How the mere idea of a root beer float can keep me going for weeks

I’ve wanted a root beer float for the past…oh…couple months. I do this thing where I come up with some sort of treat in my head and dangle the idea of it in front of myself like a motivational carrot–an edible happy hunting ground of sorts.  Sometimes I’ll actually buy the treat, a fizzy juice drink or some ice cream. But I won’t eat it. I just like knowing that it’s in the fridge if I need it. And it stays there for weeks. Months maybe. This is not due to healthy eating habits. I buy other sugary delights in the mean time and eat those. But there’s often a end-all-be-all treat that I compulsively keep in the untouchable category.

Why do I do this?

I guess part of it is that I like knowing that there’s a reserve supply of goodness that I can tap into when I REALLY need it. Oy vey. Are rootbeer floats (or is goodness) really in such short supply that I have to hoard the idea for months on end?

Today I chose to end the cycle. I treated myself. And it was fabulous.

What form of goodness have you been hoarding that you could easily give to yourself today?

7 thoughts on “How the mere idea of a root beer float can keep me going for weeks

  1. I’m not very good at hoarding my fabulous treats. I tend to enjoy them indulgently until they’re gone, then I go into a mild funk for a few days while my body detoxes. Then after about a week, I feel great, and I repeat the cycle of overindulgence.

  2. NO WAY!!! omg. you’ll never believe what i had last night, and shared with sylvie for the first time. a root beer float. we are soul sisters. mmm. the ice cream/soda froth.

  3. I’m the opposite: the minute the ice cream hits the freezer, it’s opened that evening and finished the next day! I wish I had your control haha. That root beer float looks seriously good though, and I don’t even like root beer float!

  4. I read in a book about willpower (called “Willpower” by Roy Baumeister) that telling yourself that you can and will have something “later” often makes you want it less and so you end up never doing whatever it was you wanted. I’ve tried it a few times and it totally works, but it seems to mostly work because by the time “later” comes around I’m exhausted and busy and have totally forgotten about the thing I wanted. But apparently exercising your willpower in this way or other ways can build up your willpower “muscle” so perhaps that’s what you’re unconsciously doing – building up your store of willpower. Two footnotes: that book is fabulous and I bet you’d love it and oh my god I need a root beer float RIGHT NOW.

    1. 1) YES YOU DO. Go get one.
      2) Book sounds cool…what does he say is the resulting value or harm of building up the willpower muscle? while it can surely help me keep my nose to the grindstone, i wonder how much it really improves my life…seems like my main experience of it might be denying myself nice things.

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