52 Things – Find a decaf coffee I like..or how I Started to Change my Life

Here’s this week’s item:

40. Find a decaf coffee I like

Well, that’s not really the item I ended up doing but it morphed into something much bigger. I originally put this item on there because I was nursing and I really wanted to be able to drink several coffees a day without causing any harm to the little one.

But I tried a bunch of different coffees and didn’t like any of them. Except for the one I was already drinking, which is this:

Yes, I know, not real coffee. But it’s the only one I like and since I don’t think any soda or juice or anything else besides water, this was my one joy.

So months passed as I looked for alternatives. Other decafs. Teas. Herbal drinks. I tried a lot of different things. My friend Lori, intelligently, pointed out that decaf coffee likely had a lot of harmful things for the little one, too.

I’d pretty much given up on this item for the year.

I’ve always had a problem with my weight. Since I can remember. It only got worse in college and went downhill from there. I was never supremely overweight but always had a lot more fat than any person needed to have. The more important part is that my self-worth is wrapped up too much in my weight. I’ve dieted for pretty much most of my teens and twenties. I even lost 26 lbs with Weight Watchers in late 1990’s. In fact, I was doing relatively well until 2004 when I got pregnant with David. David and then Nathaniel meant that my weight is now back to the pre-Weight Watchers numbers and those are not pretty. Not to mention now my belly never recovered from baby number two.

Even when I did lose weight, it had always been due to change in diet. Or mostly not eating. Never through exercise. Ever. I never did sports as a kid (except for a few ski trips) and exercise is not something I do.

Really. It’s not.

For this reason alone, while inspired I’d frequently read Donna Downey’s weight loss posts with dismay. When it came to Cathy Zielske, I stopped altogether. I moved her blog out of my Reader and refused to read. But of course, every few weeks, I’d sneak a peek and feel terrible all over again.

I am not entirely sure where it came out of but suddenly, in October, I decided enough was enough. I was prioritizing everything else in my life except for what supposedly was the single biggest factor in my unhappiness and lack of self-worth.

So it was time. If these women could do it, so could I. Yes, I could.

I didn’t want to wait until January. Dates are arbitrary and now is always the best time to start anything. Even though it was already October 1, I decided I would start walking the very next day. I’d already bought a Nike+ device thanks to an older Cathy post so the next morning I put my shoes on and got to walking.

And I’ve walked every single day since: (that first Tuesday, my nike+ didn’t work for some reason.)

My goal was to walk somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes each day. Ideally between 1 to 2 miles a day. I cannot run. I just told myself to start where i was. Walk. Even if slowly. I can only start where I am and move from there.

The daily-ness was more important to me than the ability to do longer stretches at a time. I work well with routines and I know that if I give myself one day off, I will quickly start sneaking more days here and there. Everyday is not negotiable. It’s not something I can interpret differently or cheat on. It’s simple. Consistent.

In the last 23 days, I’ve walked daily and i’ve even started running very slowly for one minute or so every 6-7 minutes. Just slowly. Every now and then. I am not forcing myself. The goal is to keep doing this. That’s more important than anything else. Even if I just walk 2 miles a day every single day for the rest of this time, I will still shed the weight. It will happen.

So for the first few weeks, I only added these walks. I didn’t change my diet at all. But then two weeks in, I’d lost five pounds and I decided if I am walking this much, I should at least eat better, too. I don’t eat too much but I eat bad things. Not fried or fast food, but things with zero nutritional value. I also wanted to get my kids eating more veggies. At least Nathaniel who’s still malleable.

So I started a new food regiment last week. I still drink my coffee once (and sometimes even twice) a day. But for lunch, I eat a wrap with broccoli and low fat cheese and heirloom tomatoes. My snacks are a bunch of fruit and some plain yogurt ( I love plain yogurt and I spent a long time at the store comparing ingredients of all of them and bought the Greek one.) My mid of the day coffee(s) has been replaced with this tea:

Courtesy of Cathy’s blog. Thank you Cathy.

My dinners are very light. I generally used to only eat coffee and 2 graham crackers for dinner. Now, on days when I don’t drink another coffee, I eat a bowl of yogurt with some fruit. If I am really hungry, I’ll have more fruit and some water.

This weekend I discovered that Nathaniel will eat pretty much anything if it’s on my plate and not his. So now he’s had sole fish, heirloom tomatoes, summer and winter squash, green beans, and cucumbers just in the last three days. Progress.

I would say that I don’t know how long it will last but I do. This is going to last. Because I’ve decided that this time it’s a priority. I am doing this. I will get healthier, thinner, and have a better diet. Less processed foods. More moving. Healthier will equal happier in this case.

Just last week my wonderful parents bought me a treadmill. Hopefully it’s going to get here end of this week. Which is just in time for the winter. I went out for 25 minutes in the pouring rain today. I will not stop. It will be slow. But I will not stop.

This matters.

And that’s how my plight for the decaf coffee went away. (In the meantime, the little one pretty much stopped nursing, too.)

8 comments to 52 Things – Find a decaf coffee I like..or how I Started to Change my Life

  • PatP

    Hi Karen, Good For You!!! Cathy has been pretty amazing this year, hasn’t she? You keep up the good work, and keep us updated, maybe you can be my motivation to get back to it!

    I was eating much better and moving more prior to my mom’s illness, but I can’t seem to get back there. I’ve gained back 5 of the 20 pounds I’d lost early in the year, I don’t want those other 15 coming back! I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow just to make sure everything is OK otherwise, but I am really trying to find my way back to the healthy path.

    Take care, have a great evening!

  • laura huffman

    good for you. we’re all unique. sounds like you have the right idea. i’ve been exercising with a friend. it really helps us to support each other. keep going and good luck. it’s a life long endeavour.

    • karenika

      if i had a friend to exercise with, i would too i think that really works so well!!! thank you so much and you’re so right, it’s a lifelong endeavor.

  • Kelly

    can you share the details about the tea? Do you believe it enhances your weight loss?

    • karenika

      Hi Kelly, no it’s not weight loss related at all. It’s just normal tea. But it’s better than the coffee i drink cause tea is 0 points but the coffee i drink is 1.5 so I save that each time i choose tea over coffee. Seems like a little but they add up 🙂 It’s adagio teas. 🙂

  • Becky H


    I just found your blog today and I read this post and I have been so with you when reading Cathy Z’s posts. It is so hard to just start and I congratulate you! I have the same weight issues and I weight more now that when I was pregnant with any of my three kids. It is very deprressing but I just have to start so like you I am just going to do it, you have given me the motivation.


    • karenika

      Becky, all I can say is just START. Just do it today. I realized that there’s nothing I am sadder about right now than this. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long long time and it will never go away unless I choose to change it. The good news is that change is 100% within my power. And I owe it to myself to give it all I can. What’s more important than my health after all? I hope you start, too. I’ve been going on for 31 days now, it’s a struggle but I am really trying hard.

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