I eyed it as I entered Building D in the cul-de-sac. I, without a doubt, abhor chocolate cake. I have harbored this hatred ever since I watched the movie Matilda as a child. In fact, I read the book and watched the movie so many times between the ages of 8 and 10 that I immediately think of the scene where Bruce Bogtrotter eats the infamous chocolate cake, whenever I see chocolate cake of any kind. Gross.
I know as soon as I see the homemade cake that I will not partake.
What happened an hour later, was not in any plan I would ever create for myself.
“Does anyone want a piece of cake?”
I instantly feel bad for the host who has made it clear that she baked the cake herself. Without thinking, I say, “I’ll have a piece.” Regret seeps into my whole being before I can even finish the sentence. I do not want anything to do with the cake. Nothing good will come of this–for me. The first bite is horrendous. Not only am I eating something I already dislike with a passion, but it is horrible. Nothing about any part of the cake is enjoyable (and I can at least appreciate some aspects of a chocolate cake). To my own further dismay; I continue to eat the entire piece. Each bite, I say to myself; is this enough to look like I enjoyed it? Should I stop here? Will she be offended? In the end, I could not satisfy my guilt of feeling bad for now having taken the slice, and potentially not eating enough of it to look like I didn’t hate it. So I finished it. And for a few minutes, it was not that bad. I thought maybe, just maybe, I would be successful at just letting go of the fact that not only did I just intake (what feels like) a million calories, but I had also missed my run with a friend because a work meeting went too long.
Chocolate cake affected the last 24 hours of my existence in every way possible. I woke up every hour last night in a panic of sweat. I woke up before my alarm and berated myself for not getting up to workout. I thought about leaving my lunch in the car so I wouldn’t eat it. I thought about eating only one-fourth of the things I had brought. I thought about running more after I already ran 5 miles in the freezing cold. I thought about throwing up. I thought about stepping on the scale. I thought about how how tight my work pants felt. I thought about how everyone I came in contact with today must be thinking I look like a whale. I thought about not eating anything tomorrow.
Chocolate cake also affected me in that I didn’t get out of bed when I didn’t want to, and already had plans to workout after work. I got up early and ate a healthy breakfast. I made lunch, did not leave it in the car, and ate all of it. I ran, and enjoyed, a 5 mile run with a friend, as planned. I didn’t run more after. I did not purge in any way, and I did not step on the scale. My work pants were tight, because I’m bloated, because it’s that time of the month. No one was paying attention to my insecurities. I’m going to eat tomorrow.
I’m still not sure about all of that. I still feel incredibly uncomfortable, approximately 26 hours removed. Everything was more difficult last night and today, because of a slice of cake. But I spent a lot of time accepting that it was going to be difficult. I wasn’t going to be excited about any food choices I made and no amount of exercise would suffice because I have this really terrible chatter going on in my head that tells me so. So instead of getting overwhelmingly frustrated, I let it happen, and moved on. One-thousand times, I moved on today.