Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. He asked for a special birthday dinner, and made his specific requests for the menu: crab cakes, cauliflower au gratin, asparagus, Prosecco, chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.
It was HIS birthday so I was happy to grant all of his requests. As I was shopping at Whole Foods I thought about what and how much of this dinner I would eat. I thought about the chocolate cake especially, since I haven’t eaten any sugar since the day I began this blog in January.
I ate very lightly all day (in WW speak, one would call this “banking” one’s points). I divided the (pretty large) crab cakes in half to make smaller ones. I roasted the asparagus in the oven with garlic and lemon. When it came time for dinner, I ate one of the (half sized) crab cakes. Six or seven asparagii. A fairly generous helping of the cauliflower – it was soo good. When hubby popped the Prosecco he asked if I wanted a glass. (I also haven’t had alcohol since January) I said yes. It was sooo delicous. I enjoyed every drop.
Then it was cake time. I asked for 1/3 of an already small slice, probably about 3-4 forkfuls. I added about two tablespoons of extra-light ice cream. I sat and looked at it for several minutes. The Beck book has an exercise where one is encouraged to visualize how one will feel AFTER eating a certain food, and if it feels bad (guilt, remorse, self-hatred etc) then there’s your answer. I decided I was not going to flog myself or feel bad if I ate that small amount of dessert.
I savored it. I savored every bite. It was so delicious. I also noticed that the first two bites were the best and I could’ve stopped there (and will if this comes up in the future). But the thing that was different from the past is that I didn’t let it be the “gateway” to, say, eating half the cake. I didn’t beat myself up over it, in fact it made me feel really happy.
Some food plans allow for occasional forays into eating foods that one would not eat on a normal basis. They believe that these occasional releases of pressure allow you to continue forward without a feeling of deprivation. Other programs believe that you can never stray from your prescribed program because it’s just a slippery slope to hell, or falling off the wagon completely. I am sure that this is true for many people – that one taste of something and BOOM, they’re done for.
Of course the danger is that “every day can be a special day” mentality can creep in and before you know it, you’re eating chocolate cake 24/7.
I don’t feel like I need chocolate cake again for a very long time. Maybe I’ll look back on this day as the Beginning of the End. I hope not.
The whole day was very interesting for me. I didn’t struggle. I didn’t feel bad. I thought about the choices long and hard, and in the end, I was happy.
Now, I’m going for a big long walk and a row on the machine.
February 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm
I think I need to pick up a copy of this Beck book. You seem to be learning so much from it!
February 22, 2009 at 1:35 pm
I think that all of your recent posts have been sooo impressive. You have come so far in your mentality about food since you began. So soooo far. At times it may be difficult, but that is just one of those “oh well” things, its not always going to be easy. However, the fact that you are thinking things out when it comes to what you eat, why you eat, and how you eat, (even if it is difficult) just shows how far you have come. You aren’t just eating everything in sight with out thinking. You have become very conscious and you are doing amazing things for yourself!