Thursday, May 31, 2007

I Did a Dumb Thing

Many dieters complain about this same problem. You do something that sounds like a good idea at the time, only to realize that what you've done either directly or indirectly sabotaged your diet.

I did a dumb thing the other day.

I have The Credit Card that gives you points for every purchase you make. About a year or two ago, a nice salesperson convinced me I should sign up for their program, so I could earn lots of rewards. A buddy of mine signed up and just raved about the program and all the free trips he's taken as a result of the airline miles he's earned.

I should have known it was a dumb idea. I rarely travel. Even if someone gave me free airline tickets to a fabulous location, I still wouldn't be able to go, because it's hard to find a reliable (and affordable) pet sitter for my persnickety pets, and getting time off from work is like trying to pull teeth without anesthetic. Even with those facts in mind, the promises of free goodies seemed too hard to resist and I signed up.

Two years of membership fees and credit card purchases later, I ended up with about 18,000 points in my account, and I figured it was time to redeem my rewards. I went onto The Credit Card's web site and started looking around for something I wanted. I didn't find much that really interested me. Sure, there were lots of things to get, such as free car rentals (don't need that), airline miles (can't use that), or free tickets to movie theaters that don't service our area. There was a lot of chintzy merchandise and electronics that we could buy, but none of it was very inspiring. There was a clock radio with a CD player (yawn), a bathroom scale (already have one), and a pair of cheap binoculars. Finally, after I looked through the site for over an hour and found nothing, I nearly gave up. I was just about to sign out when I noticed I could buy gift cards for an Italian restaurant chain that happens to have a location about 30 miles from us.

Score! I had enough points to buy several gift cards. We'll probably have enough for a couple of dinners out. Woot!

When the cards arrived in the mail yesterday, I realized I'd done a Dumb Thing. Although this particular restaurant does have a few healthy choices, I don't go there to eat healthy. I go there to make a pig of myself. The point of going is to eat my weight in bread sticks, followed by soup, a melted cheese on bread appetizer, and a huge serving of fettuccine alfredo. By the time I'm done eating, I figure I have probably gobbled up close to 2,000 calories in a sitting, and it's so good.

But of course now I really don't need to be gobbling up 2,000 calories in a single sitting. Now I try to limit my meals to no more than 400 calories each. Just the bread sticks alone probably add up to that.


So now I have three $25 gift cards for this wonderful restaurant sitting on my desk. I look at them and imagine the flavorful bread sticks, the marvelous minestrone, and the obscene quantities of cheese everywhere. I get a little dizzy just thinking about it, and I close my eyes and imagine myself nestling up in a queen-sized plate of fettuccine.

I should have ordered gift cards for my favorite online music site instead. I should go and kick myself.

1 comment:

Liz said...

can you maybe give them to a friend for a birthday, anniversary, or some-other-special-occasion present?