Feed Her, Feed Her, Pumpkin Eater

Three strikes and you’re out?  Or third time’s the charm?  Recently I’ve been sorely tested by pumpkin baked-goods temptation, not once, not twice, but, yes, you guessed it, three times.  How’d I hold up in the face of one of my favorite treats?  Read on…

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Pusher:  The doorbell rings.  I innocently answer, expecting to greet a relative who is coming over to join my husband and others for an afternoon of football watching.  What I wasn’t expecting is to have him hand me a container, saying, “Here, I got you pumpkin muffins.”  Aaargh.  Me?  Why me?  I’m not watching football.  I’m already struggling in my mind with the food temptation that my husband had planned – some delicious looking cracker crack (that he raves about but I’ve never tried) and pizza, with its wonderful aroma wafting through the house as it heats.  I don’t need baked goods to push me over the edge!  So, as had been my plan all along, I just steered clear of the testosterone zone.  But, hours later as the same thoughtful relative saw me on his way out of the house, muffins again in hand (for which I was ever so thankful that they were leaving my house and thoughts), he asked me TWICE if I was sure I didn’t want any.  “No.“  “Thank you.”  And out they walked.

Thoughtful Moms and Pumpkin Bombs:  This time it’s the phone ringing, that heralds the disturbance in my eating equilibrium.  My mom was on the other end.  “I have to bring by your pumpkin bread,” she tells me.  My pumpkin bread?  What pumpkin bread?  Ah, every quick on the uptake, it comes to me.  My mom had driven past a Dutch bakery that we haven’t visited in several years but which we used to pass on the way to and from her last lake house.  And we usually stopped.  And when we did, we always bought their pumpkin bread.  (And molasses cookies, and other assorted treats.  But I digress.)  So, thoughtful as she is, and she IS, she bought me a loaf.  Which she knew I’d enjoy.  And I knew I’d overeat.  So, again, thinking fast, I asked her to put it in her freezer for Thanksgiving.  The holiday that brings visions of pumpkins dancing in my head.  Because that day I intend to (almost) guiltlessly indulge and the other guests will happily partake, leaving less for little old overeating me.

No One To Blame But Myself:  And just when I thought the pumpkin onslaught was over, I brought more on myself.  My husband and I were bringing a meal to a neighbor’s house to feed them and their out-of-town guests after a sudden death.  We signed up for breakfast, because we thought that would be harder for other volunteers who actually have jobs to go to.  Breakfast for a crowd.  Timing unknown.  What does one do in a situation like this?  Bake.  What do I know I can bake well enough to serve to others?  Pumpkin bread.  The recipe makes two loaves and the good news is that delivering the loaves intact allows for nary a nibble.  So, along with fruit and bagels and juice and an egg dish, the pumpkin bread left my house, unsampled.  As for the pumpkin bread batter, that’s another story.  I licked the spoon and I liked it.  (Yes, I’m singing that to Katy Perry’s tune.)

So, there you have it.  Muffins and bread:  zero.  Karen:  three.

Photo credit: [link]





Filed under food

64 responses to “Feed Her, Feed Her, Pumpkin Eater

  1. I adore you.
    Your writing.
    Your stories.
    Your willingness to do what it takes to be who you have chosen to be.

    all of it.

  2. This is too funny! I have 1 cup of fresh pumpkin in my fridge which will be made into something today. Think being the good friend that I am, I’ll wrap whatever I make and UPS it to you just in time for Thanksgiving! NOT!!

    • Karen

      LOL! And to add insult to injury, TODAY my mom brings the frozen pumpkin bread to our workout for me to take home and put in my own fridge!

  3. Well written. This reminds me of something that happened on Saturday… and something we’ve discussed before… and of a post I drafted yesterday about the savagery of overeating. It’s all just sad. It’s wonderful and deserving of congratulations that you didn’t partake in these items — no doubt about that. You may have faired better than I… especially with the muffins. I could have made it through the other two.

    But the things that struck me again is how no matter who we are or what we might look like, it’s very possible to have very similar eating issues. You’re a normal weight person with the same issues… the same fears and anger and all that stuff when presented with a food you’d love to eat but must refrain from. I was directly beside a woman at zumba on Saturday who is obviously suffering from anorexia (obvious because of her protruding bones and because I heard her tell her friend after the 60 minutes zumba class that she thought she’d go run on the treadmill for two hours before leaving). For the first 15 minutes of the class, I kept thinking that she must be disgusted by me… and maybe even encouraged in her own conduct so as not to “see” me when she looks in the mirror at herself. But then I suddenly realized that she has the very same issues with food that I do. In that moment, I felt compassion for both of us. So much so that I smiled at her, something I would have been too self-conscious to do ten minutes prior. She smiled back.

    My point is that this is such a common situation. I think pain or struggle brings people together, and it’s certainly possible to encourage people through it too. Isn’t that exactly what so many get out of the blogging community?

    There’s a book by a Jungian therapist (don’t recall the author or title right now) that discusses how extreme overeating without compensation, bulimia, and anorexia are three sides of the very same underlying issues.

    • I love what you have to say about compassion and the fact that those of us who struggle do so no matter what we look like on the outside!

    • I have been planning a whole post about this for a very long time. Just not yet sat down and tried to say it. I have shared before in response to several comments that one of the reasons I have never talked “numbers” on here regarding my weight is that I really feel that so many experiences and struggles are ones “we” share, regardless of our size. I think that I probably have a more disordered approach to eating than many who are much larger than I am! Rather crazy, when I think about it. Also, I think for me, this food thing stems from all the years of “dieting.” I have often shared that in the past I could eat bread “normally.” Today, I bought bread for Thanksgiving and I kept thinking about it so I decided to move it to the trunk of the car. The person standing by me at the gym would never guess that!

      And, you should smile at everyone at the gym! I am very shy and once I started doing that, and making some small talk, the gym became a very homey place.

  4. Dang!!! I see I misspelled a word right out there in public. In the first paragraph, I should have writhed “fared” when I wrote “faired.”

    • Oh, I do that all the time!! There is a plug in that lets readers go back for a certain time-frame and make edits to comments. But I’m scared to add extra plug ins!

  5. What’s the matter with me? More typos in that one too — written. I think it’s the auto spell correct actually.

  6. Ha! Loved the post. I actually don’t like pumpkin… though I used to eat pumpkin scones. Made famous here in Oz (or my state of Qld in Oz) by the dottery wife of an even dotterier politician.

    Am trying to remind myself of how much I dislike pumpkin!

  7. Good grief – I think I need to really examine why I was always the person showing up at others’ homes and parties with baked goods. I was a pusher, and at this time of year, an absolute pumpkin pusher!

    Stay strong. You can do it!

    • I think most of us do it! We show love with food. We show gratitude with food. We certainly would never presume that the person on the other end might not want it.

  8. You rock Karen!!!!!!!!!!! Good for you!!! Me, I might have taken a bite out of each one BUT I know for you, a bite is hard…. me, I am used to it! 😉 As for those molasses cookies, I would have insisted mom bring those to me! 🙂

  9. Oh, those muffins and bread would have been in my freezer so fast I would have created a breeze. Um, after I politely (if insincerely) offered guests a serving. 🙂

    • Unfortunately freezing is not enough of a deterrent for me:( I discovered that some baked goods taste even better that way! Lemon bars, for example. Sigh.

  10. I am totally a baked goods pusher. But I only give them to people that I know will eat them. I am health minded and make healthy food but also try to be sensitive to my friends who I know want to resist temptation.

    • Honestly, the pumpkin bread I made for neighbors was horribly unhealthy! A lot of oil and sugar. I really should try to make a healthier version. That still tastes good:)

  11. Loved your post, but not the pumpkin. Fortunately for me, I do not care for the taste of pumpkin. So if we have pumpkin pie, I can easily resist it.

  12. Whoo hoo for you, Karen! Great job on resisting those high calorie treats. I LOVE pumpkin but usually only have it in the Weight Watchers crustless pie and my oatmeal. For Thanksgiving I am purchasing two pieces of pumpkin pie for me and my daughter so I won’t have four more pieces in my house to resist. I could finish off that whole pie in a couple of days with no problem except for the two pounds I’d probably gain. 😦

    • I saw several recipes online for healthier pumpkin things. None were muffins or bread, my downfall. It all comes down to texture again for me. I don’t even like pumpkin pie:)

  13. Congratulations, girlfriend. You rock!

  14. I love this post! Does it ever get easier? I don’t know- but we keep fighting and we keep trying. I have such respect for you and your perseverance! Thank you for your honesty with your struggles. We have similar ones- and it makes me feel less lonely about them! xoxox

    • Thank you, Jill. I think there are so many of us out here that find we have a lot in common, despite having such different stories. I hope it does get easier!!

  15. Jan

    Thank goodness reading your post had zero carbs/calories! It certainly had me salivating. I absolutely crave baked goodies this time of year. If you can stand up to all that starchy goodness literally in your face, perhaps I can keep from sleep-driving my way to the bakery.

    • I have to say that being at the store today was tough! I kept thinking about all these foods I wanted but try to avoid. I did buy pita bread to go with hummus on Thursday and kept thinking about it. So I put it in the trunk of the car:) Pathetic that I need a coping tool, but it works.

  16. This sort of makes me happy pumpkin isn’t a big thing over here. In fact I’ve never tasted it in my life! Weird, huh 🙂

  17. Donna

    Good job, Karen! I adore anything pumpkin, and would have truly struggled with the temptations you faced. I do have to brag, though, that this was the second year in a row I had Halloween candy in the house and completely skipped having any. By midnight, the bags were in my husband’s car for him to take out to the gun club the next morning. Hoping my pride in myself over THAT will keep me away from the baked goods during this holiday season. That and your shining example, of course! Hugs to you for your inspiration, Karen…

  18. I absolutely LOVE pumpkin baked goods. So much in fact I have to stay away from DD this time of year! Your post details how we deal with temptation one incident at a time, only this time of year they come in rapid fire succession. I just want to share with your readers a time when I managed to not succumb to entire table laden with Thanksgiving desserts, only to dive face first into a pumpkin pie the next day. The moral being that for some people, allowing yourself one piece of the dessert you love the most will help you overcome other temptations that will follow. We only have just so much discipline to go around and saying “no” to ourselves repeatedly weakens our resolve for what comes next. You have to cut yourself a little slack this time of year. Maybe a decision to maintain is the right one for some folks! And if you pumpkin pie lovers are interested, I just got a recipe for Pumpkin Custard (which I’ve tried) and would be happy to share with anyone who emails me at appetite4living@comcast.net.

    • I think we all have to figure out what works for us. Lots of people do so well with moderation. For me, I’d do best if I throw that pie out before the next day rolls around! If it was apple, that is. Pumpkin pie is not my thing.

  19. Great post! Good for you for stepping away from the pumpkins!

  20. I have a recipe for simple, healthful pumpkin almond butter bars and it has no flour and just one-third cup of honey. Also an egg, 1 tsp of baking soda, and cinnamon. Are you interested? I’ll post if here if you want…or, if you think it would be too triggering, I won’t.

    But anyway, I loved this post…and love that you’re winning 🙂

    • Sure -sounds yummy. I don’t think I’ll make it this year since the desserts are pretty well stocked already by other guests. And by my son’s bday cake:) But I’d love to save it for another time.

  21. In most countries, it’s a fight to get food. In this country, it’s a fight to avoid it!!

  22. KLA

    Fun post! You handled all those baked goods and food pushers well – hubby brought home mini cupcakes and pistachio ice cream last week. The mini-cupcakes seem to speak to me.

    Desserts: 2 KLA: 0.

  23. Ahahah, this is how I feel about chocolate…and why I cannot bake or risk eating the batter PRE oven!!!

  24. Karen, you fought like a warrior and beat the hell out of those temptations. Wow! This is what I am wondering: you’ve dodged a lot of these bullets over the past couple of months and I’d like to know if it feels like it’s getting at all easier for you, or do you have to take it one situation at a time? It seems to me as though you are getting a firm grasp on what you are and are not willing to overindulge on and following through with flying colors. Give yourself LOADS of credit here, my friend.

    • Much as I hate to admit it, right now it is NOT getting easier. The past months have been quite a struggle for me. I think that my travel and social eating did me in. Summer was much easier. So, my current thinking is just to hang on and do the best I can through this season, hopefully not gaining, and then buckle down after to find a routine and peace or control with my eating. I suspect that you can understand when I talk about this because while I might look quite “normal” on the outside, I know I have a very long way still to go.

  25. Your determination and resolve just hit a home run. Excellent on the spot thinking, too. Now, can you keep that up till T-day???

  26. Ewa

    Girl, you are more than funny. I am so glad I am not a pumpkin lover. I am also quite happy that my aunt whose sole mission in life is to (over)feed people lives way back in Poland.

  27. You are SO right Karen! Dieting creates a disordered attitude toward food, so I’ve been working on learning to become a “normal” eater. I think that’s the only way you can lose weight permanently. Still, I am obsessed with my weight and the “scale” numbers, so I wonder if I will ever be able to just accept myself at the weight I am.

  28. Love it, love it (the pumpkin stuff too!! 😉 )…lol. You’re such a great writer!
    I am so thankful many times that I cannot eat gluten – it truly keeps me safe from all these goodies! 😉

  29. GO KAREN! 🙂 Good for you! That is awesome 🙂 You sure have a lot more willpower than me!!

  30. anne h

    You are clever and very nice, too, I might add!

  31. Super Success Karen! Oh, and if you lick the spoon while standing up those calories don’t count right?

  32. Roz

    Lvoe this post Karen. Yay you for winning the battle of the pumpkin! Take care!!!

  33. Good for you! You are far better than me…who partook of the fresh, homemade baklava a co-worker brought in yesterday. At least it pushed me to get to the gym! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  34. Let the pumpkin blessings abound – sounds like you’re giving much which is why, I’m sure, pumpkin charma is coming back at ya! Enjoy it! Enjoy it!

  35. I’m laughing at that last line – I, too, fell prey to an unlicked bowl Alpha Hubby thought he’d licked enough of – NOT – there is ALWAYS the spatual swipe that brings up utter gooey-ness.. ok ok I need to stop now. You sure have done a great job while being attacked by pumpkin – I am not sure I could have done as well at saying NO to the pizza scent wafting through the house. Happy Birthday to your son!

  36. Pumpkin desserts get me EVERY TIME! My sis in law sent over this pumpkin whipped gingersnap pudding thing the other day and it was gone way too quickly. Way too good.

  37. You and me, girl, we will fight our way through all the temptations! Of course that’s easy for me to say because I don’t have bread in my trunk and am not on my way to my mother’s house tomorrow where there’s pumpkin bread waiting for you. Just be sure to pick your battles; make sure your indulgence is worthy; and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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