Step Number One

Sunday, December 30, 2012
6:20 am

My alarm went off at 5:00 and I reset it for 5:30. Ah, the luxury of taking an extra 30 minutes to sleep in my warm bed on a cold morning. I've showered and put on my lounging pajamas . . . the ones without holes that still match? The ones I wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen in if someone rang my doorbell. Though if someone rang my doorbell at this hour, I'd be alarmed. But, I digress.

I'm sitting at my desk, door closed, tapping away on the keys, and intermittently sipping my coffee. It never tastes quite as good to me as that first cup of the day, steaming hot, laced with French vanilla creamer. Sadly, the creamer is something that is probably going to have to go. I can hardly remember when I used to drink my coffee black. Those days are so far behind me. But a retraining of the palette is, I believe, a necessary endeavor.

I think it's important for me to examine each of my choices and assess whether it is a positive one, one that is life-giving, or whether it is a negative one, undermining my ultimate goal. I've tried the sugar-free and fat-free versions of this brand of creamer, and they're not the same. With the odd exception of ice-cold diet soda on the rocks, I don't like the taste of artificial sweeteners. So there's no point in using the sugar-free version. I don't enjoy it. And the fat-free one lacks the viscosity of the regular, full-of-fat-and-sugar version, to say nothing of the taste. It just isn't the same. I've grown accustomed to using this creamer in my coffee, and not just a dollop. I once measured the amount I put in my coffee, and it was the equivalent of 4 servings. My addition makes each cup o'joe I drink approximately 140 calories. And I typically have a cup at home in the morning and I carry another in my travel mug to school, and drink it all. That means if the only change I made was to eliminate the creamer from my diet, I would lose about 30 pounds in a year. 30 pounds! Without walking a step. Without eating a head of lettuce. Without breaking a sweat. 30 pounds. The inevitable and obvious question . . . why haven't I stopped using it? Because it tastes good. Every time I pour it into my cup though, I'm doing so with the knowledge that I'm sabotaging myself and my efforts.

If this journey is about creating change to last a lifetime, perhaps I should take it in steps. Once I've mastered one step, I can move on to the next. And it appears I have identified my first step. Stop using the French vanilla creamer that is full of fat and sugar and is not helping me achieve my goals. It is, in fact, keeping me from achieving them. If it's not adding to my life, then it needs to be eliminated from my life.

When I began this post I had no intention of writing an essay on the evils of non-dairy coffee creamer. But I suppose that is the nature of blogging. Begin with a thought and see where that thought takes you. This morning, my thoughts took me in a positive, life-giving direction. One day I want to be able to say, as anyone who has lost a considerable amount of weight says, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."

Until next time . . .


  1. Every time I buy a new bottle of coffee creamer I have the same thoughts... I really don't need this, maybe I'll get the Fat Free or Sugar Free one instead... as also I buy the full fat deliciousness :-) I'm not sure that I could give up creamer all together though, and like you said the ones with artificial sweetener just aren't as good, so I think I'm going to have to switch back to tea with honey! Honey is better for you anyways (at least in my mind it is)!!!

  2. I've been really enjoying peppermint tea with agave nectar. The agave is supposed to have a lower glycemic index...did I say that right? It doesn't spike your blood sugar like regular sugar does. While it tastes different from sugar, it is still sweet and no nasty aftertaste like you get from sugar substitutes.

  3. I like agave nectar too, I just tend to forget about it! When I was in college (yea, I just said "when") I worked at a Tea Shoppe and my boss used agave a lot... super delicious and a great substitute! I do love my honey though!!!

  4. And honey is good for you in many ways, so go ahead and put some homey in your tea.