Ya Win Some, Ya Lose Some, Ya Still Keep Tryin’

PBCAs a Jersey girl, I can’t help but be obsessed with the Real Houswives of New Jersey.

In last week’s episode, Caroline (a.k.a. “Mama Bear”) said something that really resonated that Bethenny Frankel pointed out as well on her Bravo blog.

Caroline was working out with her trainer (um, in her personal gym at home that rivals most regular gyms!) and I’m paraphrasing here but she basically said, “Do I like it? No. Do I know it’s good for me? Yes. And that’s why I work out.”

She followed that up with her ‘money line’ that I just love (and speaks to how I’m feeling lately).

“I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and I’d be wishing I ate that freaking piece of cheesecake before I saw that bus coming.”

I really understand what she means there. Life’s no fun without cheesecake! It’s about moderation.

This weekend my best friend from high school and her boyfriend were in Michigan for a wedding, so we got to spend Sunday together before they headed back to N.J.

We enjoyed the day in Ann Arbor, and it was funny to go back there because the last time they were here (literally the coldest weekend ever –MLK weekend, Jan 2008 –) is when my husband and I got to idea for him to apply to Michigan for his MBA … now he’s almost done with his first year!!

But I digress.

Anyway, I suggested going to this bakery I love, The Cupcake Station, for some yummy cupcakes.

Note: This is NOT something I ordinarily would suggest, and my BFF was definitely a little surprised to hear me suggest it — but being a sweets fan, too, she went with it and didn’t say anything.

The thing was, I wanted to be brave. Now, this might not seem like “bravery” to some (ok, MOST), but to me, it was a big step. (I’d been once before and loved it, savored my treat).

As we were walking back enjoying our delish cupcakes, she commented how she loved my new purse … which led me to explain when/why I got it … and naturally, the conversation turned to how I’m doing.

(In case you’re curious, she knows about my blog, and always asks how I’m doing with my recovery, but she’s an insanely busy director of a physical therapy clinic and a PT herself, so she doesn’t spend hours at a computer like me — let alone reading blogs).

Anyway I told her how things have been going (“so well that I don’t feel the need to blog every day”), about my recent book reviews and potentially participating on the BlogHer panel this summer (still no word!) and she asked if I was really ok eating the cupcake truffle I’d chosen (we’d boxed up the rest of the cupcakes we bought).

I was so proud to be able to look her in the eye — my best friend since sixth grade — and say, “Yup, I actually am!”

Because, to quote Caroline, I could have gotten hit by a bus and would have totally regretted not eating the cupcake.

And it felt good to be so honest. I didn’t feel the need to justify it like I might have in the past, or talked it out aloud like I might have before (as in: “Well I biked this morning and worked out so I have about 600 extra calories to play around with and that means … “)

No, there was none of that. That voice was actually not speaking, and it felt wonderful!

So for that moment, I felt “normal,” good.

And this is where I wish the story ended, all happy … but I’m all about transparency on this journey, and omission of the second half of the story — while it might bum some to hear — only hurts me and would be misleading to you, my readers.

(And no, before you ask, I didn’t c/s — I’m three months “sober” today!)

So here’s Part 2.

After dinner, we walked a ton and everyone wanted ice cream/froyo. I knew I wasn’t going to abstain from the fun/spontaneity of the night. I wanted to be “normal,” just a girl out with her hubby and best friend and her BF for a night on the town, walking around a funky college town, enjoying the fresh air and a treat.

I should have remembered how good it felt to listen to my own intuition, which was easy-going but for that moment at the cupcake place … and to order with my heart, which would have been a (moderate) single scoop of their crazy-exotic hard frozen yogurts (they had like 50 flavors!).

(Side note: The froyo choice over ice cream is not a “diet” choice. As a kid, I always picked fruity pops over ice cream at Dairy Queen — and as an adult, I’ve always ordered fruity things, or froyo or soft-serve swirl ice cream when available — this precedes WW by like 10 years so it’s not DE-related, just to clarify)

Anyway, instead, that voice I loathe and had quieted for so long came back … and I found myself thinking back the cupcake truffle earlier and the cupcakes we were toting home (it had been buy 2 get 1 for Restaurant Week) …

So the DE thinking “won,” (ha!) and I got plain boring vanilla soft-serve frozen yogurt. A way to enjoy but not “go all the way.”

And I resented my choice immediately. Not only did I not get what I wanted, but in addition to that, it was icy and unsatisfying — not creamy like most froyo I like, and melting like mad, since it had just been made.

(In fact, had to get my sprinkles on the side b/c it was so melty — that should have been the kicker that this was NOT what I wanted and wouldn’t satisfy me).

It was so “eh” that I took some off the top of the cake cone, put it into a cup, and gave it to my ever-eager-for-ice-cream-in-any-form husband (who had gotten a serious mountain of strawberry sorbet atop a waffle cone!)

While I had a blast Sunday night with our friends, I definitely felt deprived — and all by my own doing. I should have just gone with my gut. Sometimes my head fights these internal battles. Sometimes I win (like with the cupcake) but other times, my head wins (choosing what to get at the ice cream place).

So naturally, when I woke at 3 a.m. to use the bathroom (first time in about two weeks now where I woke and ate) I must have still felt “deprived” because I went to town attacking the remaining cupcakes! (Well, I ate like one and a half in total, but still).

I’m certainly not proud of the second half of the cupcake story, but I am proud about the first half — when I was able to savor the mini truffle with no second thoughts.

I debated sharing this story at all, but in the end opted to share it.

I consider it a lesson learned: sometimes we are better off giving in to a craving/desire. I’m not perfect and I don’t aim to be; I know I’m making strides towards having a healthier relationship with food, and it seems sometimes I throw myself off course … but I always pick myself back up.

If only I could always channel how I felt at the cupcake store … cool, confident, proud. I know I’m getting there, one step at a time.

And if I had gotten hit by a bus, at the very least, I would have enjoyed that first cupcake … which is more than I can say of myself a year ago.

I call that progress.

How about you? Is it getting any easier for you? Does any woman out there REALLY, honestly, not think twice when she enjoys something wicked? And does deprivation lead to binges for you?


11 thoughts on “Ya Win Some, Ya Lose Some, Ya Still Keep Tryin’

  1. Hey Melissa…this is my third attempt to comment on this post, I don\’t know what\’s wrong! I\’m sorry if they are going through but I don\’t see them!

  2. Ok, of course that one went though. What I originally wanted to say was something like:

    I can totally relate. Sometimes I indulge and regret it, sometimes I am glad I did. Other times I skip it and then regret that! It\’s so hard to gauge. I seem to be fine with planned indulgences (i.e. Italy), but the unforseen makes me uncomfortable.

  3. I love the bus quote. This might sound morbid, but I am TERRIFIED of flying, and I always have that thought when I travel. “If this plane goes down, I wouldn’t have enjoyed ____!” I don’t want to have lived that way, for sure.

    Last night a friend was over and wanted to make brownies. I hardly ever bake “just because;” I usually only do for an occasion where I can take the sweets somewhere and not keep them in the house! But we made some brownies, and I had 2. Then I stopped. I really wanted the WHOLE pan, but I stopped. It felt so empowering!

    I know there might be times in the future where I might eat the whole pan (literally!), but I’m proud that I am having those “normal” moments, too. Just like your first cupcake. We have to remind ourselves of those steps and moments….they are really huge!

  4. Lara, I see what you mean — it’s the unforeseen that makes us uncomfortable, but it’s also what we’ve been preparing ourselves over the years for as we’ve altered our eating habits – -to be able to handle those surprises.

    Holly, awesome job last night! You go, girl!!

  5. Good for you for finding the positive hidden within an imperfect day. It’s hard to always have a “perfect” day of eating, whatever that means. I’ve had to learn to let things go recently and to be happy and proud about the positive moments, hours, days that get sandwiched between times when I’m not so proud of my food choices. Before I decided to be kinder to and easier on myself, I would let any slip-up or binge erase any progress that I’d been making. Now, I feel like the slip-ups are only bumps in the road towards progress as opposed to major catastrophes. I know that I’m learning and my body image is improving. I love myself for who I am at the point that I am at right now more and more these days.

  6. I’ve been having similar thoughts lately. i keep working out, getting on new diets and as a result, while losing weight (veeeery sloooowly), I’m simply depressed. I crave chocolate. And Nachos with cheese dip. Yeah, I’m in that place.
    So I’ve started thinking and moderation indeed might be the key to the whole thing. Because just dropping all the good but unhealthy things will eventually lead to the dreaded yo yo effect.

  7. Thanks, Jen!

    Leah, that’s just it — there IS no “perfect day” — we can just fuel ourselves the best we can. So glad you’re viewing slipups as bumps in the road and not catastrophes. 🙂

    Hi Nieruchomosci –moderation is soooo the key!

  8. Hey Melissa~

    I am so proud of you for eating the cupcake with no reservations about savoring the treat. i am definately learning that deprivation does lead to binges, hence why my nutritionist is working with me to eat more and more so i don’t feel deprived.

    Anyways, it does sound like overall you had a good time with your friends. take care!

  9. I want that cupcake so badly right now… the PB cup on top sold me.

    When I started eating more healthfully last year I lost like all of my sweet cravings, and rarely ate any candy, cookies, cakes, etc. But, I would still enjoy special meals AND (birthday, holiday, etc.) I would still eat dessert at the end. Life was too short to not enjoy the special occasion. Totally the bus thing you mentioned.

    I’m sorry you had that experience with the fro-yo and later cupcake binge. Deprivation doesn’t usually lead to binges for me, but sometimes the bingeing beast used to come out. It was often fueled by wine, though, which I still have to be careful of.

  10. LOL, it was delicious — I took the image from the Cupcake Station page, but it really was that good. It’d have been better with PB filling inside I think though … 🙂

    Good for you!!! (enjoying!)

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