Pan Pizza and Ice Cream Cakes, Mercy
My life has had many ironic twists along the way. A running irony is how my job sometimes requires me to be a salesman of everything from different restaurants to grocery items. Yep, that's me talking about the new pan pizza with its "double layers of cheese and toppings all the way to the edge." My voice shifts into a slightly seductive tone as I try my best to convince you to try this pan pizza masterpiece. It's my job. It's what I do. In the "zone" I never really gave it too much thought. Recently, I've spent more time examining the many facets of me while in the depths of struggle. This slice of irony keeps rising in this introspective study like the fresh-never frozen pan pizza dough I've been talking about.
Saturday found me broadcasting at a store where my entire job was to broadcast the many specials you'll find "for a Thanksgiving dinner they'll never forget!" Four hours speaking about Sister Shubert's Dinner Yeast Rolls, pecan pies, summer sausage and fifty other grocery items along the way. And most of it doesn't really bother me at all. I mean really--Thursday will mark my fifth Thanksgiving since I started along this road, my strategy will be the same as the previous four. I'll add 1,000 calories to my budget and I'll be very mindful of what I allow into the budget and what I won't. After researching the calories of pecan pie at my first Thanksgiving (first as in--you know what I mean), I made a very clear decision to abstain. It just wasn't worth the investment. So talking about the pecan pies wasn't that big of a deal. But then...well...
I was approached by the manager in my last broadcast hour requesting that I promote the new Blue Bunny Heath Bar and Reese's Ice Cream Cakes. I'll tell you right now, the Heath Bar Ice Cream Cake---it's like the new recipe department at Blue Bunny was aiming straight at me with this one. One of my biggest weaknesses over the previous six months of struggle was the small Heath Bar Mix at Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store. Want to read some crazy rationalizations? It's a small--made with low fat frozen yogurt--only 450 calories-- It started with an occasional small. With a food addict like me, it never ends as a once every month or two treat or something reasonable. Nope. At my worst, I would order the large--a whopping 700+ calories in one cup. I would grab it--then look around as I drove away, hoping nobody spotted me getting my fix. Then, as if I was being followed and trying to shake a tail, I would wind my way through the residential blocks separating me from my apartment--or my dungeon of guilt and shame, if you will. I will not allow Heath Bar Mixes into my life again. Not a portion, not a bite, not once every month or two--not ever. I'm finally accepting the deepest, most important truths of my food addiction. And that is this: There are some things--especially items with concentrated fat and sugar, I must abstain from for the rest of my life. Period.
Anyway--back to the manager and these Blue Bunny Ice Cream Cakes. He asked me to promote the free samples and coupons they were giving away to shoppers. He even invited me in to try it so "you can tell 'em how good it is..." Uh, yeah--no thanks, I can easily do this without having a sample. It's ice cream and a candy bar--it kind of sells itself. He also gave me a three dollar off coupon to serve as a reminder for the promotion.
Now, I assure you I didn't go anywhere near the free samples. I didn't buy one either. I talked about these new cakes from Blue Bunny and how wonderful it would be for you to have one ready in the freezer when your company arrives this holiday weekend. I sold it. I sold it very well. I almost sold myself.
I couldn't get these cakes off my brain. During and after a later broadcast at a car dealer, it was on my brain again. When I finished at the car dealership, I looked down and there it was. The coupon. And in the name of completely honest transparency--I'll admit...
I wanted one.
I did. I wanted it bad. The picture on the coupon promised it would be even dreamier than the frozen yogurt mix Braum's deals from their drive-through. This is premium ice cream and Heath Bar.
My mind started racing as it tried to find some kind of out, some kind of rational thought that would excuse such a deliberate act of indulgence. I knew, if that new cake found its way into my apartment, I would destroy it in short time. And I knew I had to stop and ask for help.
I have friends who will ask why I didn't stop and call them in this moment. And trust me, my friends--you'll be getting calls like that from me, I'm sure. Because I'm not throwing away my life over an ice cream cake, a new pan pizza or the sesame chicken from the Chinese Express.
I stopped and said a prayer. Out loud. I took a deep breath and headed home.
This isn't easy. In fact, I find it more challenging than ever. It reminds me of a wonderful moment I had during my first year of weight loss. My phone lit up with an "unknown" and I almost didn't answer. I'm glad I did because it was one of my heroes, Richard Simmons. We talked for several minutes and I casually mentioned "lusting" over food. And he replied, "don't we all!" I didn't fully appreciate what Richard meant until now.
Being strong willed, being in the zone, having weight loss success---all of it doesn't keep us from being human. And in our own human state of being--enmeshed in our own way of dealing with emotions and circumstances, the allure of escape with food is powerful.
Standing up against this powerful force requires calling upon a higher power and sometimes, simply calling a friend. We can overcome. We can be equally as powerful in our good choices. We can arm ourselves with details exclusive to who we are and how we're affected--then navigate the wonderful world of food with a little less fear and a whole lot more knowledge.
I'm getting stronger everyday. I'm slowly moving toward regaining consistency in my workouts and I also plan on devising a new weigh day schedule to be unveiled in the coming days.
As for the ironic workplace "hazards" mentioned above, I'm okay. I love what I do for a living and I know I'm very blessed to be able to do what I do. My dream of writing and speaking more often about weight loss and the powerful dynamics along this road will come true and will be my full time job someday. Just not today. In the meantime I'll be the sugary suggestive voice you might hear, doing my best to sell you ice cream cakes and pizzas. If you're a food addict like me, please feel free to turn down the volume.
Thank you for reading, goodnight and...