28 September 2005
Cake: A Bad Idea
Yes, I'm a low-carb eater. This means I don't eat bread or pasta; I eschew flour and sugar; I shun starches and sweets. I'm supposed to, anyway. It's for my health.
A few years ago, I was trying to lose a few pounds. I'd suffered from insomnia since the birth of my daughter, and I had carpal tunnel and a host of aches. I went on Atkins, and I suddenly began to sleep without aids and found I no longer needed anti-inflammatory drugs, either. I no longer needed to wear wrist guards—hulking hand contraptions—to bed. In three weeks, I was near goal weight; in a few months, I was off my antidepressants and sleeping pills.
Enter the Cake Thesis.
Perhaps my decision to explore the moist white underbelly of the cake world was a bit misguided (read: stupid). It wouldn't be so bad if I had stopped at cake. But once that oven door opened, the hot dog roll began to go down with the hot dog, the hamburger bun starting going down with the hamburger. Instead of delicious sauteed zucchini going down with the spaghetti sauce, pasta goes down.
Consequently, pain goes up.
I have been back on track for three days now, and I am slowly recovering. Cake for work (and birthday—I mean, c'mon) will be my only high-carb allowance.
On a forum, women friends recently discussed why we do this to ourselves, knowing it causes a world of problems. How can we see something that causes bloating and confusion and insomnia and swelling and inflammation and pain as a reward?
A frank and thorough writer cannot simply explore the light side; cake has a dark side, too (a gooey, rich, chocolate side, perhaps, but it's dark).
In a few weeks, I will be talking to some mental and physical health experts at Hopkins about the sweet tooth and the nature of food addiction. Perhaps I will learn to develop a more professional relationship with my subject
Because when it comes to sweets—especially cake—I have an inability to think beyond the moment to its consequences. It's all about instant gratification and momentary pleasure. There's rarely a hint of critical thought when I am faced with cake. Cake. Hmmm. Here you are. I will eat you.
The only things that run through my mind have to do with strategy. I am a cake soldier on the front lines competing with other cake soldiers. In seconds, I must figure out how to get the corner piece, how to eat it without looking like a crazy homeless person, how to get a second hunk, how to get that blop of frosting—that one, over there, yes, yes, yes.