Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Just my Cup of Tea

July 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Aspire to Inspire, Talk-Tea

Ah food!  I could quite possibly rave on about it all day. I love food, the smell, the sight, the texture, the passion. Yes, food is passion, which explains why as I got older my bottom decided it wanted its own zip code and I’m not the size two I used to be.  Actually that has more to do with steroids administered a lifetime ago and the fall out from spending a couple of years in a wheelchair, but that as they say, is a different story.  Let’s just say that my passion for food didn’t help in my unplanned journey from sylph like to full-bodied.  Comfort food has a way of making you look comfortable like a well stuff armchair!

Comfortable or Overstuffed?

Comfortable or Overstuffed?


Reinvention is a strange process;  although you may start out working on one area of your life the journey has a way of taking over completely.  For me as I fought to get motivated I needed to regain my health, to keep the mobility I have now I needed energy and as I educated myself  I wanted to make better choices.  As I reach out to others I need to be in control, I know I can hold my own in most situations but appearance and confidence is half the battle, looking better means taking better care of me.


So twenty-five pounds ago I began making changes. I pratted around buying endless amounts of gym equipment, while some did have merits (Malibu Pilates Chair and Urban Rebounder) I also invested a bunch of money on things that will never be more than glorified places to hang stuff.

Medieval torture, exercise machine or coat rack?

Medieval torture, exercise machine or coat rack?

Even the good options aren’t things I could see myself doing everyday for the rest of my life. With so many ‘quick fixes’ either exercise, diet or both most are a long term sales plan and not a life plan.  Since I am most definitely an emotional eater I needed to take the emotion (boredom, guilt, pain, passion, hurt, depression) out of the equation I decided to look at my increasing girth and lack of energy as a manufacturing situation.  I took a look at my raw materials, the fuel I put into the furnace, were they the best quality and best options available? I looked at the maintenance needed on the plant and machinery and what I wanted to achieve.   As I looked back I could see a point where things changed and I looked closely at what was different.

What has no calories but makes you fat?

One of the concessions I made in to moving to the U.S. was to start drinking pop, I hadn’t drunk it much before then. I actually moved to the Republic of Korea with the U.S. Military, I call it my M*A*S*H period. When a Brit arrives anywhere the second thing they do is put the kettle on, the first is put down their bag and sometimes that is reversed.  In Korea the water came out of the tap tea colored, I couldn’t tell you what it tasted like I never tried!  As I explored the options I found bottled water was available but it was heavy to haul without a car, and therefore it was used sparingly.  Safe, was soda or beer and since you can’t be drunk all of the time, well you can but I tried that! Our running joke was that each tour came with an automatic follow on to the Betty Ford Clinic so soda was ‘the’ option.


Over the years one can became two, increasing incrementally to Super Gulp level. When you realize you need more than one of those puppies a day you know you have a problem! Coke was no longer refreshment but a habit.  As addictions go it isn’t too horrendous but  whatever your beliefs about aspartame there’s no escaping the fact that it makes you crave sweet things and there are enough statistics indicating that drinking something with zero calories can have a negative effect on your waistline (and potential for diabetes).

In the U.K. life is paced around tea and as a tea lover my alternative was easy. I brew my own tea from tea leaves or tea bags hot or cold, caffeinated, decaf, or tisane (herbal) there is a drink for every occasion.

Tea - The best drink of the day.

Tea - The best drink of the day.

Fast forward to today and I am 6 months ‘sober’ from the dreaded brown CC elixir, it’s been a hard fought battle but I no longer crave it.

With over twelve pounds down in my lifestyle change finding ‘my cup of tea’ was the start of a new path.  I’m not sure if I reverted or converted but I can feel the difference.

Sometimes the key to unlock change is something you wouldn’t expect ~ what habit is holding you back?

*Pratted around = messed around, fumbling missteps ~ based on clown like falls aka pratt falls.



20 Responses to “Just my Cup of Tea”
  1. Hi Laine,
    I so enjoyed reading Just my Cup of Tea and look forward to future postings. I can’t imagine being without water or having to haul it everywhere (the things we take for granted here). MY sister is backing off her soda addiction and it is very hard! It is killer on the blood pressure!
    As far as unlocking change – the fear that holds me back most often is the fear of failure.
    Lovely post!

  2. Fiona Stolze says:

    Nice reading this Laine. The image of that brown water coming out of the tap was not very pleasant. Yuck! I don’t know how I would cope with having to drink fizzy stuff out of a bottle every day. Aspartame, Splenda and co just don’t appear on my radar.

    I love tea in many forms, but mostly the herbal and fruity versions. I stopped drinking caffeinated standard tea from the supermarket years ago and discovered the delights of redbush and the herbal concoctions from the shelves of the health food store.

    I’m so glad to hear that your tea drinking has had an effect on your weight Laine. Well done you. So nice to hear you singing the praises of tea. Thanks for sharing. x

    Fiona Stolze
    Inspired Art and Living

  3. Such a fantastic post, Laine — and very funny! You know I love humor, so any giggle-laced plus informative blog post is right up my alley.

    Congrats on the pounds shed so far!! That’s Fab! I’ve never been much of a soda person (maybe one root beer every couple of months) but I know plenty of folks who are “addicted” to them. I’m not sure if it’s the sugar, the caffeine or just the habit that keeps people bound to their pop. I’m happy to hear you are embracing tea again (over the big gulp)

    You must continue this series and let us witness more of these changes. It’s all good!

    Heidi & Atticus
    “commentary to give you paws…”
    ps: I think nearly everyone has that piece of exercise equipment that really functions as a coat rack! It’s inevitable, I think. I much prefer “playing” than getting on a treadmill or stationary bike.

  4. Laine D. says:

    Thanks Heidi and Atti,

    It is hard to believe that something with no calories can have this effect but the initial weight drop happens within weeks. Then the craving kicks in and its hard to resist the impulse for a sip or two ~ then your usage sneaks up on you. I’ve been off and on the wagon several times 😀 but truly feel a difference now. I guess I can say I was addicted to Coke which makes me sound a little less squeaky clean.

    Yes, playing or being in the outdoors is preferable but trying to get back after injury requires home prep before anyone ‘sees’ you.

    This covers only part of the 25 pounds there is more but I wanted to make it in bite sized junks, my mentor says I should.


  5. Laine D. says:

    Hi Fiona,

    Brown water is definitely not pleasant, Korea also ‘cured’ me of taking a bath it is so much more acceptable not to notice the color of water your lying in, its been showers ever since.

    The funny thing is I always hated the taste of what I call full leaded Coke, maybe because it has an aftertaste but diet was more palatable. Really its all nasty and not good for you. I’ve always loved tea and have a plethora of them from Earl Grey to Vanilla Caramel (black teas and my fave), Roobidoos to Liquorice they have so many health benefits and taste great.

    Tea was always my drink of preference but even a dalliance with soda packs on the pounds. Maybe that’s why you are so slim because you don’t do anything unhealthy.

    Nice to see you finding your path and hope your health is improving.


  6. Laine D. says:

    Hey Nancy,

    You know after I left Korea I wasn’t really aware of soda as a habit, I was able to drink tea again and that was my drink of choice but the office I worked in didn’t have tea making facilities. My soda fix just got bigger and bigger and so did I, it wasn’t until I quit the first time and dropped nine pounds within weeks that I saw the issue.

    I will be writing more on Tea and it seems more on this addiction might help people, it truly is insidious. Tell your sister it takes several attempts but is definitely worth it.

    I can relate to fearing failure too, “… if I don’t put it out there I can’t fail”. Like giving up soda it may take several or dozens of attempts to succeed but you learn something everytime. It may be time to continue with that Barbara Stanny book!

    Thanks for visiting.

  7. Julie Labes says:

    I don’t drink soda’s never have, I drink a cup of PG Tips every morning and I take one to bed with me every night. It relaxes me so much and helps me sleep even though it is caffeinated.

    i have tried a few of the herbal teas but not really found one I like yet. i haven’t noticed ant weight difference ..perhaps I am not drinking the right tea. I look forward to reading more eon this topic

  8. Hi Laine,

    I drink tea ALL THE TIME and I don’t mind admitting that I am addicted to tea!
    The circumstances in Korea must have been hard on you, not having clean water available (we are so spoiled here!)…

    So, I love teas and here I am in the US and I can’t find the teas that I love so much from my home country Germany. My Mom has to send me a package every year with all my favorite flavors. I shop the black teas at the Asian stores but my fruit teas are not even known here. Talking about rose, apple, pear, hibiscus, pineapple, etc… and then all the herbal teas we have with all the dried German herbs that don’t have an English name :-) My husband jokes about it, he says “these aren’t teas, these are infusions” -I don’t care, we call them tea!

    I know that every country has a tea culture and that they are all different and I am excited to find out more about your tea culture. So glad you’re back on the tea-waggon!!

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress

  9. June Sockol says:

    Growing up, we only had soda/pop if we had guests over or it was a big holiday. As an adult we ended up having it in the house everyday. Due to health issues, I stopped drinking my diet soda 2 weeks ago and I don’t even crave it. I’m trying to drink lots of water.

    But…I am dying for some pizza!

  10. Laine D. says:

    I think its the soda that puts the weight on and the non calorie ‘good for you tea’ that helps you relieve the addiction and lose the weight. Wow so caffeine doesn’t have much effect on you then! Is that to do with how weak you have your tea?

    I’m not keen on many herbal teas either too many seem to have a slightly acidic base but I do like Licorice tea, (reminds me of your last post about Greece and the Retsina and Aniseed flavoring). I remember collecting the PG Tips cards when I was a little girl (flowers, butterflies) the cards always smelled of tea leaves.

    Thanks for dropping in (for a cuppa)

  11. Laine D. says:

    Hi Franziska,

    There was a downside to Korea but on the whole it was a great experience, it was one long party but with a serious side and when I watch M*A*S*H it really reminds me of the camaraderie.

    I remember those teas and I think I may have a contact in Texas who can help you out, I’m not sure about the German herbs though. I’m not sure it matters what you call it: ‘infusion’, tisane, its all Tea! Having looked at how many countries embrace some sort of Tea culture I’m looking forward to the adventure. Tea-Waggon love it!

    You inspire me all of the time

    Wishing I was there for the girls bit psychedelic rock gig ~ have fun and if you need to have bail posted call me.

    Laine D.

  12. Laine D. says:

    I know you are a Canadian by birth and I think the ethos is the same as far as soda is concerned. It was definitely only high days and holidays that we had it in the house!

    I’m very impressed that you managed to break your diet soda habit so easily, maybe you weren’t quite as ‘deep’ into or your just super stoic. I think my problem with getting sucked back in was that there really isn’t very much else to drink when you are out here Iced Tea (mostly awful – Lipton stuff YUCK), soda and lemonade, their is water but often its polluted by whatever came out of the spigot last.

    I’m with you8 on the health front, how crazy am I to have been drinking something which robs the minerals out of your bones when I already have joint replacements OI!

    Maybe we need to find you some really good non gluten pizza recipes, pizza is not my thing (except for real Italian pizza) but I can relate to missing particular foodstuffs.

    Hang in there


  13. So happy you are writing and chose to share this story with us! I used to drink diet soda every day and gave it up when I also gave up sugar. I love how you saw the issue as a manufacturing problem! I think removing some of the societal shame and guilt really helps one tackle an issue more productively.

    Welcome back from the edge of incapacity that you described. It is no small fear to reverse course on one’s health trajectory. Hope you’ll write more on this. And I do think soda addiction is a huge issue for the country given the escalation in diabetes and obesity. There is little of less value and more harm than soda!

    Looking forward to sharing more stories of health recovery and restoration.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    “Word maven loves–and learns from–ordinary life.”

  14. Laine, What a wonderful read! I love what you said about reinvention. Once you start down a path it leads to more and more changes! I grew up in the midwest and pop is a big part of the environment there. (I was tickled to hear you call it pop since everyone in California calls it soda). So Coke addiction is something I’ve struggled with too. :-) I don’t like the diet stuff (I think it has an after taste) but have reduced the amount I drink and am working toward cutting it out completely. I’m not a tea drinker but all this talk of tea is tempting me to be one!

    I’d love to hear more about this and also your adventures around the world. Keep writing!

    caregiving. family. advocacy.

  15. Laine D. says:

    Thank you Trish, Oh yes reinvention is a journey not necessarily a destination.

    Its funny that you say you didn’t like the diet coke because of the aftertaste I felt the same way but with non diet! I wonder is it the fizz that we crave? I actually drank seltzer water with vanilla essence (only the real stuff will do) for several months and that really did help, however I find that I can take or leave pop now! Tea may help you too if you find the right flavor, there is so much more than the Lipton stuff they serve in most restaurants. I will definitely be writing more about tea from a cultural, social and health point of view ~ I honestly believe sitting down for a cup of tea is the old ‘social media’.

    I look forward to shedding our addiction together!

    Laine D.

  16. Laine D. says:

    I’m impressed that you gave up not only soda but also sugar! That would definitely be a hard battle in one fell swoop, although to be honest I finding my craving for sweet things is diminished.

    I tend to have an analytical mind, many would say over-analytical which is why my articles and comments are so long. So taking the problem as something separate from my weakness and spreading ‘btm’ helped to depersonalize. I am looking forward to writing more on this subject and have been amazed at the total explosion on this topic and the others I’d covered in my draft. Next post most likely will cover Bisphenol A and our choice to relive an Elizabethan drama of poison fruit.

    Thanks for the example with your food bank article.

    Laine D.
    ‘Aspire to Inspire’

  17. Laine, you are so right about this. I can’t imagine what you had to go through when living in Korea. I’d go nuts. We have it so good. Luckily I don’t drink much soda, and enjoy a spot of tea every once in awhile. I probably have more whiskey than those put together, but something’s got to give after a long week of work. But I do love comfort food. Pizza is my ultimate weakness.

  18. Laine D. says:

    This one snuck in under the wire while work was being done.
    Actually much of my MASH tour was fun, lots of partying not much Whisky but quite a bit of Rum for sure! Totally agree after a long weeks work that ‘s becomes almost a necessity. I may have my ‘coke’ habit under control but comfort food is still very much my weakness ~ potatoes, bread and cheese and anything salty. I loved real Italian pizza but what I’ve tried locally isn’t my style too much red sauce. Got a recommendation? You look pretty fit so either you don’t cave very often or you work out like the superheros you draw.

    Enjoying how your blog and work are developing – Thanks for popping by.
    Laine D.

  19. Domesticus says:

    Tea is indeed so comforting, and it turns out that black tea (as well as green) has antioxidants that are really good for you. Matcha green tea has the most. It doesn’t require a teapot, it’s ground green tea leaves. It tastes OK, but if you’re not crazy about it, you can always add a bit to your Earl Grey, or whatever kind of tea you prefer.

  20. Laine D. says:


    Thanks – that’s a great idea! A great way to sneak a double dose of antioxidants in.

    Laine D

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