Last Friday, I went to see my doctor because I had been suffering from an earache for over a week and I was concerned about the tinnitus that was ringing loudly in the affected ear. I had been swallowing Sudafed every five hours over the course of the week and felt it was time to see the doctor for two reasons; (a) my ear still hurt and (b) I was concerned with the possibility of hearing loss which has normally been associated with tinnitus.
Upon my arrival, the nurse decided to check my height, weight and vital statistics because I hadn’t been to the doctor in a while. I thought it was odd that my height, weight and blood pressure would be involved in an ear examine but I didn’t bother to argue because it was the equivalent of having my mechanic check my tire pressure while he changed my oil.
When the examination was over, there was bad news and good news to report. The Bad News? It was an ear infection and required antibiotics. The Good News? I lost another eight pounds and I have apparently grown another half an inch. I was as perplexed as you probably are about the height gain but the weight loss was not that much of a surprise to me.
A couple of years ago, I switched the ingredients of my morning coffee. Instead of making my coffee with milk and sugar, I started drinking black coffee to cure my loud snoring. Snoring?! Does coffee have some kind of mystical power that cures snoring? I know it sounds stupid. Even I didn’t believe it when I read it. I agreed with all of the other empirical data that was provided in the online report I was reading about the health benefits of black coffee but as a cure for snoring, I was even skeptical. But there it was in black and white as though it had been added as an afterthought, “Oh, by the way, it has been suggested that black coffee can reduce or eliminate snoring.”
Oh, well, thanks for that bit of information, I’ll give it a try! And I don’t intend for that remark to come off as smug or sarcastic as it does because I was genuinely intrigued. I had been having my own issues with snoring at the time. In fact, my snoring had gotten so loud in the middle of the night that my wife would often seek refuge in the guest room so she could get a decent night’s sleep. So I decided to try it. I switched to black coffee.
A couple of days later, I stepped on a scale for the first time in months and I was shocked at the number staring back at me. I couldn’t believe it. That number couldn’t be correct. It had to be a mistake. Maybe it was all the holiday food, or maybe the scale was broken… or maybe… or maybe… or maybe…. and as I started to think about all of the excuses I could find for my weight being so high, I realized that my “Maybe’s” were the first part of my problem. I hadn’t taken personal responsibility for my own situation.
So I started to take stock in my everyday life and the habits I had developed. And the answer was simple; being in my latter thirties, I couldn’t eat or live like I was twenty-two anymore. As much as I hated to admit it to myself, I was not as active as I was in my early and mid-twenties and I had to come to terms with the simple realities of my life; I was getting older. The first change I had to make was one that would be easier said than done! I had to be smarter about my attitude towards food and the things that I ate.
And so it started. The weeks that followed my dietary revelation were spent figuring out how to make changes to my lifestyle. I examined every facet of my food consumption and caloric intake. Finally, I settled on a plan that would hopefully help me sustain a healthier life. It wasn’t going to be easy but as long as I remembered that it took years to put the weight on and that it was going to take time to take the weight off, I would be okay.
I also had to realize that this wasn’t a diet. There was no end to my plan. I had to change my life and adapt changes for the remainder of my life. My goal was to be healthy and part of being healthy was the understanding that life happens. Yes, I can indulge from time to time. But I also had to be cognizant of the fact that indulgences are a treat not a daily occurrence. This personal responsibility stuff was going to be harder than I thought it would be.
It has been a long road but so far my plan has worked. I am not a doctor, I am not a nutritionist and I am not a dietician. I am an individual who has fought genetics and bad eating habits for the past twenty years, who finally decided to use my own practical intelligence to come up with a life-long plan that I believe will help me live a healthier life. And the only person I am accountable to is me and so far, I have lost thirty-five pounds. I have more energy, I feel better about myself and I am healthier than I have been in years
So does black coffee truly have mystical powers? It has changed my life. Not only has my doctor been impressed by the medical results of my physical examinations but because of a random health report on black coffee, I reexamined my whole life and made changes that will have positive benefits for years to come. And as if that wasn’t enough good news, are you ready for the really great news?! Except for when I am sick, my snoring is finally cured!