Category Archives: Getting Fit

A Little Coffee With Your Creamer?

Now, I will admit that I have a thing for coffee. I’ve been known to hit Starbucks when the mood strikes, and indie places when I feel guilty enough. After all, I am the mocha monster.

But there’s one problem. If you haven’t noticed, most brewed coffee drinks, the mocha frappe latte whipped cream extravaganzas are caloric nightmares.

Exhibit A: The basic mocha, which I’m sure I’ve indulged a good many times on throughout the last couple of years, is approximately 200 calories.
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Exhibit B: A tall (12oz) white chocolate mocha

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This baby’s about 320 calories. I think I’m going to cry now.

Now what’s a girl to do? As of late, I tend to go for non-fat and soy, and a complete eradication of whipped cream and syrup from the cup. Notching down my cup size, I can usually convince myself to go for a tall or a short drink, and at some places I’ve frequented, I can whittle down to an 8oz. Which, six months ago, would have seemed criminal but six months ago I couldn’t fit into any size smaller than an XL so I’ll live with it.

At home, where I’ve got a coffee machine and coffee that doesn’t cost four dollars a cup (though if my dad ever sprang for civet coffee, I’d change my tune and potentially think about switching permanently to tea), I can be a pretty frequent coffee drinker. For one, I’m practically a zombie without the first morning cup. (As is most of the country, of course.) Forget about Dawn of the Dead. You wake me up before eight in the morning and you have bigger problems than a horde of zombies mobbing (or is that hording?) urban centers.

So I pour myself a cup of Joe. But what about the creamer you ask?

Well, before I started losing weight, I would basically pour the creamer into my cup until the coffee within was the same color as chalk. Which meant I ended up with what had to be fifty grams of sugar but at eight/nine in the morning, I figured I needed the sugar. This had the benefit of allowing me to drink even the crappiest cup of coffee. Enough creame and you can swallow it down, albeit ending up with an overly saccharine drink that has the vague after-taste of crappy coffee.

Somehow, someway, I was eventually able to whittle my creamer craving down enough so that I could drink my coffee with exactly one tablespoon of creamer (35 calories in the brand we buy!), all carefully rationed out with the same care as a bomb maker working in a sewer. Sure, if the coffee’s horrible or overly strong then it’s basically undrinkable but then why drink it if it’s that bad? I can drink it black on occasion, if it’s an especially good blend. Though most mornings you’ll find me in the kitchen, rationing out my creamer while flipping around scrambled eggs for my sisters (and egg whites for me).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to nurse a craving for a skinny vanilla latte.

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The Why

Apparently people are actually reading this blog.

Which is amazing and I have to thank everyone who’s stopped by the site- I honestly didn’t expect more than ten people to hop by, so thank you everyone! I suppose I’m obligated to deliver now, eh?

So, today I’d like to start about why I’m doing this. The weight-loss, not necessarily the blog (though in a sense that factors in).

It was sometime in mid-July and I was at my worst. I was single (and had been for the last month), sad sack, and to top it off, 220 pounds. I was pathetically unfit (couldn’t walk up the stairs without losing breath for one, forget about running or doing a decent push-up), and I felt frumpy, and tired, both mentally and physically, constantly.

This was me then.

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My mom, at the time, was auditioning for Season 14 of the Biggest Loser. So in preparation, she was watching previous seasons, lest she be called upon to remember a former cast member, a moment, and otherwise know partly what to expect (though judging by many of the contestants, apparently even if they’ve been following the show since the beginning, the fact that training with Jillian is the equivalent of boot camp with less camo, that can’t even prepare them). So I, having little to do except prepare for an upcoming choir trip to New Orleans (which I might talk about in a later post), sat down to see what the hubbub was about, despite my apprehensions about it being a dreaded reality show.

I watched one season. Then another. And soon I’d seen five of them, back to back.

What astounded me were the contestants themselves. They came from all over, from all sorts of different backgrounds, but they were there for one purpose- to change their lives (some had a more altruristic purpose but we’ll ignore that and move on). And did they ever.

Here were these people, unfit and sometimes just as sad sack as I was, who had managed to turn it all around. They were able to drop weight, slim down, work through the dreaded “walls”, and though it took sweat, tears, on occasion vomiting, there they were at the end- beaming on a stage at the season finale, almost new people from how they’d begun the season.

And I thought, Well, if they can do it, couldn’t I? After all, though I didn’t have a ranch to work my little butt off on, nor a Jillian Michaels (sadly), there were people losing weight at home all the time. Couldn’t I be one of those people? All it took was work, didn’t it?

So I waited until I returned from my New Orleans trip. (Because, in all honesty, I wasn’t about to miss out on Cajun cuisine, no matter how horribly artery clogging it was.) And I started.

I started small. Reduced my portions, went for longer and more frequent walks. Eventually I began removing foods entirely from my diet (Sayonara, doughnuts! I won’t miss you!), added in new, more vigorous work-outs (Hello, elliptical. How very much like a torture device you look like), and counted my calories along the way.

And though it took some time, the weight began to drop.

Over half a year later, after working at this diet and exercise thing, I now look like this:

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(note, this was taken on my 18th birthday. I’ll post something more recent soon since I’ve lost a little more weight since this was taken)

I won’t kid you. There’s still a ways to go before I’ll hit my ultimate goal of 140 pounds. But until then, I’ll be at the gym, making it count.