Friday, August 20, 2010

Ice Cream Party at Work Today

We celebrate the August birthdays today at work with an ice cream party. There are already 3 tubs of ice cream in the freezer, cones and topping for the ice cream, and a pack of Oreo cookies. By the time everyone gets to work there will be three times that amount stored away in the kitchen for the 10 o'clock party.

My contribution to these parties is always the same. I bring an ice chest with a 12-pack of Diet Cokes and a 12-pack of regular Sprites. It's easy to "fix" so this is a good niche for me. Of course, with about 10 parties a year (we double up a couple of times on months without many birthdays), bringing drinks to the parties equals about $100 of cost every year. For people who fix dishes, it certainly equals $100 or more in ingredients and time. It wouldn't bother me at all if we did away with these monthly birthday parties, but then we would have even more parties as each department honored their employees individually.

I'll be drinking a Diet Coke today and that's all. In theory, a small bowl of ice cream wouldn't be too bad, but it's easier to stop at none than it is to stop after a small bowl. Here's something that might help me stay away from all of the extra calories:

I have one of those ice chest with two wheels so you can pick up on one end and roll the chest around. The chest, 24 soft drinks, and a 20-pound bag of ice weighs 40 pounds. If my knowledge of physics is correct, that means I was lifting about 20 pounds and the wheels were supporting 20 pounds. Later when I had to pick up the ice chest, I was flat out lifting 40 pounds. It's a lot of weight. I'm close to 225 pounds right now and I'm going to drop down to 175 pounds. That's 50 pounds, the same as my ice chest today plus 10 more pounds for good measure. The relief of not dealing with those 50 pounds 24 hours a day will be incredible.

Getting rid of those 50 pounds isn't an overnight thing, but it also doesn't have to be seen as a difficult and near impossible thing. I won't eat ice cream today at 10, or at noon for dessert, or at 3 for an afternoon break. That will keep me away from at least 1,500 calories. That will keep me away from a major dieting setback. It won't be painful, it won't leave me suffering, and when I get home at 4:30 I'll feel just the same as I'd feel if my day had been spent snacking. When you realize that short term burst of pleasure are being traded in for years and years of added comfort and ease of living, skipping the ice cream and cookies is really a very easy choice to make.

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