Coffee as a gateway drug…..
Last year I did a weight loss challenge and lost 25
pounds in 12 weeks. That challenge ended right before Thanksgiving… as you can imagine I (in my new svelte body) was a tad glutinous when it came time for that Thanksgiving meal and then the following month for the holiday cookie exchange… uncountable delectable holiday parties and dinners… AND surprisingly in mid-January I had only gained 5 pounds back.
Then… I added coffee back into my life.
I started out like most coffee addicts… who have done a food detox… I started out, black with a splash of fat free something or other. I was fine with that. I even started drinking terrible coffee… I mean, low budget… coffee with stems.. (ha ha ha) it didn’t phase me. I drank the cup of coffee and I moved on.
I (quite by accident) had another cup of good coffee.
I was undone, before long I was back to buying quarts of half and half … and then light cream… I was drinking 2 pots a day before work… then several more cups through out the day.
I am fooling myself by only buying quarts of half and half at a time, saying, “well, at least I’m not buying the half gallon of half and half anymore” but… I’m getting a quart every 3 days!?!
I noticed that with the added fat or milk protein or whatever it is.. my face was getting puffier (yes, I was the only one that noticed… but you know how that goes… we are always our worst critics)
Then… I hosted a party… and I bought treats… Treats that went especially well with coffee. I ate them… until they were gone.
Pretty soon I was ordering out once a week… then twice a week instead of eating home cooked whole grain and tasty dinners and lunches… I was reverting back to my but-its-so-much-more-convenient self and letting other people (or corporations) do the cooking.
10 pounds later.
I realized, coffee is my gateway drug.
I like coffee.. strike that… LOVE coffee and I love it light with cream no sugar…. sigh longingly… (as I sip my hot cup of lemon water)
Coffee convinces me that the minutes of pleasure I get from drinking it… are worth more than whatever is coming down the pike as a result of the creamy tan elixir. It isn’t long before that thinking… that behavior.. that mentality gets applied to whatever I put in my mouth.
That, enjoy now and worry about tomorrow… tomorrow, mentality.
Turns out, I had to revisit my goals for myself and my life… I needed to have clear priorities.
Just like starting a new business and having 5 things you MUST do every day, staying healthy requires the same amount of attention.
Just like we get our hair cut every 3 months… staying healthy requires that kind of consistent attention.
Just like we save for vacation… or plan a birthday party… or walk the dog every day… staying healthy diet requires that kind of attention.
Like any goal… reaching a specific goal weight isn’t really the end of the goal, right? Once you reach that goal weight… then we should start to think of another goal that is now possible. For instance, you’ve reached the goal weight and you new goal is to make sure you stay at that weight for the next 3 months.
That’s a great, easy measurable goal.
THEN.. you measure out another 3 months, staying at your goal weight.
This is how I’m going to kick the habit. It seems like whenever I reached my goal, I have felt like I was DONE.
That’s the problem. I wasn’t done. I needed to set myself another goal. I needed to watch my behavior and monitor my actions to make sure I was in line with the next goal which was to maintain my weight.
You may be thinking that it shouldn’t be that hard.
Well, I ask you… how hard should a 48 year old habit be to break? I suspect, it may take me just as long to break as it took me to make. And while on a daily basis I have to look at it “one day at a time”, and say, “Today, I won’t have that cup of coffee” and I don’t worry about tomorrow, I’m making the plan..
The plan that will hold me accountable… responsible… It’s all about being prepared.
Prepared to feed yourself and the kids dinner on those nights when you only have 30 minutes before you have to leave to dance class.
Prepared to feed yourself and the kids a snack or lunch on a day when you have a lot of running around to do.
Prepared to feed yourself and the kids a healthy breakfast that will take them all the way to lunch time without any snacking.
I will kick this habit… and be able to enjoy an occasional cup of coffee with a friend and it won’t lead to McDonalds. That is my goal!
Most of all… there is no excuse. I am in control, I will not perish if I am hungry and I have to wait to eat. My children won’t either. (although, they may whine)
What’s your gateway food?