Many of you will remember that about 2 weeks ago, I wrote about four guys at my office who had banded together to join in some camaraderie over a cake and a gallon of milk during the afternoon workday. The photo that I posted was pretty clear about just what these guys were doing, but many still asked — why? Why would they do this?
After the cake boys received such an honorable mention in my blog, I was inundated with emails at work about the reason why they snack like children at a birthday party in the middle of the afternoon while at their grown-up jobs…and, by inundated, I mean Graham emailed me on behalf of “The Bro Bro Brotherhood of the Traveling Cake.” Graham was quick to advise that these poor gents were now all on their own in this world, motherless, if you will (his word, not mine) and simply sought to recreate the secure and happy feelings of childhood by purchasing a cake and downing it with milk. Simply put, the cake took them back to a happier time when they knew mom was just in another room, contentedly folding their laundry and preparing delicious meals of their favorite comfort foods for them. Now, each of thee poor young men lives far away from their beloved mothers, and miss out on warmth of kith and kin (as Clark W. Griswold would say), folded laundry, home cooked lasagna, and homemade birthday cakes, among other things. These young men have banded together to form “The Bro Bro Brotherhood of the Traveling Cake.” (Honestly, I think they decided to give themselves a formal name after they were mentioned here.) (Note: I am not a trained professional therapist, but I do know emotional eating when I see it — yoo hoo, guys, over here — take it from me, this is emotional eating and you won’t feel better in the morning!)
Well, since my initial post about the torture presented at the hands of these young men, to wit, their ongoing purchase of an entire cake and their afternoon antics of cake-eating and milk-drinking, they have continued to engage in this conduct. Only now, they were known all throughout the office for what they were doing.
At the end of last week, the guys started whispering of the big “plans” they had for today’s cake celebration. There were rumors of a sheet cake, the size of which had not been seen before at the office. Another rumor had them bringing in a wedding cake with dolls on top. I was told that not only would the cake be camera worthy, but it would be a blog-inducing day on top of it….boy were they right. Why? Because what they did bring in today turned out to be so much better….and more grotesque than even I could have imagined…behold:
The Brotherhood decided to purchase a custom-made, chocolate cake from the local bakery, with writing and a design. In case you can’t see the writing from the cake too well, it reads “The Bro Bro Brotherhood of the Traveling Cake” in a lovely scroll, with some very nice design work around the edges. I must say, the custom bakery at Dominick’s did an excellent job.
As I have said before on many an occasion, I’m an emotional eater. And a stress eater. And I love to eat. And I love salty things. And sweet things. Savory and rich. It’s all good to me. When The Brotherhood first busted out their cake weeks ago, it was damn near impossible for me to fight off the urge to immediately grab the cake and swallow it down whole like a snake with a feeding mouse. But I chose not to after thinking about the changes that I have been working so hard to implement in my life, and the hard work that I have put in to staying the course. Blogging about the cake also helped me conquer the desire to eat — because there is nothing I like more than humor.
Every time since that The Brotherhood has had a cake, it has gotten a little bit easier to resist the urge to eat it, and the subsequent urges for the remainder of the day to race out and buy a cake of my own. Don’t get me wrong — my humus and carrot 3:00 snack absolutely does NOT compare to a slice of delicious chocolate cake, but it does give me the energy that I need to get through my day, has numerous nutritional and health benefits, and does not immediately attach itself to my thighs and ass and screw with my weekly weigh-in.
By today, when The Brotherhood brought that sheet cake in and began to divvy it up into the requisite large slices for each of them (see Dean’s slice below…it is literally the size of 1/6 of that sheet cake), I realized that I didn’t even want any cake. The guys were kind enough to offer me some cake, and offer it to the office after they had eaten their initial pieces. The cake looked good, and I’m sure it tasted good, but as I took pictures of the cake, and the guys enjoying it, I knew that not only did I not need any part of the cake, I did not want any part of the cake. Eating a slice of that cake today would have been a single moment of pleasure followed by days of regret. And not only have I worked far too hard exercising and eating right to do that to myself, the thought of what the cake would mean for me, and my goals, was almost nauseating. For the first time ever, I turned down a food that would be delicious and absolutely awesome, and that I would have scarfed down in the past, as a result of the positive changes that I have made and the commitment that I have made to myself and my future. It really isn’t about one piece of cake, is it? It is about making the smart choice time and again, and the choice that will make me feel good. Plus, I had my Zumba class tonight — cake wasn’t going to help me move any faster there! So today, The Bro Bro Brotherhood of the Traveling Cake gets a hearty “THANK YOU” for helping me get past one of the most difficult things I could have faced — a cake, within arms reach, that was mine for the taking!
And, on to Zumba…this evening was the second Zumba class I attended, also at Hip Circle Studio with the awesome, and awe-inspiring Malik Turley! Last week, I felt like a complete imbecile, moving in the wrong direction, flailing my arms like I was on fire and bumping into people left and right. I was pretty convinced that the only way I would be able to do another Zumba class without brain damage would be to wear a helmet…(at least it’s pink and pretty)
Tonight, I was still that same imbecile, but I had more confidence in myself and that I could do this and master this exercise. (You’re going down, Zumba!!!) And I didn’t even have to wear a helmet, nor did I suffer a head injury!
By the end of two songs, I was sweating a little, but still feeling good….compare to last week, when I thought I was going to die at that same point. By the halfway point of tonight’s class, I was still sweating like a pig, swearing to myself for coming back and doing this, and trying to get my goddamn right leg to lift up off the ground in the right sequence of steps, but I kept on going and wasn’t too tired or thinking of quitting…rather, I thought to myself that I can get better at this. By 6:50, with only 10 minutes left of class, I was wishing class was over because I was so tired I thought that I wouldn’t be able to stand up much longer….and compare to last week, when I thought the same thing at about 6:10….I’d have patted myself on the back for getting through 50 minutes before looking at the clock, but honestly, I couldn’t really reach my arm above my head to do it, I was that sore.
The motivation that I had today was not only the ongoing commitment to my goals, but knowing that there are other people who have started out where I did, and gotten where they wanted to be with their weight loss goals. When I arrived at class tonight, Malik shared a picture with me of herself, two years ago, when she was significantly heavier, before she started Weight Watchers and Zumba. The transformation was amazing!!!!! To which I say, if Malik can go from not exercising, to owning her own dance/Zumba/yoga studio, and be a success at Weight Watchers, then I can do it too. I was better at the moves tonight than I was last week, and I know that next week I’ll be even a little further along.
Tomorrow is the “official” Weight Watchers weigh-in day and meeting. I hope that all this hard work, and exercise pays off in a lower number on the scale (it did this morning, unofficially — down 3lbs!), but even if it doesn’t and I maintain, I know that I busted my ass this week and made some real progress toward conquering what had become an addiction for me–food.
“Never, never, never, never give up.” –Winston Churchill