Hello, my name is Patricia, and I am a sugar addict. It has been ten days since my last binge.
By now you should know that I love sweets. Even if this is your first visit to my blog, it is pretty obvious with a quick glance around. From brownies to biscuits, and from cravings to obsessions, I have been at the mercy of that dynamic duo of butter and sugar my entire life but never as much as in the last year and a half.
I started baking after work as a way to escape the stress. And then I started keeping track of the food here on this blog. And while baking and blogging have brought me joy, stress relief, and a black belt in cookie baking, it also brought with it a spare tire, bigger jeans, and a matching set of saddle bags.
So I started this year with the intent of losing that extra weight. I even joined Ten in 10 to help get me over the hump. But after eating pancakes one night for dinner and then making another batch for breakfast the following day and then baking 3 versions of this lemon yogurt cake in 3 days, it was time for a reality check.
I wasn’t committed. Nothing had really changed in 2010. Sure, I managed one or two good weeks back in January. But then slipped back into my bad habits as easily as slipping into a pair of ratty, old Converse sneakers that are oh-so-comfy but really shouldn’t still be in your closet.
So I took a step back and thought about what I eat and why. I know better than to eat rich desserts after lunch and dinner on the same day. Or instead of dinner on some days. But I still did it. I realized it was mostly out of boredom and bad habits, and made myself face some harsh truths as Reality looked down its nose at me:
- Eating dessert first is fine if you’re not replacing entire meals almost daily with said desserts. Yes, I know this blog is called Brownies for Dinner, but the harsh reality is that you can’t live a healthy balanced life if you eat brownies for dinner every day. Not that I did. I did however eat biscuits, pancakes, cupcakes, and big chunks of cheese for dinner. A lot.
- Bodies change as you get older. I hate admitting this one. I mean, who wants to admit they are getting older? But at 36, I can’t hide from the truth. Metabolisms slow down. I can’t keep eating what I want the way I did when I was 16 or 26. And I can’t eat the way I did when I was in the gym rock climbing and/or running 6-7 days a week when I’m spending more days couch-bound than strapped into running shoes. It does not compute.
- Mom was right. You should take your vitamins everyday. My mom has told me for as long as I can remember that I should take a multivitamin every day. But I hate taking pills. I don’t have a logical explanation for it but my aversion to pills has kept me from taking vitamins (and sometimes medicines) for most of my adult life. I’ve tried several times but never could make it a habit. (It doesn’t help that most multivitamins I’ve found are horse pills). But recently I started choking down a daily multivitamin and a zinc supplement (on the recommendation of a personal trainer) and my energy and mental clarity have increased. Whether that’s coincidental or causal, I don’t know. But I am almost 2 full weeks into the daily vitamin habit and feeling good. (Cutting the horse pill in half helps a little with swallowing it though it tastes even more horrible that way).
- Thinking about exercise doesn’t burn many calories. I have started so many days thinking about the exercise that I should do: “I should go for a run today.” “I should do yoga.” Or I would think about what I used to be able to do in terms of exercise. “I used to run 6 miles and be ready for more.” “I used to be able to climb so much harder.” etc… And then I’d sit there feeling sorry about how I have to wear bigger jeans. This isn’t logical.
So now what? I’ve done all that thinking, but does it mean anything? Yes, actually. I’m still laying the groundwork, but have recommitted myself to being healthy. This doesn’t mean I’m motivated just to lose weight. Diets don’t work for me. The minute I say I’m on a diet, I start craving chocolate cake and doughnuts. Seriously, that’s just how my brain works.
There will be more posts in the coming days about what changes I’m making to bring things into balance and the motivations behind them, but for now I wanted to let you know about the focus and intention I have set for myself and my blog: delicious food and a balanced life. As I said, I don’t do diets and I don’t do deprivation. So don’t worry, there will still be desserts and comfort foods around, but there might be a few more salads and dinners to go with them.
What is your food weakness?