtue. [Wikipedia]

Okay, well… maybe drinking excessive amounts of coffee is not a vice. I mean, drinking coffee is part of the fabric of Vancouver society, so it’s most certainly not “degrading in the associated society”. But it’s not particularly beneficial to one’s physiology is it?

Photo: g-monkey on Flickr

Photo: g-monkey on Flickr

Do you ever stop and take stock in the things you rely on to feel good? That glass of wine at dinner that has slowly evolved into a half bottle? That 3pm chocolate fix? Those cigarettes you hate but love all at the same time? I think it’s important to look at all those things we rely on and try and think of what we stand to gain from them? Is there a way to get that ‘thing’ from something healthier? Is there another way to deal with the state of mind that made us want that ‘thing’ in the first place?

I have come to a place where each morning I make a very strong cup of coffee in my French press. Then, when I get to work, I drink a quad-shot Americano from Starbucks. It started as a harmless few-times-a-week Grande (3-shot) but slowly evolved over time into a daily ritual. Then Starbucks started making espresso shots in twos and the 4th shot came to me free…  that’s how these things tend to go. But not only does that cost me nearly $50/month, it’s just become a habit that serves no real benefit.

Today is my first day without the Americano in a long time… and I’m fuzzy-headed and easily distracted. Now, I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night and I worked a good chunk over the weekend, but I’m really less productive today than I usually am. I’m craving a coffee so bad I’m irritable and I have a mild headache from the lack of caffeine. If that alone isn’t indication I should consider dealing with this relatively newfound addiction I don’t know what is.

Besides, I take my coffee with half and half cream and sugar, so the calories also pack a bit of a punch out of my day. I estimate my daily Americano to be about 150 calories. If I have one 300 days of each year, that’s about 12 lbs worth of calories right there… another good reason to favour green tea instead.

What are your bad habits? Are you ready to give them up?