Optometry makes me hungry—not for fame and fortune, but for food. The problem with this is that, even though thinking hard is estimated to burn around 20% of the calories we intake every day, the other 80% resides in my waistline. 

It’s OK… bread, pasta and donuts were invented by God for us to enjoy, and I tried to keep my employees on a sugar buzz throughout my career. This exponentially increases energy levels, speeds up their work and makes every second much more productive. Unfortunately, the improvement only lasts for about 10 minutes before the donut coma sets in.  

The Snack Drawer

After 20 years, 25 pounds and a couple of crushed office chairs, I got the picture and changed the food groups I lovingly provided. 

My staff members were thrilled with the fresh fruit, vegetable trays, fine cheeses and sparkling waters. And by “thrilled” I mean “confused and disappointed.” I lost weight, but they started stealing drawer space for candy bars, cookies and, of course, donuts. 

My spread of fine cheeses became a bacteriological research project. I had to make one of the most important decisions of my career. After much prayer, I started hoarding my own cookie drawer.  I couldn’t let my wife/office manager find out, as that could be more dangerous than any sleepy staff member by far.  

Our sugar buzz mojo was back and stuff started to get done again. The staff members secretly shared their treats, and I secretly threw them some cash from time to time to reload. I gained back that weight and had a hard time convincing my wife/office manager that this eating plan was a powerful tax deduction and instrumental to our ability to put our kids through college. 

However, I did feel guilty that I, a licensed health care provider, was contributing to not only my own future heart attack but also to that of my wonderful, loving staff members. I needed to reduce the potential for diabetes and heart disease in my office—and my guilt—so, I downsized and fired most of them. This reduced my snack collateral damage from eight people to two, and I slept better at night. 

Redirect Your Taste Buds

Now, as the new junior associate in two practices in Texas, I have no power over the snack table. I love the lack of responsibility. However, every strip mall in Dallas has three things in common: (1) a reflexology center, (2) a dentist and (3) a donut shop. 

I’m a sucker for two of the three (my daughter and her husband are dentists and my son is an oral surgeon). But I dream of someone working over my feet while I gorge on donuts. No wonder everyone is moving to Texas. 

Based on the state of unlimited tamales and brisket, my new staff understands me well. I can say “no” to pecan pie far more easily if a bowl of keto-friendly burnt barbecue ends is readily available. I decided to drop 20 pounds and, thanks to my new choices, I’m only 35 pounds away.   

Actually, I have lost 15 pounds and I feel quite spry. And now I avoid the donuts, opting instead for the obviously more healthy choice of 10 or 12 donut holes once every 90 days. This reminds me… another quarter has passed, so I am off to treat my feet and eat my treat.