Dessert was my enemy, and I was very disciplined and went quite a long time without eating it. So when I was at dinner with some coworkers who were celebrating a birthday, I chose to have one bite of the carrot cake we ordered for in honor of the birthday boy. This restaurant, bar louie, was one that served gargantuan family style portions. The cake itself was about the size of one quarter of a three layered carrot cake with cream cheese icing between each layer and over the top protecting the cake
with its sweet white crust. I took a bite, and the sugar hit my nervous system like a shot of muscle relaxers or some other drug. So I had another, and another and the moist cake covered in cream cheese icing slipped down my throat with great joy. The next think I knew I had consumed half of the cake by myself. The birthday boy had barely eaten any because I lost all self-control and turned into a little pig.
It was good, and I loved every second of it until it registered with me what I had done. Then came the guilt, the overwhelming horror that I had been so bad. The contrast between the extreme discipline and extreme eating was profound. I actually felt so bad, I went the next extreme and spent three hours in our hotel gym working the elliptical machine in effort to burn some of the calories.
I admit I’m a bit nutty with the health stuff and staying fit, but this incident taught me a lesson about balancing discipline with being extreme. I was good at being disciplined, but when I tipped passed the point of allowing myself to relax a little, I lost control. Then I experienced extreme eating and extreme exercise from extreme discipline. None of these scenarios are good. Now I let myself have a little something sweet regularly and a dessert once a week, so it’s easy to walk away from carrot cake. I encourage us all to be disciplined, but within reason. Extremism isn’t generally the answer to our life’s choices though many of us choose to operate through extremes because of the emotional highs we get from them. Think about yourself and what is balanced for you, and be nice to yourself.