Confessions from a Personal Trainer: I want another cup of coffee

Where every Tuesday: I confess.

Confession: I have writer’s block today and really want another cup of coffee.

But with that confession, it made me think about one of my favorite stories of behavior change from my life. I might have already shared it, but it’s worth sharing again because it truly speaks volumes about how change occurs over time in very small steps.

I started drinking “coffee” in college. My roommate at the time said “You should drink coffee.” and since I worked really early in the morning, I decided that was probably a smart decision. I had long been on the caffeine train with my Diet Coke habit, but I was open to new things.

So she took me to get my first cup of coffee. We went to the 7-Eleven gas station next to campus and she instructed me to fill my cup 3/4 of the way full with cappuccino (you know – the powdered mix that goes with water to make a sugary, sugary yummy filled drink?) and then we added 1/4 coffee.


THIS WAS DELICIOUS. Is this really what coffee is like? I’m hooked.


She instructed me that as my taste adapted to coffee, to bring the ration to more coffee, less cappuccino. And I did that. Over the next 3 years I had a great coffee habit. All from the gas station. Sometimes multiple times per day.

Then I moved to MN and met the Caribou latte. Follow along this time line to see how the story progresses.

  • Move to MN and meet the almost $4 Caribou latte.
  • Break the bank paying for lattes every day – buy $20 coffee maker for home
  • Have no idea how to create the proper ratio of grinds/water and coffee is gross – keep buying lattes
  • Eventually figure out the ratios and make coffee at home with caramel or vanilla syrup – a “latte”
  • KEURIG is invented. This solved my ratio problem and I was in heaven.
  • KEURIG breaks and of course I buy a new KEURIG.
  • Take a food sensitivity test and realize milk is no longer a part of my current life. Replace milk with almond or coconut milk – still not bad.

At this point I am actually just drinking coffee, a form of milk, and some sweetener (not syrup)- not bad. Starting to think about my overall health and wonder why I was putting coffee and hot water through plastic cups. Plastic is a known endocrine disruptor especially when heat is added. Hmmmm.

  • Buy a grinder/coffee maker combo and start buying organic fair trade coffee beans from the COOP.
  • My coffee is AMAZING.
  • I also now have added back in organic full fat half and half to my coffee with some vanilla stevia drops.

I’m not all the way to black coffee and I don’t know if I will ever be, but I’m happy with how I progressed. The thing is, I was really proud of myself each step along the way. I progressed from a cup full of sugar to a latte, to making it at home, to switching out my milks, to ditching the Keurig, and now savoring a wonderful organic cup of coffee with full fat half and half which is so satisfying.



If you had told me that first day I drank a sugar filled cappuccino coffee that one day I would be drinking almost black coffee, I would have laughed at you.

This coffee story took place over the last 14 years. That’s a LONG time to change a habit.

So if you are struggling to create a habit change remember to celebrate every step along the way and understand and value the process.

  • Trying to eat better – celebrate every time you eat a vegetable
  • Working to add in exercise – celebrate every time you finish a work out
  • Need more sleep – celebrate every time you go to bed 5 minutes earlier than normal
  • Attempting to keep your cool with your kids – celebrate every time you don’t lose your temper

Personally and with clients  – I see the frustration of not being able to change something RIGHT NOW. I ate right and exercised for a week – why didn’t Iose the 10 lbs I wanted to? (oh wait – is that me talking?) 🙂

One day at a time. One decision at a time.

One victory at a time.

I’m off to go get a second cup of coffee!

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