Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It may not be what you eat, it may be how you eat it.....don't let it "eat you"!

I was going to title this blog post simply "It was a chocolate cake kind of day".  I felt it coming on yesterday and talked myself into resisting it in exchange for some potato salad.  I don't want to make this a long involved post, only to offer up the facts of some of what I let myself feel today.

I knew soon after I got up this morning that the craving for some Valrhona chocolate layer cake would have to be resolved, but still I found myself with these old feelings of guilt.  Guilt for wanting chocolate cake in the first place.  I let myself have these guilty feelings for thinking somehow I needed to first "deserve" it  Had I even earned it by being"good" enough the rest of the time, had I worked hard enough (training/exrercise), had I dieted well enough, had I ate nutritiously enough the rest of the time to justify eating a piece of cake (or two?).

After class this morning I pretty much announced to everybody leaving that I was going to eat cake all day long!  To which I got some nice responses.  What I mean by "nice" is that everybody was light about it.  No one was all that serious as if I was about to commit a crime.  Meg offered up that if I ate cake and felt better, then it was just a matter of eating cake, but if I ate cake and I felt worse, then it wasn't the cake that I was craving....not exactly in those words, but a brilliant way to look at it nonetheless!

But still, in my mind, I had not really earned the right to eat cake all day.

I wasn't skinny enough to eat cake all day.  And that is really what it came down to.

But still I wanted some cake.

As Meg suggested, was it the cake?  Or was it something else?  I knew it wasn't going to make me feel better....in that state of mind....

The state of mind that I was in told me I didn't need it, that I didn't deserve it, that I hadn't worked hard enough for it, that I should feel like shit for even wanting it in the first place.  The state if mind I was in told me that it was going to screw up my whole day, my whole week, my whole life.  That "good" people don't walk around wanting chocolate cake.  "Good people" never even think about chocolate cake.  Why can't I be like that?  Why can't I just never think about it. Where was this coming from?

I ate the cake.

But before I "allowed" myself to eat the cake I went down fighting.  I fought with some barbeque peanut candy (I know, weird huh?) a bag of caramel corn, a toffee cookie...and then the cake.

The cake was the white flag, I had to just surrender.  Why didn't I just do that in the first place?

Then...the predictable guilt.  The regret.  The "shoulda, coulda".

Personally, in the big picture, in the biggest picture, "my life", a piece of chocolate cake, or a whole chocolate cake is not necessarily a "treat",  and for sure is not an everyday treat, which is why I don't find myself wanting it very often.  What I want more than cake is the freedom of judgement.  In fact, it's not the cake that I don't want, it's the feelings around eating the cake that I don't want.  I don't want those guilty, undeserving feelings, especially when I'm eating it!  Goodness, how much does that suck?

This is a very emotional post that I'm writing. I could choose to not mention the fact that my eyes are filling up, and spilling over, with tears, but they are.

I totally get this eating thing.  I completely understand that this small irritation in my life is so close to being over. Not the wanting of cake, not the eating of cake, but the resistance of thinking I can't have it because I haven't earned it by being good enough.  I am good enough.  And I know that when I feel that way, when I feel my best I'm not even thinking about cake.

I want to feel good enough.  I do feel good enough.  Really I do.

The cake may have been part of it, but it was only part of it.  Note to self: Feel good enough first!  And if you still want to eat cake then eat cake, but don't let wanting to eat cake eat you!

ps I was going to post a picture of a luscious slice of chocolate layer cake, but I really dislike being assaulted with food porn myself and in good conscious I try and stay aware of contributing to glamorizing desserts and junk foods in general.  I believe that a good nutritious diet absolutely can include chocolate cake, but I want that to be your choice, without any reminders from me!


Sandy Dunn said...

I Hate when people say they are "being good" in regards to what they are eating....like you can be good or bad based on what you eat!

Sandy Dunn said...

I Hate when people say they are "being good" in regards to what they are eating....like you can be good or bad based on what you eat!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Agreed! And the blogosphere and face book are overrun with snobbery! Everybody posts the "good" foods they eat, and occasionally it someone posts the details of an out of control "binge" it's tone is that of having been "bad", "less than", or some sort of lack of control.

I used to love "junk TV", especially The Jerry Springer Show, back in the day! One episode Jerry had on a KKK member that asked him if he was proud of being Jewish. Jerry responded by saying that he had no control over being born Jewish, and the things he was proud of were the things in his life he had control over, like acting like a good and kind person. I'll never forget that.

I can only be proud of the things I choose to "be".

Anne said...

We're so very hard on ourselves - especially as fitness professionals who are (in our minds)- supposed to "have it right." But, when there is no "right" or "good" and there is only sufficient self love to provide sufficient self care... somehow a piece of chocolate cake regardless of the day's sweat becomes and act of love and not an act of misbehavior. Sending lots of love your way.

Tracy Reifkind said...


thanks so much for your comment...and the love!

Hanneke said...

I get it, sounds all so familiar.

Moving on....