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.