A Taste for Cheesecake…eek!
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I had dinner with a friend at Cheesecake Factory the other night and while waiting to be seated, I was looking at the display of cheesecakes. There must have 20 or 30 choices in the case. If you have ever been to a Cheesecake Factory, you know that their cheesecakes are amazing on every level.
Standing there looking at the array, I studied each one and wondered which ones I would go off my diet to eat. I quickly eliminated those I would NEVER go off my diet for (plain), those that might tempt me (peanut butter) and the one or two that – if I could – I would eat the entire cheesecake (turtle caramel pecan).
Why is it that we can be so virtuous on our diets for days (weeks) and then be so tempted by a particular food that threatens to destroy all our good efforts? Do you suppose it stems from some childhood behavior/reward syndrome? Or smell/aroma? Or visual appeal?
Why would I never be tempted by plain cheesecake with strawberries, but be prepared to blow my five year diet for that turtle cheesecake?
Here’s my answer: Blame your mother (Why not? Mothers get blamed for everything else!)
There’s no doubt that my love for chocolate is the result of my mother making a chocolate cake and brownies every Saturday morning. It was a tradition; my three brothers and I grew up to the aroma of baking (with chocolate).
We were a sweets family (thus my weighing 300 pounds at one point in my life). I will never be drawn to a potato chip or a nacho, but any sweet with caramel or chocolate triggers a response in me. I could be starving in a room filled with apple pies and not eat a bite. A bowl of chocolate mousse – yeah, that would be my downfall.
For dieters, I think it’s important to recognize our triggers – and avoid them.
The other day I made chocolate scones for a meeting (of course, what other flavor than chocolate). There were several left over and I put them in the freezer. They kept calling to me – not only as I sat down in the evening to watch television, but at 3:00 AM. Those scones being frozen would not be a deterrent (microwaves were invented to defrost chocolate scones!).
When I woke the next morning, I absolutely knew I could not make it through the day without eating one (or all) of those scones. So I went to the kitchen, took those scones out of the freezer and … drowned them. That is, I opened up the plastic bag they were in and filled it with water. Done – no more temptation. A little weird – yes! Did I blow five years of dieting by eating one of those scones – no!
Back to the Cheesecake Factory and gazing lovingly at the turtle cheesecake. Be still my heart.
No – the cheesecake did not win. As with those chocolate scones, I screwed up every bit of self-control I had and said “NO.” Plus it wouldn’t have been right to march behind the counter and pour water on their cheesecake. Blessedly, we got the call that our table was ready and I was able to walk away.
If tempted by high calorie foods – walk away – or carry a bucket of water with you!