Lessons I am Learning in my Cookie-less Life

The Cookie Diary, Part II

For any who are interested, it is almost 2 months (on August 16th) since any cookies or candy bars have crossed my lips. The score is: Me 1, cookies and candy bars 0. # Stronger than the cookie!

Full disclosure, I have had 2 homemade brownies (not in the same week) and some store bought Angel Food Cake. (All fat, calories and carbs accounted for). So, I thought I would share some of the lessons I am learning, as I try to journey to a healthier me.

One important disclaimer, I am not a dietician, or nutritionist, nor am I writing to promote any specific weight loss program or strategy. I am simply writing to share my experiences in the hopes that it may provide some inspiration to anyone who, like myself, has struggled with weight and weight loss and self-image.

One of the biggest things I learned, that I shared in https://michelesomerville.blog/2020/07/21/the-cookie-diary/The Cookie Diary, is my surprise that it is possible to eat a meal and feel satisfied and not run into the kitchen, or the cookie closet for a pair of cookies.

Okay, I am exaggerating a little bit. I do not now, nor have I ever had a “cookie closet.” Remember, I like my cookies to have friends. I didn’t realize it was possible to walk away from the table and be content.

This insight may surprise some readers who may not have battled with weight gain or have always known that it was possible to leave the table and not want more. However, I am pretty sure that cookies, cakes and other sweets have the same affect on a person with sugar addictions that salty snacks have on someone who is drinking in a bar. The treats are generally free, because you will want to drink more. And they want that too!

“Snowballs” cupcakes totally covered in frosting and rolled in coconut.

I have found that eating sugary, wonderful foods has often, if not always, made me want more. Perhaps worse, when I was out of anything sweet enough at home to satisfy that desire, I knew that I could get cranky.

It is not that I am not enjoying snacks now, but am being more choosy and mindful about them.

Speaking of mindfulness, that was my second lesson learned. Even though I often measure side dishes at dinner, I was not counting, tracking, measuring or any other way limiting what I ate at other times. While I would not normally have potato chips, ice cream and cookies all in the same day or snack time. I was just not paying attention. I am now.

One thing I have found really helpful is planning ahead. Knowing what we are going to or may have for supper (I still think of it as dinner, maybe it’s a Massachusetts thing!) helps me decide how I want to spend calories on breakfast, lunch and snacks.

Time is not the only thing that is like money, so are calories. If you limit the number and quality of your calories, you are likely to spend them more carefully and maybe even have a few left over at the end of the day!

I have not pushed myself to starvation, or not eaten until I was at the point that anything was fair game. But it has proven to be important to let myself feel hunger, without rushing to a quick or emotional fix. Part of that has been asking myself questions like, ‘What is going on right now? What am I feeling? Is this really hunger, or is it something else, like sadness, frustration, or hurt feelings, to name only a few possibilities.

Are there cookies in my future? or, Will I ever eat cookies again?

I ask myself these questions from time to time, along with other cosmic questions, like “What is it like to not have your thighs touch?” I think there will be cookies in my future, but while I can say I am #Stronger than the cookie, right now there are no cookies in the house (not the kind that I like) and I am not ready to have them here.

I still have to deal with the question of addiction. But I have put that on the back burner, while I simply concentrate on choosing wisely, weighing and measuring and counting and otherwise carefully calculating. I am eating foods I would normally eat, except of course foods that are dripping with melted chocolate, slathered with icing or simply laden with chocolate chips.

I could eat them, but it would be self defeating at this point. When I can figure out the addiction, when I can get to the point of occasionally enjoying those treats without eating them up until they disappear, then; maybe.

If I can enjoy a few Christmas cookies by Advent, that would be great. But right now, I would rather have a homemade cranberry scone that I can take out of the freezer, warm up in the microwave and savor. But I am not there yet, either.

Flaky, buttery homemade cranberry scones

If you can’t tell yet, I love carbs and next to cookies, cake with frosting, lots of frosting, bagels are one of my preferred carbs. The fact that I have limited my intake of bagels to smaller ones or half of my favorite Thomas’ Bagels (you know the ones with 50+ carbs per serving) is a measure of my commitment.

I went to a local farmer’s market this morning and they had an entire table of my favorite things, breads, for instance. The only way I like zucchini is in bread. They had cookies, chocolate chip were the ones I noticed, but I looked over that table and said to myself “hmmm, no thanks.” Do you hear the pride in my voice? Pride, they say, “goeth before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

In the corner of the table, there was a tray of four doughnuts with piles of swirly pink frosting on top; they might have been calling my name, but I covered up my ears and darted away. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about them. With a cold glass of milk, or fresh hot coffee.

I want to say again, that I think all of the health related blogs I have read by blogger friends, who run, jog, workout, ride bikes, eat carefully, have been at least a subtle influence in my determination.

I have lost 12 pounds since my last cookies and I don’t aspire to be thin, just healthier. Anything less than a size 16 would be terrific.

Even now, with maybe 15 pounds to go, I finally like what and who I see in the mirror. I do hope all this self-disclosure, with a side order of humor, will be helpful to someone.

#Stronger than the Cookie

Not holding back the tide,

Michele

Copyright 2020 Michele Somerville, The Beach Girl Chronicles and https://msomervillesite.WordPress.com

Published by msomerville2014

About: Michele Somerville is a wife, mother, stepmother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend. She lives with her husband and their dog Sheba. Sheba is their fourth rescue dog in 30 years. She is a retired ordained United Methodist Elder and serves two churches part-time in North Central Pennsylvania. She obtained her Bachelors’ Degree in 1999 from Mansfield University and her Master of Divinity in 2004 and Doctor of Ministry in 2016, both from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York. My Doctor of Ministry Thesis was:” Prophetic Words of Grace: Biblical Storytelling in the Local Church.” Michele began writing and performing character monologues for worship in 2008. She began by asking the question about nameless characters in the Bible, “What would they say if they could speak for themselves?” and then using her theological education and experience of the human condition to attempt an answer that is both academic and creative. Much of what you will read here are memories from growing up in a tourist town, in a bar, in the 1960’s, shaggy dog stories about our rescue dogs, life in a small town, and stories of faith and hope. Throughout her life she has lived in many states, including small towns, large towns and cities. She lived in Rota, Spain, for nine challenging months. Despite all the places she have lived since moving away from home in 1970,Michele is at the heart of all things Jack and Maggie’s daughter, and a beach girl from Onset, Massachusetts.

20 thoughts on “Lessons I am Learning in my Cookie-less Life

  1. Good for you, Michele! I am a sweet-aholic too (recovering). I used to think the whole point of eating dinner was just so I could reward myself with dessert. My favorite breakfast was a big hunk of Moravian sugar cake (it’s what the Moravians in our town serve with coffee for communion at Christmastime). Moravian sugar cake is a potato dough coffee cake with holes poked into it. The holes are then filled with butter and brown sugar. Mmmm…those Moravians know how to bake! Like you, I do “cheat” and have sweets every once in a while, but it has to be something really delicious. I want to appreciate it, not take it for granted. We will keep running away from those tempting donuts together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for those encouraging words. That Moravian Sugar Cake sounds wonderful, with hot coffee! When I started I thought I would treat myself to soft ice cream once a week or once every other week, but even a small cone is a lot of calories. I may do it once before the ice cream shacks close for the season, but trying to simply focus. Thanks for the encouragement. I hope when I do decide to indulge in an occasional carb, that I make it worth while and continue to be choosy. Thank you again, Michele

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  2. Well done on your weight loss. I lost a lot of weight last year and managed to keep it off until the last three months when I have been recovering from surgery. Being home day after day has given me more time on my hands and I’ve been enjoying doing a lot of baking. Unfortunately I’ve noticed a little bit of weight starting to trickle back on so it’s time to ditch the carbs again. I have a sweet tooth as well. Good luck with your weight loss

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope that your recovery is going well. I think no matter what the surgery, we always expect ourselves to bounce back quickly. For some people, and I am one, weight control is always a battle, one I have surrendered to way too many times. But I am committed. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this post, and thanks very much for signing up to follow it. I try to vary the stories so no one, myself included gets bored. It’s pretty much mostly me! Blessigns, Michele

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  3. Hi Michele – it’s amazing how much of an impact comfort eating has on us isn’t it? I’m not a big sweets eater, but there are times when I love something decadent to make me feel like I’m treating myself. My biggest failing is salt and fat and potato in any combination – my solution is to not buy potato chips, to not go to a takeaway place more than once a month, and to keep an eye on what I’m putting in my mouth – mindfulness is definitely a key for me.

    Well done on the weight loss and the self-restraint – nice to see it’s paying off.
    #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne, having practical solutions like yours are key, I think. It is helpful to have strategies and back up plans and to be kind to your self. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this post. #MLSTL

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  4. Hi Michele, thanks for the update and well done on the journey so far, I am very impressed! I think comfort foods are there for a reason but I find if I don’t have them in the house I don’t crave them! I’m trying hard to stay stronger than the cookie. Go you!! #mlstl

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  5. Good luck, Michele, on your quest for better health. At this point in my life, I have chosen to focus on intuitive eating…eating what sounds good, but being mindful…enjoying the food and paying attention to satisfaction level. I also make it a point to keep more nutritious foods stocked, so I have those options readily available. I’m not perfect in my choices, but I am more relaxed about food, and I feel good. Take care! Be well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Christie, so far so good. I would like to be where you are, and that is a good goal for my journey with food. At this point, I just have to keep pressing on. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this post. Best, Michele

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  6. Kudos to you Michele! You ARE stronger than the cookie! I totally relate to this. I know that if I have a sugary carb, I want more carbs. If I skip a cookie or cake, I am fine. Bit if I have some it opens the door to all kinds of need and greed. I have especially craved carbs during Covid- I was among the banana bread bakers ( or cranberry nut scone bakers!). I am also trying to do better now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michele! What you describe is so familiar to me. I am working at it, but we were away for a few days of vacation and had a delicious dinner at a chain restaurant, but as soon as the put the roll basket on the table I went into auto pilot. Ate two rolls, with relish, so to speak, but the rest of the meal and meal choices were great. It is a process, as we both know. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this post. Blessings, Michele

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  7. Difficult to not touch a cookie when they look this good in your heading photo, Michele. I especially like lessons from a regular person, yet remarkable person/writer, meaning you, Michele. ❤️ I have struggled with weight most of my life until I had an epiphany almost two years ago (coincidentally approximately when I began this blog). I wrote a story about it. (The year I refused to step on the bathroom scale.)

    A thought-provoking concept on sugar addictions and salty snacks and drinking in a bar.

    The word “mindfulness” continues to surface for me. I enjoy how you slip in humour when you write. Unexpected true belly laughs from me. Your zucchini bread is similar to my carrot cake. We are eating our vegetables. 12 pounds is a major accomplishment, especially when lost in a healthy way. Congratulations! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the compliments. I will probably write a little more as the journey continues. Ultimately, it would be a good goal to ditch the sugar and refined foods, but just concentrating on healthy eating, losing weight and learning to make better choices. The first month of being cookieless and cake and candy-less, I did allow myself some sweet treats (100 calories in 4 marshmallows and honey nut cheerios carefully measured) but neither of those choices fit well with what I am trying to do now. I did start a specific program on July 19th and am liking it. I’d love to rad that story, if it is available. I haven’t gone directly to your blog because I am following you so things just sow up on my reader format on Word Press or my email. Thank you for your encouraging words.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations Michele on the weight loss!

    I fully relate to the addicition to cookies and all sweet things…. Particularly so as my French husband cannot conceive of a well balanced meal which does not punctuate with a generous serving of something sweet at the end. My answer to this dilemma has been to come up with some sweet goodies that have no sugar no dairy and are filling and satisfying at the same time. Sitting in our freezer right now are my homemade granola bars made with roasted oats, almonds and other nuts, cranberries, almond butter and a small amount of maple syrup. While not calorie free they are healthier than the usual cakes and cookies which are ladden with white refined sugar. I also make chocolate from raw cacao powder and coconut oil, with a little big of raw honey added in for sweetness. The key is using things like bananas and dates for sweetness and great taste.

    Croissants are the one thing neither of us is willing to give up ahaha and that’s okay. Especially seeing as we have given up so many other delectables.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peta. thank you for those encouraging words. Giving up refined sugar treats is one of my long term goals. In the meantime I keep pressing on and trusting myself that I can learn better lessons this time around and succeed.
      On another note, I read Ben’s post on his/your work with bamboo with great interest. What marvelous, healing and life giving approaches to care for the world. Kudos to you both. Michele

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