I should have never bought the cake.
I knew I should have never bought the cake.
I bought the cake anyway.
It started off innocently, as most things do.
After a long day of work, I stopped at the grocery store intending to pick up a few items for dinner.
Harmless things, really: veggies, some pasta, and fruit. What could possibly go wrong?
As usual, it was a hot, humid day in South Florida. The air from the overly air conditioned grocery store shocked my skin as I sauntered in; my hands firmly gripping the handle of my shopping cart.
Then, I saw it: the row of bar cakes glimmering in my peripheral vision.
Like a robot, my head twisted on a mission to fully witness the neatly stacked cakes in the bakery section.
Seconds later, I was firmly greeted by a sign in huge bold letters:
BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE.
Shit, they were on sale, I thought. I’d passed these cakes thousands of times, but never, never were they on sale.
The cakes came in three varieties: carrot, red velvet, and salted caramel heath.
Truthfully, it had been a while since I had cake. I missed cake. I wanted cake.
Not to mention, I was starving. Quite some time had passed since my last meal. They always say never go grocery shopping hungry, but of course, I never listen.
I was stronger than this, right? I knew what would happen if I bought those cakes, especially two of them.
So I walked away. I told myself to focus on the task at hand.
However, the moment my hands touched the shopping cart handle, a man’s loud, giddy, obnoxious voice startled me.
Where did he come from?
“Hi, ma’am! I saw you were looking at those cakes.”
Well, no kidding captain obvious, I thought. I regained my composure.
“Hi! Uh, yeah… yeah, I guess I was looking. I’m just going to walk away now though,” I said, awkwardly giggling as I slowly pushed my cart towards the vegetable aisle.
“Well, those cakes never really go on sale. They’re “buy one, get one free” today,” He said, emphasizing every other word as if the sign in bold, capital letters wasn’t enough.
“Haha, yeah I saw that but not today,” I said determined to continue pushing my cart.
“You should really get one! I’m sure you and your boyfriend would love it!” He continued.
The fact that he was doing the typical “boyfriend assumption” thing guys do should have been enough for me to walk away, but somehow it wasn’t that day.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. I mean it’s good to have dessert in the house, ya know, in case,” I responded.
What was I saying? In case?
In case of what? A fire? A flood? What was I talking about? What kind of emergency warrants cake?
Yet the giddy man was totally on the same page as me:
“Yeah, you’re so right! Just in case, and like I said, they don’t go on sale often! They’re buy one, get one free so you can get two!” He reiterated.
Crazy enough, his ridiculous banter worked. I grabbed two of the cakes and tossed them into the cart. The plastic packaging clanked against the metal rim.
I deserved it, I concluded.
Wait, why? Deserved it? What did I do to deserve cake?
I have no idea, but in my mind, I convinced myself I was one of those dainty types. The type to eat a small slice after dinner. Just enough to savor the cravings, but not too much.
I fooled myself into believing I needed deserts around to entertain guests, which is hilarious because I rarely ever have guests in my home.
Deep down, I knew what would happen. I knew I wasn’t the type to have one slice of cake and walk away.
Instead, I was the type to eat a slice, put the rest of the cake in the fridge. Shut the fridge door, wash my plate, and put it in the dishwasher. Later, I would scurry back, reopen the fridge, pull the cake out and eat another slice.
Rinse and repeat.
I’d do all kinds of shenanigans to deter myself from eating the rest of the cake.
On a few occasions, I pushed the cake to the back of the fridge, behind the vegetables. I’d assure myself the effort to retrieve it would deter me from having another slice.
Wrong. Moments later, I’d maneuver the vegetables, grab the cake and eat all of it. Every single bite until it was finished.
And that’s exactly what I did that night. I ate one entire cake. I felt horrible. Then, I threw the second cake in the trash, making sure to remove the packaging prior to disposal.
I knew things would never end well between that second cake and I.
It’s not that I’m a binge eater all the time. It’s just that I struggle to eat certain foods in moderation, especially when I buy them for my home. If I want the occasional treat, I know to buy a small serving or order at a restaurant.
For me, foods like cake, peanut butter, and savory snacks are not foods that I can have around the house. These types of foods are commonly known as “trigger foods.”
Sometimes, I can have cake around, and it does not bother me, but most of the time I can’t so I don’t.
Learning about my triggers helps me identify the moments when I should just say no.
However, sometimes the cravings kick in, and I don’t.
As someone with a history of disordered eating, I’m still in the process of forming a healthy relationship
with food. Whether it’s eating too much or eating too little, the struggle remains.
It’s challenging to find a balance, and I do not know if I ever will. Every day is a different experience
One thing is for certain: I should have never bought the cake that day.
That day, the cake won.
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