The Self-Improvement Chronicles: Refusing to be Labeled

A few weeks ago, I bought some pot pies on sale for my lunch. As I was making my way to the microwave on Monday, I noticed Emily’s askance look. “Do you know how many calories are in a pot pie?” she asked. I didn’t, but when someone asks that question, you know the answer can’t be good. And it wasn’t. My petite pot pie contained 640 calories.

Our assignment for this week, ‘read food labels,’ was easy for both Pam and Emily. They are constantly checking calorie, fat, and sodium counts in foods. In fact, Emily has a basic formula she uses: “Is the taste worth the calories?”

Pam, too, is aware of the labels, although her actual computation skills leave something to be desired. For example, last week, I brought in a piece of Cheesecake Factory chocolate raspberry cheesecake for us all to share. After Pam had one bite, she estimated she had consumed a hundred calories. But that number didn’t change after three more bites. And there was a strange consistency to whatever she ate that day; everything was a hundred calories.

Now the Jolly Librarian is not much of a label reader. In fact, I’ve been known to glower at folks who tell me how many calories or how much sodium is contained in what I’m eating. So I truly need to improve. And I have to admit while reading the labels has not transformed my eating habits, it has moved me in a better direction.

Our final grades for this week:

Emily:  A

Pam:   A

Jolly Librarian:  D-


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