Week Seven: Snack Cake Withdrawal

I am going to buy a snack cake when I get off work today. Or snack cakes. I haven’t had one in over two months and I have been on this new weight loss program thingy going on seven weeks now, so…

It just hasn’t seemed right, you know, having even one cake, since I started this weight loss, diabetes prevention program. It’s like cheating. It’s self defeating. It’s paving the way for my own failure. Counterproductive. Hypocritical.

Gluttonous.

I have been good for six weeks, though, except for the occasional soda. Potato chip. Gummy bear. There was that chicken sandwich form McDonald’s two weeks ago. The Filet-O-Fish last week. I have not had a cheat day. I have had a cheat meal, every now and then. The Transform program encourages it, kind of. The literature says, wisely, that we are more prone to fail the program if it is too strict, if we do not allow ourselves a little breathing space to eat the foods we love that aren’t as healthy as the foods recommended by the program.

But, I am human, and I decided to cut snack cakes out of my life forever. Fruit pies. Coffee cake. Nutty Bars. Brownies. Miniature pecan pies. Sandwich cookies (which are cookies, not cakes, but they are interchangeable for me). Little donuts. Donuts? Real donuts? The kind made in donut shops, in little kitchens behind the counter, so fluffy and flaky and cakey and sweet, they make store-bought donuts taste like they were made on an assembly line? Out? I guess so, but they will make an appearance in a cheat meal. Honey buns? Out, along with white sugar, white bread, white rice (except for basmati rice, which I can’t give up), and white flour. White potatoes were supposed to be the work of the devil too, but that was one ask too many and I have already rebelled. You have to resist tyranny wherever you find it.

And, i have paid. Quitting bakery snacks is like quitting smoking, which I have done, twice, three times, maybe four, before I succeeded. I crave them night and day, and especially as certain significant moments. Like when I am having coffee, in the morning, or as a morning snack during my break at work. That was a high cigarette-craving time, as well. I always had a cigarette with my coffee, whenever I had a cup. They were inseparable. I would smoke a cigarette without coffee, but I wouldn’t drink a cup of coffee without a cigarette.

Then I stopped smoking. And that’s when I started having a snack with my coffee. Three or four sandwich cookies. Three oatmeal and raisin cigarettes from Walmart. Walkers shortbread cookies. A honey bun. Coffee cake. This amazing cinnamon they sell at the coffee shop at my job; I never bought one without a cup of coffee.

Maybe that is why it was so hard to quit smoking. I kept drinking coffee and missing the rituals and pleasures that came with it. A cigarette and coffee is an amazingly satisfying combination.

Quitting snack cakes is almost painful. It’s not just the withdrawal. It’s the deprivation. It’s the removal of one more (unhealthy) pleasure in my life. But, unlike cigarettes, it is safe to return to, one in a while.

And the craving is getting ridiculous. I am seeing little dunkable coffee cakes in front of me, faintly, as I walk down the hall. Seven weeks.

I’ll go tot he drugstore on my way home and try to buy just one honey bun. Two honey buns means two cups of coffee. So, just one honey bun. Every two or three weeks.

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