In season one, episode two of My Name is Earl, a plate of cookies are delivered to Earl Hickey. Earl is warned that the cookies are poisoned but his over weight brother Randy didn’t get the news. When Randy picks up a cookie, Earl quickly jumps in:
Earl Hickey: Those are poisoned.
Randy Hickey: How poisoned?
How poisoned? Now that’s funny. I love this scene because I relate. Its hard to remember the cost of immediate gratification when the cost isn’t immediate. I was reminded of this while reading the blog post What if Ice Cream Cost You Your Vision. The author, Joshua Becker asks what if every time you ate ice cream, it would cost you 1% of your vision. Of course my first thought is that I would never eat ice cream again. But Becker goes on to say:
Eventually, I would try it out. I would eat some ice cream and then look at some words to see if they were blurry. I’m guessing I would see just fine – 1% wouldn’t make that much difference. But just to be safe, I would only have ice cream once a month.
You may think you wouldn’t dare, but I’m ready to admit I know that I would – I’m already doing that everyday; asking “How poisoned?” My poor food choices, both in quality and quantity show that I don’t care that I’m committing suicide slowly. Well, maybe “I don’t care” is a bit too strong. I do care… but only enough to ask “How poisoned?”
In some cases, my bad food choices are auto-pilot behavior; a type of self herding, where I line up behind myself in making decisions I am comfortable with because I have made those same choices before – choices such as late night snacking or eating everything off my plate even after I’m full. In other cases, there is an impulse; an overwhelming desire to get the second or third severing. Living on purpose addresses both but doesn’t make good choices any easier.
As a diabetic, I’m aware that one of the complications that can occur with diabetes is blindness. I’m not sure that Mr Becker knew this when he wrote his post, which is actually intended to be a metaphor about purchasing and collecting stuff over time. For me, eating sugar foods like ice cream or cookies isn’t just a bad food choice, it truly is poison. And yet…
What about you? Have you ever found yourself asking “How Poisoned?”