The Great Cookie Debate

If you have been reading along, you know that I baked cookies last week for my son visiting from college.  Cookies are tempting for this dieter.  Cookie dough, even more so.  But it was my intention not to eat either.  Period.

Last Monday I baked.  Some dough flew out of the mixer onto the counter and I picked it up with the tip of my finger and that finger started reflexively towards my mouth.  Then I realized what I was doing and flicked that ghastly gob into the sink.  I spent the next hour forming cookies with my hands, baking batches, not tempted (much) to eat a spoonful of dough as I had so many times in the past.  But when I was done I stared longingly at the beater, thinking what a waste it was not to run my tongue around the edges to lick off the dough that was calling out to me.  Nope.  No dough for this baker.  Not today.

And then I repeated the process again, a few days later, to refill the container, so quickly emptied by my son and his friends.  Did he want more?  Of course he did.  Did I eat any of either batch.  No.

But… you knew there had to be a “but” in this story… maybe I should have eaten a cookie.

Because it seems I used all my willpower in avoiding the cookies and had none left over to keep me from eating other things instead.  No cookie… have some crackers.  No cookie… have some bread.  No cookie… have a low-cal fudge bar or two.  And on and on it went.  Stressed about not eating a cookie I ate everything healthy I could get my hands on instead.

I think some of you would say I should just have eaten a cookie and enjoyed every bite and moved on.  And, knowing now how many calories of healthy food I ingested in my cookie avoidance, I wonder if that might have been a smart move.  But I also know that I am not good at handling moderation.  One cookie?  Isn’t that a bit like the old ads that no one could eat just one Lays potato chip?  I suspect my one cookie would have easily turned into more on the way to a dozen.  Or if not, at least would have triggered other cravings with the taste of pure refined sugar, something I have been doing well, despite all my overeating, to avoid.

In my mind, I was stronger and smarter to not eat a cookie.  Was that the right decision?  I guess I will never know.  I certainly ate a lot of other stuff and the scale responded accordingly.  But maybe the cookie would have led to the same result in the end, or worse.

When I drafted this post several days ago I was trying my best to ignore the baked goods still sitting on my kitchen counter.  As the internal debate still waged.  Had I not put the words down here that I had not eaten any cookies, I likely would have at least succumbed on my birthday last week.  I sure did consider it!  But I didn’t.  Does that mean I won – that I beat the cookies?  Given my emotions about the whole thing and the other food I ate, I think it seems a tie.  And while I am sad that my son has returned to school, I am glad that the cookies have gone with him.

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38 Comments

Filed under cheating/overeating, food

38 responses to “The Great Cookie Debate

  1. That’s a hard one. I think I’m coming to the conclusion that if the food is something special that you’ve been craving for a while, you might have just one portion. Make it special somehow–put it on a pretty plate, sit down, eat it slowly, bite by bite, have it for dessert, appreciate the taste of every bite. Maybe you could save your cookie until the others are gone so that there is no more temptation. I haven’t got it all figured out, but maybe this approach would stop the stream of not-quite-the-same substitutes.
    It’s behind you and this is a new day and a new week. You can do this!
    .-= Tish´s last blog ..Weekend Wrap-up =-.

  2. anne h

    I told myself – no bread just for this summer.
    That was last year, and I never looked back.

    The LoCarb world is filled with substitutes…
    Are they really treats, or are they tricks?

    Little kids – college kids – cookies – crackers….
    Yikes!

    When one argues with oneself, ya can’t win.
    Now you can whole-heartedly learn from this and “move on!”

    • Karen

      Funny thing is when I give up grains entirely, I also don’t really miss them. Maybe the cookie thing was so hard because I had been eating more and more (healthy) grains again and it was getting out of control. I am also amazed at the low-carb substitutes. But some of them are too much like the real thing and set me off. Like the blueberry coffee cake I made with beans instead of flour!

  3. Yeah, cookies and cookie dough are a big temptation for this dieter, too. You know, I guess one way you could look at it is that it’s a rare occasion that you make homemade cookies, and so while you may have had a tie this time, the real win is what happens after a less than stellar performance: moving on with the right choices.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Weekly Workout – Week 1 =-.

    • Karen

      And I am moving on. Cut out grains again for a bit since that was my biggest overeating problem. None for three days and it gets easier and easier.

  4. Maya Angelou has a great quote: “I did then, the best I knew how, then. When I know better, I’ll do better.” I don’t know if your decision was the best for you or not (time, pondering, and blogging will tell), but it was the best one you knew at the time.

    As has become our custom, I’ve got a similar pondering coming up later this week. 🙂
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..A Little Housekeeping and a Giggle =-.

  5. I would have had a cookie….and then I would have had my son take the rest out of the kitchen where they could be out of my mind. Somedays I seem to have better staying away power than others….and I don’t like to have things like that sitting around easy to grab at and occupy my mind. But that’s me.

    But I guess if you feel you tried to fill the cookie “hole” with things other than the cookie, and ended up indulging…maybe NOT having the cookie was not the best choice, as you said.
    .-= losingmore´s last blog ..Tooo Fast =-.

  6. sunnydaze

    I can’t resist cookies or cake very well so I don’t bake them or buy them anymore. For me, they are kinda like chips, if I’d eat one, I’d just want another and another. Same thing with having a cake sitting on the counter calling out to me. Luckily my DD feels the same way…but, if I had a DS that wasn’t watching his weight and wanted cookies? Damn straight I’d’ve made him the cookies and prob eaten one..or two..

    • Karen

      My hope is that when my nest empties in just over a year, my hubby will agree to clean out every bit of crap and temptation. Until then, I am working on the willpower so my sons can still eat stuff that I can’t. Sigh.

  7. It sounds like you are really sensitive to sugar/white flour. For you, eating that one cookie may have led to two or three or more. Some people find that that first bite sets off the desire to eat more.
    .-= karen@fitnessjourney´s last blog ..Cleanses and Fasts =-.

  8. Well, the cookie dough is bad because of uncooked eggs so you can feel good about that! I think you were flexing your dieting muscles and you should be very proud!!! Hey, I finally got my google friend connect working on my new site… I need a first friend!
    .-= Diet Buddy´s last blog ..Spring Focus Week Two Results =-.

    • Karen

      I never let my kids eat raw dough for that reason but have always had it myself. When my husband bought the big frozen buckets of Toll House from Costco I would dig out chunks and eat it frozen. Yum. And then of course people got food poisoning from doing that!

      I friended:)

  9. I know exactly the cookie dough temptation (don’t we all!) You made a tough decision despite old habits and that’s worth a big hooray!
    thanks for stopping by my blog; after your comment I re-wrote it a bit since I think I was unclear. I completely support making positive decisions to improve health!
    .-= elizabeth´s last blog ..Such a Pretty Face! =-.

  10. Though you said that you indulged in other ways, I think that it is a big deal that you didn’t allow yourself to eat what you had set out not to eat. Now…you just gotta be aware of what you are eating to not eat the the other _______. Sounds to me like you’re doing well!!!
    .-= Corletta Brown´s last blog ..HOORAY….one successful week down!!! =-.

  11. I hope you don’t end up like me. Exploding on the sugar cabinet. I’m glad it’s a bit more innocuous. Hoping for you. GREAT job.
    .-= JourneyBeyondSurvival´s last blog ..Impossible Butterfly =-.

  12. Oh I do sometimes battle with sugar myself! There are some foods that are easier not to start eating than it is to stop eating them. Does that make sense?
    .-= Tami´s last blog ..Chicken Nuggets as an Appetizer & Product Reviews =-.

    • Karen

      Absolutely! I know many dieters (and non-dieters) don’t agree with that notion. But for me, there are some foods that I know I should just avoid. In Weight Watchers years ago they called them red light foods. Someday I will post about that whole idea.

  13. Cookies. Soooo hard to deal with.

    I think someone already mentioned being sensitive to sugar/white flour. I think some of us just can’t have those things because it always leads to the desire for more. That sucks but sometimes you just can’t have everything you want. (I’m mostly thinking of myself because I want cookies but am doing no sugar during the week to see how that affects me.)
    .-= Mary (A Merry Life)´s last blog ..A Merry Workout Pledge #3 =-.

  14. I find it so strange that we can so easily avoid a food one time and the next be obsessed by it. I also relate to the “eating everything but the object of our desire.” Sometimes to beat the sugar craving you have to do that – giving in just makes it worse.

    I am having a hard time getting back into gear after my trip and my college kids have been in town, too – so I completely relate to your struggles!
    .-= Brightside-Susan´s last blog ..TRUE CONFESSIONS TIME =-.

  15. Genie

    I know what you mean, when my purist attitude toward one tempting food leads me to another, but I never thought of it as displaced stress over the first food. That’s interesting.

    Then, there are times when I use baking as an excuse to get my hands on stuff (batter, dough) I shouldn’t eat.

    It’s always something. Where there’s a will to get sugar, there’s a way for me. Sigh.

    • Karen

      Funny. In my non-dieting days, when I was searching the house for something to pig out on, I often resorted to baking with whatever was on hand. I was smart enough not to keep chocolate chips around!

  16. When I first started losing weight I did as you did. I avoided eating any sweets, etc. And sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. For me, over time, I realized that I did better if I just had the cookie. Sometimes I had more than one, but that was okay, because I just compensated for it later.

    Hard decision!
    .-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s last blog ..Subway Gift Card Giveaway! =-.

  17. I think it’s a very big deal to be able to bake and not constantly sample or, for that matter, stick your entire head in the bowl and lick it out! Whatever would/should have happened with the cookie, I still think it’s a great habit to get into: no random calories that add up to big poundage.
    .-= Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla´s last blog ..Piloting the Pilot =-.

    • Karen

      You know what… I suggested to someone else once that she chew gum when cooking so as not to sample along the way. I never even thought to do that myself when baking until right now!

  18. I, too, don’t know whether it’s better to eat just one and enjoy it or say no altogether. I find that when I say no altogether I find myself eating other things to compensate. But I also think that in that situation if I ate a cookie I would simply make me want another one even more than I wanted the first one and I would give in! And the dough, I eat so many more calories of dough when I’m baking than I even realize. It’s just such a habit.
    .-= Laura Jane´s last blog ..Make It or Break It =-.

    • Karen

      My goal with my “new lifestyle” is to get to a place where it is so much a part of my life to eat healthy that I can easily handle the temptations that arise and a little splurge, even, without it derailing me. Not yet. But hopefully that is coming:)

  19. Karen — great job on not eating the cookie (or the dough). The important thing is that you did what was right for YOU. Doesn’t matter what anyone else would or wouldn’t do. We may all be on the same journey (to get healthy), but we each have to walk it in our own way.
    .-= Siobhan´s last blog ..not even a twinge … =-.

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