Saved by a Clementine


You never know where help is going to come from when a temptation hits and you are on the top of a slide ready to head down.   I work at Arizona State University in Health Solutions and the School of Nutrition students have classes on the 2nd floor.  Today as I was getting ready for lunch (a healthy lunch I brought from home, a lunch I had taken the time to think about and prepare) the thought hit me that a bag of Lays Potato Chips would be the perfect addition.  I took it as a sign when I discovered  I had a couple of dollar bills for the vending machine.  So I gathered my money, walked to the elevator and pushed the #2 button.  I saw two students (one talkative – one not)  hurrying towards me so I held the door (I can be nice like that sometimes) so they could catch a ride.  The talkative student  got off the elevator with me and ended up in the kitchen area where the potato chips were waiting.  I saw my “prize” through the store front  window of the vending machine and inserted a dollar bill but before I could put the rest of the money in, I heard “No, please don’t do it.”  I turned to see the talkative student’s beseeching eyes looking right at me.  He then added “You don’t want to do that.”  He was wrong -Yes I really did – at that moment  – want those potato chips.  I replied “It will be okay – I’m only going to eat half the bag and then throw the rest away” (which I’m sure I would have done???)  He just looked and me and then reached into his bag and pulled out a homemade-looking  granola bar and extends it out to me, much like a mother would to a child – Here is an apple instead of those swedish fish candies.   I say to him “Oh, no thank you because I’m not eating sweets.”  At that moment I am convicted of several things.  One is that my healthy lunch is waiting for me and would fill me up if I was sitting at my desk eating it.   Second that I am actually trying to justify to a stranger why I’m not eating a pretty natural granola bar while trying to buy potato chips.  And number three I don’t need those chips.    I now look at this student and let him know that he has completed his mission.  He was so happy and came over to help me retrieve my dollar from the vending machine.  We pushed buttons – tried putting a number in that didn’t exist but there was no way that machine was giving that dollar back.  I actually was fine with that.  In fact, it was a small price to pay to stay on track with my goals.  But this student is bothered that I am leaving with nothing and so once again he reaches into his bag and offers me a clementine orange which I accept knowing  it will bring some type of closure to the experience.  I head back to my desk and enjoy my lunch with the clementine keeping me company.  I think I’ll pack that clementine in tomorrow’s lunch as a gentle reminder.