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The Ice Cream Diet

Obesity as a Positive Lifestyle Choice.

Michael David Crawford, Consulting Software Engineer
Solving The Software Problem
mdcrawford@gmail.com

Copyright © 2006 Michael David Crawford.

My name is Mike, and I like ice cream.

Hi Mike!

It all started innocently enough: every little boy likes ice cream.

The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

The Good Book says it was an apple, but there are many kinds of apples: the Red Delicious, the Golden Delicious, the Pippin and the Apple Pear, which is grown in greenhouses.

I don't know whether it's Biblical scholarship or tradition that informs us, but I understand that The Forbidden Fruit was actually a Quince.

"It's milk," said my doctor to my mother. "He's allergic to milk."

But there were many kinds of milk: whole milk, skim milk and cream for coffee or for whipping. There is cheese: Cheddar, Mozarella, Swiss or Monterey Jack. There is the milk in milk chocolate. But above all else there was:

The Fair Trade Country Cafe's ice cream sundae, ready to eat.

The Fair Trade Country Cafe's
ice cream sundae, ready to eat.

Ice Cream.

I knew very well why I should not eat it; to consume any amount of any dairy product cursed me to hours of crippling arthritis-like pains in my knees or elbows. "I have a knee-ache!" were the words I used to tell my mother I'd snuck some ice cream again.

Mom did her best to find me substitutes. But while the fruit ices she bought for me were tasty, they didn't hold the appeal, the mystery, the danger of ice cream.

Several times my doctors told my mother and I that I would outgrow my allergy. I never believed them, but outgrow it I did. My memory is hazy now, but it was somewhere between ten and twelve years old. I got a job as a paperboy when I was in seventh grade, and spent most of my earnings on fudgesicles, and happily so.

Obesity as a Positive Lifestyle Choice

Kuro5hin's horny smurf asked:

Does anybody choose to be fat? They passively choose to be fat by not losing weight, but it's not an active decision.

And I answered:

I offer a counterexample to your assertion that no one would choose to be fat: the many comforting psychological benefits of The Ice Cream Diet.

When I was out West looking for work last fall, I was extremely anxious because money was tight and I was thousands of miles from my wife and home. But a tub of Mint Chip each day, when topped with some dark-roasted coffee beans, gave me the courage I need to face each uncertain new day.

The result? I returned home with a good job doing interesting work. As a result of the discipline with which I stuck to my diet I was fifteen pounds heavier upon my return than when I left and popped the buttons off all my pants. I had to buy all new ones.

horny smurf expressed skepticism:

Let's say you want to be a musician. So you practice scales, play at open mic night, you proactively do things so that you will be a musician.

Did you want to gain 15 pounds and then decide the best way to do so would be to eat a tub of ice cream a day?

And I replied:

I knew it was possible to cook nutritious meals on the limited budget I had. I was staying with a friend so I could use her kitchen.

For example, I would sometimes eat ramen soup, in whose broth I cooked some kale and a single egg. Nutritious, filling, easy and quick to make and costs less than a dollar.

But at many mealtimes, because of all the uncertainty, the endless phone and email discussions with brain-dead headhunters concerned not with placing me in the right job but the commission they'd earn if they placed me in any job at all as well as several rejections from jobs which I wanted desperately and felt I was qualified, what I wanted was not nutrition but a respite from my loneliness and the clawing, quiet desperate anxiety which was with me the entire time I spent in Berkeley.

Except...

When I had a big heaping bowl of Mint Chip ice cream sprinkled with the gourmet coffee beans I pilfered from my host.

I never meant to eat a whole tub of ice cream in a single day, as the quality ice cream I selected for my diet was expensive and I had little money to waste. Nevertheless I did so most of the days I was out there, and as soon as one tub was gone I headed right out the door to buy another.

I'm looking for work yet again as it's the lot of the consultant to always be looking for a job. While I am at home with my wife, this time I'm determined to get out of consulting completely and instead get a permanent position as a regular employee at a company.

There is a good chance I will have such a job by early in the week. But there is no chance that I can stay home to do the work: there are very few employers for the kind of work I do in Atlantic Canada.

The Vancouver Diaries

I left my wife behind in Atlantic Canada so I could make a better life for both of us on the West Coast.

Because my wife has a year left in her art school in Halifax before she graduates, she cannot move with me when I go. While we will be able to visit each other, I will be on my own for a year and we will spend a great deal of time apart.

I know its expensive, I know it's bad for my heart, I know I will bust the buttons off all my pants but yet I cannot resist: the two dollar and fifty cent chocolate ice cream sundae at the Fair Trade Country Cafe in Truro, Nova Scotia.

That's where I used to play the Open Mic before I gave up the piano because my search for work turned out to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated.

It is my hope that soon after settling into my new, as-yet-unknown position, I will get back into practice on my keyboard, I will find a new Open Mic in the as-yet-unknown city where I will live, I won't eat any more ice cream, and one day I will slim back down to where I can fit back into all my old pants.

That is, after I sew all their buttons back on.

I may even take up cycling.

You may well criticize me for using food as a substitute for facing my fears, but I assert it's a far, far better solution than the liquor or marijuana more commonly employed, or the crack one Kuron I know smokes whenever he can afford to buy some.

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