Wanda’s Rules for Weight Loss: Rule #8 Always Eat Dessert

What is the point of all this bitter if you’re going to deny yourself the sweet?

Coconut Cake with Pineapple Filling
Coconut Cake with Pineapple Filling

I was raised in a household where dinner was only over after dessert was served. I am a big fan of dessert. I believe in it and can honestly say that if dessert were a religion I would pay it tithe.

Dessert is all about celebration and appreciation. To this day I still top off each meal with a sweet treat. I am nondiscriminatory in what I deem dessert. I can go as decadent as coconut cake with pineapple filling (a homemade fav, my aunt reserves for special occasions) or as low brow as sugar free jello with fat free whipped cream topping. My point is never how fabulous can my dessert be, my point is always to provide myself with a little sweet.

For these reasons and so many more I simply cannot ascribe to self-deprivation diets. I am always in awe of people who can go days, weeks, months and sometimes years with denying themselves what I consider to be life’s staples. Things like chocolate, ice cream (particularly Ben & Jerry’s Cherries Garcia), cup cakes (with or without power ranger decoder rings), peanut butter cookies, lemon squares, cake with buttercream frosting, pound cake so moist to add another thing would be sinful should never put you on the naughty list. I could go into the whole all things in moderation speech but who hasn’t heard that before?

Instead I’ll share a sentiment shared with me years ago as a close friend of mine lay in his hospital bed near the very end of his life, “I know that I’m dying and I can’t help but think of all the things I’ve done that regret, ” he told me. “But I can honestly tell you the things I didn’t regret was the chocolate cake.”

Life is filled with so many down points. In our everyday most of us struggle to keep our heads up because our to do lists constantly pull us down. Dessert is that one moment you have in your day to remind yourself that life has it’s pleasures, it’s joys and it’s celebrations. It’s up to us to partake.

Dessert is a must that should not be eliminated from your life.

In my own life there are times when I don’t have time for cake or cookies or ice cream even. My schedule just won’t allow me to savor the sweet treats the way I would like. And sometimes my blood sugar is so wacky that adding anything else to the midst would just put me into a sugar shock not worth writing about (mostly because I’d be in ER where computers aren’t allowed). So there are times when I take my desserts from my surroundings in laughter and a quick text to a friend. I have discovered over the years that desserts are just the sweet treats we savor at the ends of meals but they are in fact that nectar of life that sustains us.

There is dessert in sunshine and raindrops. There is dessert in car chats with my son. There is dessert in telling a kid he will in fact graduate on time. There is dessert in quiet moments where the only sound you hear is your own voice saying ‘thank you.’ I have learned in this busy i’mpossible life that desserts are always within my reach and never ever off the menu.

This week I want to focus on savoring the nectar of my life. I’m still reading Bob Greene‘s book The Best Life Diet. And let me tell Bob gets all up in your business. It would be one thing if his book provided you with a plan for eating right and exercising more (after all isn’t that what every diet known to woman worth it’s weight in m&m’s). But no Bob has to throw in ’emotional’ triggers and pitfalls. He actually asks that I ask myself the question: ‘Why am I fat?’ And then has the audacity to demand that I provide myself with an authentic answer. Things like because I always eat dessert don’t fly with Bob. Bob wants you to go deep.

So last week I went deep with Bob and answered the question ‘Why am I fat?’ My answer mad me sad and that made me want to eat a bag of them market place parmesan kettle chips from Target (my emotional eating generally leads me to foods that go crunch). But Bob was all on my back mostly cause I still had his book open and instead of rushing to Target for that bag of chips I kept reading. And even though he kept asking me questions that did not compute for a weight loss program I waded through the questions and Bob won me over.

This week my focus is

  1. Keep reading Bob’s Book. I’ve learned a lot so far about water weight and body fat. I also agree with his general methodology. I figure if I can muster up the funds to join Weight Watchers 8 times, I can give Bob a shot for 3 months.
  2. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. I know drinking water is important and I do try to get as much in as possible but this week I’m cutting out all other drinks except for herbal tea. If you see me with my cup rest assured it’s water filled.
  3. Move it. I don’t know how many steps I step in a day but I commit this week to purposefully move more. I finally dusted off my yoga for weight loss dvd and it kicked my butt. This was not your namaste kind of yoga. But I liked it (that’s my secret I actually like exercise I just can never find the time to do it).
  4. Re-evaluate my day. Not having time to exercise is not acceptable. I need to re-evaluate my day and make some cuts so that I have the time and energy to make regular exercise a part of it.
  5. Stop weighing myself everyday. Bob says it’s water weight that driving me loco. I believe him. The more I hydrate the more I weigh but then my clothes sag a bit more and I think it’s all an illusion. I’m going to keep reading but it seems that there is a big difference between water gain/loss and fat loss/gain. It’s fat I need to lose and water that needs to be maintained.

Let’s see what happens.

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