Push-up Price Tag

peanut M&Ms

“Dad, can I buy some of these?” he asks, rattling the familiar yellow wrapper of peanut M&Ms.

“Sure, son. But there’s a price. Look on the back.” I watch him flip the bag over and look at the label. “You see where it says ‘Calories’? What’s the number it says there?”

“Um, 250. Is that a lot?”

I nod sagely. “In my body it’s a lot. In your tiny body, it’s even more. But now is a good time to start learning.” I take the bag from him and do a quick count by feel. “I feel 22 M&Ms in here, which means each one is about 12 calories. Each calorie is something your body has to burn by doing work. So, here’s the plan.

“A push-up isn’t quite a calorie burner, but it’s close enough. When you want an M&M from the package, you need to do twelve push-ups, one for each calorie. Watch me, and count mine.” I place the bag in the buggy and drop right there in the store, doing twelve push-ups as he counts them off. “There, now I get an M&M once we check out and buy the bag. There’s another 21 in the package you can earn.

“If you can’t do enough push-ups for all of them,” I add, “you can eat however many you’ve earned so far. Think of the nutrition facts as a push-up price tag.”

“Push-up price tag,” he repeats to himself as he grabs a Snickers bar off the display and checks the label. I see the gears turning in his head for a minute before he asks the obvious question. “Um, Dad? This has 280 calories, but there’s only one piece inside.”

“So, how many push-ups per piece?” I ask.

“That’s easy: 280. But that’s a lot.”

Again, I nod sagely. “Exactly,” I say. “But we don’t set the price. We only pay it. So for 280 push-ups, you’d better be sure you really want it.”

Wide-eyed, he puts the Snickers back on the display.

Originally posted 2016-03-28 08:00:43.

About Phil (245 Articles)
Philip Osgood is a Christian husband, father, and writer who considers himself a passable video game player, fiction reader, camping and hiking enthusiast, welder, computer guy, and fitness aficionado, though real experts in each field might just die of laughter to hear him claim it. He has been called snarky, cynical, intelligent, eccentric, creative, logical, and Steve for some reason. Phil and his beautiful wife Clara live in Texas with their children in a house with a dog but no white picket fence. He does own a titanium spork from ThinkGeek, though, so he must be alright.

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