Never be afraid to ask for what you need (or to put your money where your mouth is)

Yesterday, I woke up feeling refreshed; literally like it was a new day. And for the first time in a long time I felt optimistic about my weight loss efforts. I was looking forward to wearing my new clothes and feeling comfortable.

However, I know myself enough to know that wearing a pretty new dress wasn’t going to cut it, at least not on day one.

First things first: I admit that I am a calorie counter. This was a problem, because I was counting the empty calories as I ate them. I’ll continue to count calories, but I will also be more diligent about the quality.

For example, the apple that I had yesterday afternoon was much more satisfying than 1 1/2 Reese’s pieces cups that I get for the same 95 calories!

Remember the candy bowl – you know, the infamous office candy bowl? Well, unfortunately we became reacquainted – after an almost two year hiatus somewhere along the second week of February? (Can anyone say Valentine’s Day?) What started off as one piece of substandard dark chocolate, quickly became became two, and then eventually shot up to 6 or 8 pieces a day. And, much to my chagrin, I was no longer limiting myself to dark. I’ll admit it, I hooked again – not on cheap chocolate, but on the sugar.

And for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, sugar, for some of us, is as addictive as crack.

So the very first thing I did yesterday morning was draft an email to my entire office:

Hello all!

I need your help as I have fallen afoul of the infamous bowl.

If you see me with a piece of chocolate in my hand, or even reaching for one, I will give you $20.00.

Thanks for your assistance in this small, but consequential matter.


Now I would have loved to have seen their faces, when they opened that message. Because, trust me, it didn’t take long for the responses to start pouring in. Here’s a sample:

This is a great decision. I should also become brave like you and participate in the pledge. But, for now, I look forward to making some money this year. I will be watching you very carefully. – M

As incoming chair, I wouldn’t mind if your first official act in office was to remove the bowl in the first place! But I’ll keep an eye on you anyway. Let me know when you want to have lunch. – J

To me it seems like you have infinite will-power, but I will be happy to help out (and take your money!). – D

I shall be vigilant and have started my vigilance by absconding ten minutes ago with one Hersey mini from the infamous bowl. – B

One thing that many of you may not know about me, because this is a blog about food and not money, is that I am about as cheap as anyone can possibly get. I also have enough pride to choke a horse and even though I am willing to bare my foibles here, I am not willing to do so in the office. And though I know that there are going to be times that I am alone in the office, I have enough personal honor to know that if I were to reach for a Hershey’s miniature (shudder) that I really would feel compelled to leave a $20 on the departmental administrator’s desk.

And, knowing her, and not to mention my luck, I can just about guarantee that she’d use it to – you guessed it – buy even more chocolate!

The funny thing is that now that I went public, I am no longer tempted. Nothing’s changed. The bowl still sits right outside my door. But the thought of laying down $20 for a single piece of candy (or $120 for 6) or people watching me do it….

No way.

I’m not quite willing to offer Michael $40 every time he catches me in the tahini jar, but it’s a close thing.

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