Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Hour

Why is that time period between 4 - 7 pm called Happy Hour? Are the people who go to Happy Hour really happy? Or are they trying to escape from life? And does consuming non-quality, empty calories really make someone happy??

These were the questions running through my head the other day when my co-workers started raving about their Wednesday Happy Hour at Timpano's ($3 margaritas, anyone?). They then proceeded to talk about how much they love this office location because of all the great restaurants within walking distance. And it's true - this building IS in a great location! And there ARE great restaurants around. So I agreed with them up to that point. And then someone said, "Yeah, it makes it really hard to stick to a diet with all these great restaurants being so close." And that's when I started to disagree with the conversation. Because it's not the vicinity of the restaurants that's the issue. The issue is the lack of discipline, self-control, and desire for these people to actually make a commitment to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Going out for lunch at a restaurant every day, and having at least two Happy Hours each week is NOT a path to health. Granted, there are definitely healthy options at these restaurants ... but is everyone choosing something healthy each time? Changes are slim.

When an invitation was extended for someone new to join the weekly Happy Hour, she politely declined by saying, "Oh, I wish I could, but I'm back on the wagon." Her response was met with a chorus of, "Oh bummer, that's too bad." What?! It's too bad that she's not drinking alcohol? It's too bad that she's not ruining her liver? It's too bad that she's choosing a healthy alternative? It's too bad that she's not pouring empty calories into her body? What is "too bad" about her not drinking? She very well could've accepted the invitation and then just drank water ... but as a society, we're encouraged to be followers. And not drinking at Happy Hour may appear to be sacrilegious to most. Because really, what's the point of Happy Hour if you're not drinking? Apparently drinking = happiness in American culture. Tragic, really.

Oh, and did I mention that during this conversation, I was eating my Meal 3 of turkey and walnuts? Yep, during a "nature break," I ran downstairs to heat up my turkey and grab my walnuts. So as this conversation was taking place, I was looking at each of my co-workers with a look of wonder on my face. Were they really serious? Is it really so difficult to stay on a diet while working in this office? I must be an anomoly, cuz I not only managed to stick to my diet while working here, I managed to get into my best possible conditioning for the Arnold. With that being said ... where should the blame for the diet failure really lie?? And does Happy Hour really make us happy? I think not.

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