Yesterday, my teacher appeared in the form of a packet of artificial sweetener.
While running some errands I got a hankering for an iced coffee. Somewhat of a coffee snob, I especially enjoy a hot, dark roast coffee. But in the heat of the summer sun, iced coffee was calling me. For some reason, even though I don’t put sugar in my hot coffee, when it’s cold, I like it sweet. So as I made my way to the coffee shop, daydreaming about my mid-day treat, I realized that I’d have to pass on the packet of Equal. And I should probably skip the cream (I’ve been drinking it black the last few weeks), as well. Nevermind that I haven’t yet convinced myself of the adverse effects of coffee in and of itself. My internal dialogue went something like this: “A packet of Equal can’t be all that bad.” And, “Calorie-wise, it’s fine!” And finally (my pathetic favorite), “You deserve it!”
I got cranky. By the time I reached the cashier, I was all twisted inside. And then, like a bolt of lightning, I realized that this is how it happens. This is how I get from drinking warm lemon water every morning, to nibbling munchkins in the faculty room. These seemingly little choices reflect a mindset, and that mindset either leads me to better health or instant gratification. I can eat anything I want, ANYTHING!
So which is it? What do I want to eat?!? What does my body need (and deserve!)?
When the server asked me what I’d like, I replied, “Small, black coffee, please.” I sipped that coffee for the rest of the day, and felt grateful for the choice I made. While I’m not so sure about the negative effect of a packet of artificial sweetener, I am very sure of the positive impact my choice for health had on the rest of my day.
And that is Why it Matters.