Yesterday was my birthday.
It was just one day.
And I wanted a homemade Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd in the middle and Swiss Meringue Frosting. Yum!
So, I had it. I did not try to lighten it up. I did not find an alternative.
I chose to enjoy what I really wanted on my birthday.
And I ate the entire cake! WHAT?? That sounds terrible, right? Well, it really wasn’t.
You see, eating healthy and losing weight is NOT about DEPRIVATION. And it is NOT about EXCESS either.
Eating healthy and losing weight is about MODERATION.
And yesterday I practiced that moderation.
And today, there is no guilt. Today I do not feel deprived. Today I am NOT obsessing about what I missed out on.
My husband and I made the lemon cake, but instead of turning the batter into a 2-layer 8-inch cake, we made mini-cakes in my big muffin tins. They were the perfect size.
In the words of Goldilocks, they were “just right”!
We made 4 total mini cakes, (yes, I am having one more today!) and then we threw out the remaining batter! WHAT? Who does that? Isn’t that wasteful? As my mother and grandmother used to say, “You can’t waste that, there are starving children in the world!”
I threw it out anyway!
It was not hard. It felt good. Because I knew that I was not depriving myself of the treat I wanted. And by tossing out the excess batter, I was not creating a temptation I knew I could not resist.
I have learned the past couple of months as I continue to traverse this journey, that deprivation sabotages my efforts. It just does! And for me deprivation doesn’t just mean NOT having the food I want, it means forcing myself to eat a less satisfying, less flavorful, lower calorie/lower point version of what I am wanting. And that substitution often leads me to eat more of that substitution, not saving me calories or points, leaving me less satisfied and sabotaging my efforts. (some substitutions, like spaghetti squash for pasta, work for me as they are still delicious, but for my treats, well….the real thing in a smaller portions is better!)
So, I had my lemon cake in moderation. And that is what works for me.
I enjoyed my birthday. I went for a long walk in the morning, I got a delicious breakfast sandwich from Panera after my walk and had a yummy dinner cooked by my husband, with my Lemon Cake for dessert.
And I ate the whole cake! Saying that without feeling guilt really empowers me. I CHOSE to have this treat. I CHOSE to enjoy my day. I CHOSE to toss out the unused batter. And I CHOSE to eat the whole cake! Mini cake that is!
What could be better?!
This journey is far from perfect for me. It is a journey of learning what really works and what doesn’t. It is a journey of growth. It is a journey of learning how my thoughts help and how they hinder my progress. By choosing to have the treat, and choosing to have it in moderation, I put myself back in control, taking away the power that food and guilt have had and can still have over me.
I am learning. I am growing.
I can get health. I can lose weight. And I can have my cake too!