What I Taught My Mother

I told her about this wonderful practice in the form of a DVD, and as a result she had an unexpected moment of deep connection with her son who was suffering from a debilitating disease, and who would need the skills to help him heal. And with these skills, I hope that some of the people who will see these images will be equipped to take their own action to stop the spread and spread of the disease.

I started the Fall in a Cup project because I needed to start with something that I was already invested in. When I found the pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks, I knew that this was the thing I wanted to share with her. But while they are delicious, I have a lot of reservations about the practice of consumption. The amount of sugar, cream, and fat in them is excessive. Additionally, I find it hard to get a lot of pleasure out of the flavor combination; I enjoy the vanilla flavor, so the caramel and cinnamon notes may not be for me. I’m also skeptical about the long-term effects of all this extra sugar on my health. But she seemed willing to try them. When she saw that I was serious about this issue, and that I had done my homework, she got on board and began to share with me her knowledge. I was surprised at the degree to which she was concerned with the nutritional qualities of what was being consumed. I mean, she is a professional, and a woman. When she was told that she was consuming more sugar and fat than a bag of popcorn, she asked how I would feel about the possibility that I might have a heart attack or stroke after drinking that one extra sip. In fact, she was concerned that I might have had a heart attack due to excessive soda consumption.

When she started sharing her knowledge, I was surprised at just how much she knew about nutrition. Her level of expertise was amazing. I didn’t even know that one or two servings (and even that was a generous standard) of sugar on a daily basis could be lethal. I’m so happy that she decided to try a new way of eating. And now that the Fall in a Cup video is released, I thought that she might be willing to help me give that another shot.

I still have a few things up in the air. For sure, I will be asking her questions in the comments, and I’d love to hear what she has to say. I’d also love to hear from the women and men who have participated in the Fall in a Cup Challenge, if they’d like to contribute. I don’t want to stop this journey with any regrets. I want every participant to succeed, and to be able to walk away feeling like the real me. And so many of us have gone through that transformation already.

I’ve also been really inspired by the community that has emerged around this project. We have helped people get some pretty extreme ideas on how to start giving up the stuff that we want to eat: I’ve read posts from people trying to turn off the TV and food, people making food-specific resolutions, people deciding to cut out certain sugary treats, people trying to make a healthier “cheat” meal, and so on and so forth. What a wonderful phenomenon! And I think that’s what we are trying to create: a place where that feeling of freedom and self-determination can begin.

And you see it in people’s faces, right? When you ask someone how they got to a new health goal, their face lights up like a kid on Christmas morning. “I want to look nice this summer!” is their reply. They have achieved a long-overdue goal by making a new decision. And that in itself is a powerful action, and a positive one. This project is a chance for everyone to help themselves, by choosing to make positive changes. I want to tell you all about it!

The Fall in a Cup Team . . .

This video project was also the launch of a new website designed by my friend and colleague, Julie Brown-Abington. I found her website, and fell in love immediately with her ability to visualize what she is trying to do: use a powerful visual aid to help people think about their choices and choose the healthier option. And it’s her website that I am bringing to your attention. Go to to get up to speed on And if you want to go deeper into the Fall in a Cup story, check out Julie’s TED talk , which is also available on she is also part of the growing Fall in a Cup team, where each month I offer a “challenge” to participants who write me with their questions (I can’t list all them because the mail has been so much overwhelming!). If you would like to get involved too, check out the blog at http://fallinginthecup.wordpress.