When work is the diet plan…

My healthy eating plan takes work.


When I was a teen with a full stomach and a plate still too full of food, I enlisted my father’s help.

“Dad, I’ll pay you a quarter if you finish this for me.”

(I didn’t, but he cleaned my plate for me anyway.)

But my dad isn’t here to bail me out anymore, and I’ve had to find other ways to rid myself of leftover temptations. For me, that takes work. As in my workplace or, more to the point, my coworkers.

I have yet to manage the “eat to live; don’t live to eat” mantra and so work has become part of my self-imposed healthy eating plan. I am a foodie and, what’s more, I am a darn good cook. I am also smart enough to know I shouldn’t tackle eating, say, a half pan of leftover homemade apple crisp by myself. I’ve learned to share the wealth (of calories).

Earlier this week, I brought nearly an entire loaf of amazing pumpkin bread, compliments of my daughter-in-law who admitted “the bread is addictive.” She’d gifted us with two solid loaves, and our family had made our way through one plus when I packed the remainder in a gallon size bag and casually left it, unannounced, on the kitchen table at work.

It was gone by 10.

bring apple crisp
The Post-It note was my way of strong-arming myself into bringing this cherished dessert to work this morning.

Today I come bearing homemade apple crisp, which begs for oven warming and vanilla ice cream but will surely disappear anyway. This delight — based on my mother’s apple pie recipe but with a gluten free crisp topping instead of pie crust — is hard to share. I left myself a note on the cabinet last night to remind myself I’d decided to give this away. My son added his comments at some point in the night — essentially, why? — to which I’d added, “My thoughts exactly.”

It’s called discipline.

My husband is disciplined enough to send leftover ice cream with our guests when we’ve had it for dessert, for he knows he will be tempted to eat the remainder. (I personally would like the opportunity to be tempted, but I understand.) And just yesterday my coworker told me she actually threw away the remainder of a photo-worthy (I know because she showed me the photo), luscious layer cake with raspberry cream filling and buttercream frosting her daughter had made for Thanksgiving. Her daughter’s creation. In the trash. So harsh I almost cried when she told me. Such discipline.

“I knew I’d eat it,” she explained, simply.

And then she asked me for the recipe for the pumpkin bread I’d left in the kitchen because it was s-o-o-o good…


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