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Diet Day 230

Yesterday, the weather being sunny and hot for the first time since September 2010, I was struck with the notion of having myself an iced mocha as a treat. All the ice in my freezer, however, had freeze-dried itself away, so I had to wait.

The convergence of ice cubes and an appropriate hour at which to drink two shots of espresso didn't happen till this morning. So I prepared my iced mocha and sat down to enter my recipe for it into Livestrong (since it seemed likely that I might be having another one now and then during the course of the summer).


Screenshot of calorie counter at Livestrong, showing a value of 498 calories consumed
One measly mocha. Five hundred calories.

That's not someone else's guess about some drink served at Starbucks. That's the exact caloric value of the drink I made myself this morning, weighed and measured and double-checked.

I used to drink these every day.

Now, one could argue that my net calorie goal of 1140 is low, and it is--I am, after all, trying to lose weight at a perceptible pace. But even if I were eating to maintain my current weight, my target would be under 2000, and that mocha would still represent a quarter of my daily need.

(Let's not even get into the fat and sugar portion of the discussion. I'm all for fat, but sugar is not my best friend.)

I look back and marvel at my own willful denial over the years. I knew that my eating was the cause of my slow 100-lb gain, but I could not admit that any one choice, like a 500-calorie daily beverage, had any particular impact.

Today I enjoyed my two-shot iced milk-chocolate mocha, and I'm also going to be aware that for a few moments' (very considerable) pleasure and no significant nutritive value, I now get to feel hungry till lunchtime, and my Sunday shopping by bike will burn only about 75% of those delicious, wasted calories.

It's not that an iced mocha is a bad thing. On the contrary, it's a special treat. Now I know to keep it that way.

This is the power of facts.

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