Here’s a shocker. Did you know that I have never, ever, ever had a coffee in my life? As a naturally early riser and someone that is sensitive to caffeine, I simply don’t need coffee to start my day. And to be honest, I just don’t feel like I’m old enough. Maybe when I hit 40. 🙂
Hard to believe, right? And okay, I admit it’s not 100% true. There was a time I “had a coffee”, but it was when I was 4 years old. Let me tell you a quick story about one of my first memories.
My father, good ol’ Howie Ballantyne, always had a coffee when he came in from feeding his cows. He had a hundred head of beef cattle that he fed twice a day. It wasn’t the hardest part of his day, but he had to get them their breakfast before 7am.
After finishing his chores, he’d return to the house, make his coffee, and have a single egg and piece of toast. At 5 foot 10, he didn’t weigh more than 155 pounds all his life, at least not until the cancer got him in 2011 and his body puffed up from all the medication.
But that’s another story for another time.
Howie poured a double dose of milk and four teaspoons of sugar into his coffee. Basically he made a non-alcoholic Kaluha to start his day.
Funny thing is that he’d never finish his coffee. There were always half-drunk cups sitting around the house.
As a curious little 4-year old boy, I wanted to be a big boy like Daddy and drink coffee. “It’ll put hair on your chest,” he joked…or wait, that was when his buddies would give me a sip of beer. Another story for another other time, ha.
When dad went back outside to work on his tractors, I’d stop playing with my toy tractors, and drink his lukewarm, sugary coffee.
Right there I made an association between coffee and sweetness, and maybe that’s why I like Kaluha coffee liquere in my weekend Black Russian cocktails, and why it became a hard habit for me to kick as an adult. But I have kicked it, proud to say. No more of that sugary stuff for me.
It proves the power of association. That’s what I wrote about last Sunday. Maybe your parents – or grandparents – let you have treats as a kid that turned into addictions as adults. These automatic associations (and addictions) are a lot more powerful than simply trying to choose the right foods. It’s why so many TT readers eat the wrong carbs at night, because we were rewarded with evening sugary treats as kids.
We were set up to fail. It’s not your fault.
But a dear TT reader, Laurelee B., wrote in with her own tale of association and wanted to give you these tips to overcome sugar and caffeine addiction.
“Your association of having snacks and watching the game with your friend is something similar to what I experienced. I’m in a group of moms that go out to the local coffee shop and have coffee and doughnuts. As a result I always associated coffee with something sweet. Once I realized that what I really enjoyed was the conversation with other moms, I was able to omit the doughnut and simply enjoy the coffee and conversation.
“Incremental change is what I used to make my dietary changes as well. I was addicted to the caffeine in coffee. So, progressively, coffee with sugar and milk became coffee with just milk, then 1/2 decaf, half regular coffee and milk, and then 1/2 water, 1/2 coffee and organic cocoa with milk, then coffee substitute with cocoa, milk and cinnamon (feels almost like a latte). I still enjoy my coffee but it is no longer an addiction.
Now I when I crave something, I start to look at the psychological and emotional triggers and that helps me to at least recognize and then, modify, my habits.” – Lauralee B.
That’s great advice.
Just as you can slowly get up earlier, setting your alarm clock an extra minute ahead each day of the week, you can slowly cut back on bad dietary habits.
Incremental improvement works.
Switching out bad ingredients for good, adding in good habits in place of bad.
That’s how we get better. That’s how we transform.
That’s how we win, succeed, and lose the weight we want.
You can do it.
And if you need some help fixing your diet, to fight against those automatic addictions like overeating sugary carbs at night, here’s a great resource. It shows you the best carbohydrate foods to help you get a flat belly.
If you’ve been told you need to avoid carbs to get a flat belly, you’ve been LIED to.
In fact, if you want to lose the MOST weight, you MUST eat carbs… but the trick is knowing which carbs fuel your fat-burning metabolism, and those that you must AVOID to lose belly fat.
Fortunately, my friend and certified nutritionist Joel Marion wrote a very interesting carb-eating blueprint that you can download for FREE today showing you the 5 BEST carbs to eat for a flat belly and several other “nightmare carbs” you must avoid if you want to get a flat stomach.
By the way, it’s Joel’s birthday coming up at the end of the month and I’ll be visiting him and his family over Easter weekend. But there there will be a lot of chocolate temptations.
Chocolate is one of my weaknesses.
I’m a sucker for sugar…maybe I should blame Dad for leaving out those coffees! The good news is that I have a plan for overcoming the food obstacles, and I’ll give it to you on Sunday morning.
Until then, start slowly cutting back on your bad habits and replacing them with good habits.
That’s how you win at this game of life.
You can do it,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – More truth…
Change your mindset. You must truly believe in yourself. When you do, you can rise up even higher than you ever dreamed possible. Raise yourself up as high as you can go. It’s up to you. No one will do it for you.
But you have to be tough on yourself. It is not easy to succeed. Demand more of yourself. You can do it. I know you have it in you. I believe in you…now it’s time for you to believe in yourself.
Stay strong. Get stronger. Keep on pushing on. And never, ever, EVER give up on what is important to you and your family.
That’s the #truth.