Tonight was One of Those Nights

Tonight was just one of those nights.

Our friend Michael, who we hadn’t seen in two years, was visiting. We talked and talked...and then we decided to eat cake. None of that light sponge cake with confectioners’ sugar sprinkled on it, either. No, we chose the chocolate torte, layered with cake and chocolate mousse. And I didn’t just eat one piece, I ate three. Did I need three pieces? No. But I wanted to eat three slices (and one was eaten after Michael left).

Once he was gone, and after that last piece of cake, I sat and thought: tomorrow I’m going to skip breakfast. No, I’m going to fast. No, I’m going to just have these meal replacement bars and get rid of this heavy feeling I have in my stomach as soon as humanly possible.

Then I realized — I’m not going to do any of those things. I’m going to get up in the morning and eat breakfast and move on with my day. I’m not going to fall into the “I am fat and have to starve myself to lose the weight I just gained” trap.

But you see, those thoughts were certainly crowding my sugar-laden brain cells! It’s a purely emotional response, and a trap so large that it is hard to miss.

You have to understand that I know, in my head, there is no way to gain 5 pounds just by eating a few slices of cake (even if it is the chocolate torte). Of course if I am crazy enough to weigh myself in the morning, I’ll see an increase — but it’s not because I’ve put on fat. I haven’t eaten the extra 3500 calories that must be eaten to gain a pound of fat. It is so hard, though, to NOT think this is exactly what I have done.

The truth is — my normal eating habits aren’t like this. For whatever reason (company, the glass of wine, or just….because) I ate a lot of a cake tonight. I know if I kept up this type of behavior on a regular basis, of course, I would gain a lot of weight. For many years, this was indeed the case with me. Now, though, I can honestly say this is not my regular eating pattern.

It has been a long journey for me, this becoming “at peace with food.” It took years of crazy dieting, fasting, and punishing myself for overeating. This went on until I finally declared a truce. Yes, it felt like a war between myself and the food I was eating. But now I know I’m past that. As a matter of fact, I’d say it’s not a truce I’ve declared with food: it’s a peace treaty.

For whatever reason (let it go, Leeann), I’ve given myself this treat. Tomorrow, I will get up in the morning and move forward. I refuse to get caught in that endless cycle of “I shoulda, coulda done better” or “I am out of control, and I am a bad person.” I’m going to get up, eat breakfast, and go to work. I know that I will do my best to meet my walking goals because those are important as well. I will wear clothes that make me feel comfortable, not ones that are tight. I am going to feel good about myself.

After all these years, I have learned how to balance overeating with healthy eating. I know that regular activity is part of my life and regardless of what I eat, I am still a responsible, smart (occasionally witty) person who is at peace with food.

Tonight I ate a lot of cake. And do you know what? It was absolutely delicious!

Become At Peace with Food: Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

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