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Wellness

How To Lose A Few Pounds Without Eating A Single Carrot

I’ve lost about 100 pounds and I’m about to celebrate with an all-you-can-eat birthday cake.

I’m in a big house in San Francisco with lots of windows that look out on the streets. There is a large, open kitchen, a small living room, the bedroom, and a living room/bedroom/kitchen area that wraps around three walls. Most of the rest of the house is filled with books and boxes and papers and other paraphernalia for storing all of my stuff. This may be a metaphor. If you can’t feel sad about me losing weight, maybe there’s a problem. But really though, it reminds me that weight loss and weight gain do not have a monolithic experience. I think of the past couple of months as a weight loss experience, and the months leading up to this as a weight gain experience. I think about this as my “coming out” year. Now I look forward to that, as do lots of other people I know, because for many people the weight gain period has not been an easy time. So the weight loss is important, but the loss isn’t.

I know I want, need, and love cake.  I know the things it is going to offer to me:  I won’t have to deal with the hunger pangs that come with having a meal or eating something. I’ll know there is a cake. I will know it’s nice and fresh, not stale. I will know my birthday is coming at long last, and I wont have to wait and deal with the food cravings that come from time to time when you are really tired, and hungry, and don’t feel good about it. I will have the cake to myself.  I will know that I will eat it knowing I wont die of blood sugar issues, I won’t have to deal with diabetes or high blood pressure, I won’t feel nauseous.    I will be able to enjoy my cake without worrying about whether or not I’m going to get any cake out of it.  I will know that I will have a cake that is, basically, good for me. I will have good cake to eat.  I’ll know that I have cake to eat. 

I think most people would tell you that eating cake, chocolate, and sugary foods is bad.   And I’ll have cake.  But if you asked me how I feel about it now, or three months ago, or five years ago, or if it has changed, the answer would not be the same. For now, I’m not a big fan of cake (I like cake mostly because I don’t want to kill my husband and I think it smells amazing). But I do know I have cake to eat, which is why I keep eating it. 

I know that my eating habits and my thoughts are both changing for the better.  If I had not lost weight, I wouldn’t have found the motivation to make this commitment to not eat cake, because it seems like such a small thing to do. But for now, I find myself having fun with cake (not in a “I want cake for my birthday” way, I am so much more fun when I don’t eat cake!). I am doing things like making some cookies (for those of you who are crazy enough to eat them, I’ll have to go through with this!) and making some homemade ice cream. It is a weird mix, but it is the sort of mix that I make when I want a cake but I also want a smoothie but I also don’t want my house smelling like maple syrup and cinnamon.  So this is the type of mix I make. I have cake for dinner and cake again. And yes, a little cake on the side here and there. It all goes together. So now what?

This birthday and cake will be a little different from my other birthday’s.  Because my weight loss is still taking place.  Because I will still have to make healthy choices.  Because I still have lots of work to do.  Because I may be feeling extra crappy about not eating cakes for birthday cake.