The new dessert challenge

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Desserts are really making a comeback around here.

I’m a little scared to admit that — mostly because I fear putting it out into the universe. Since losing 35 pounds last year, I had to get serious about cutting down on my sugar intake . . . which was tough. Not as hard as I expected, honestly, but still no cake walk (pun intended). I mean, y’all know I love to bake — and we got so many cool kitchen items as wedding gifts. Pie plates and cookbooks and the Kitchen Aid and . . .

It’s so tempting.

But I knew — I know — I can’t be trusted around chocolate. I just can’t. I have my limits, friends, and know when I’m reaching them. Having cookies and cake and other tasty treats loitering in the kitchen is a recipe (! okay, I’ll stop) for disaster. Even though I’m still going hard with Weight Watchers, I’m in maintenance mode now. Having hit my goal weight in January, the idea now is to keep on keepin’ on.

And I don’t want to slip back into my little bad habits.

Long term, I know I won’t go back to the way things were before. I’ve come too far and fought way too hard to change my entire lifestyle to start sabotaging myself with snack-size Snickers bars, but . . . well, the reality is that having avoided temptation for so long, sweets are getting extra tempting. I miss them. My stomach misses them. We remember the cool crunch, the chocolate tang, the caramel goodness . . .

Sigh.

But I’m learning to cope and am still adapting. In terms of Weight Watchers, I’m allowing myself some extra points each day for a Lindt Lindor truffle (2 points!) or two Hershey’s Kisses (1 point!). From the beginning, my motto was not to “deprive” myself of anything; going on a true “diet” — where you eliminate a certain food or food group — can create hunger pangs that go beyond simply eating fewer calories, I think. For me, anyway.

The second you tell me I can’t have it, I want it desperately. It’s a universal law or something.

Without getting on my sparkly spokesperson soapbox, Weight Watchers worked for me because I learned to make smarter choices, control my portions and treat myself to indulgences — not enjoy them nightly. Then they’re not indulgences. To say I can never have X, Y or Z again? Nope. Not my bag.

In that vein, I’m trying to be gentler with myself about the sweets. For Valentine’s Day, I requested molten chocolate lava cakes for dessert — and my sweet husband obliged. He even improvised by making dulce de leche as a topping, and . . . well, it was amazing.

I didn’t feel guilty after, exactly, because I planned ahead and gave myself the wiggle room to accommodate that sugary deliciousness that night. But that experience did get me thinking about trigger foods, and how the key is to indulge occasionally without going overboard.

It’s a work in progress — like me.

But we’ll get there . . . one alluring spoonful at a time.


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15 Comments

Filed under musings, weight loss

15 responses to “The new dessert challenge

  1. Now that is hard – must admit that is the difficult thing about loving to cook and wanting to try all sorts of new things – weight will just APPEAR without even trying – I do like the look of that desert however – hmmm as long as it isn’t dark chocolate (bad bad things happen). Only problem I’m a fairly awesome cook but a truly average (being kind) baker and as for desserts I can’t seem to make jelly gel – no kidding. I do enjoy your site and am having fun poking in all the corners etc

    • Meg

      Thanks, Jenni! No dark chocolate in this one — just cocoa powder. It is hard for folks who love to cook/bake to stay on the healthy course, but definitely not impossible. I’ve tried to challenge myself by spending time with healthy cookbooks when I have time on the weekends, choosing to get inspired by the low-calorie options and being creative with lighter ingredients instead of salivating over all the delicious (but un-weight-friendly!) blog posts I read all week. Sigh. It is a challenge!

  2. sandynawrot

    I have a crazy sweet tooth too. But I plan ahead too. I have one Klondike 100 calories ice cream sandwich every day. It is my mid-day treat for being a good girl. If I cheat or don’t exercise, then I don’t get it. Works the same way with wine! What I love is that some restaurants have 150 calorie desserts in those little shot glasses. You don’t have to order a 1,000 calorie dessert for the table and be tempted!

    • Meg

      So smart, Sandy! Though we banned full-fat ice cream from our home long ago, I do buy those 100-calorie treats or Greek frozen yogurt — something like that. The key is definitely to treat yourself occasionally so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on all the sweetness (literally!) of life. And so smart about ordering the lighter-calorie desserts at restaurants! When everyone in the party wants something sweet, we’ve gotten better about splitting one instead of each getting our own. :)

  3. Hmmm.. after reading your sweet words I think my tummy needs some yummy!

  4. Brava you for taking such good care of yourself, making smart healthy choices AND treating yourself! Balance is the key to everything isn’t it?

  5. I can so relate, my sweet tooth gets the better of me sometimes too! It’s always good to remember that balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle and a little slip here and there is bigger than a massive fall. That mug-cake thing looks like absolute heaven though!

  6. I could have written this post myself. I have the same issues with food and desserts, which is why WW worked for me, too. I was still able to have little treats, but in moderation.

    • Meg

      I’m finding those little treats are key, and I’m trying to make sure I stay the course! I love being able to budget the points for them early in the day, bargaining with myself to make sure I have 4 points left after dinner for a frozen coconut bar or something. It makes getting through the afternoon doldrums so much easier — something to look forward to!

  7. Heather

    Because of your encouraging words back in December, I didn’t quit Weight Watchers — I recommitted and got my husband on board as well! We’ve been doing great so far this year, but we definitely suffered a setback this past week between Valentine’s Day and our youngest’s birthday (all the delicious, beautiful cake!) I really, really miss sweets, and it seems like allowing myself, say, two Hershey’s kisses, just makes me crave them more. I haven’t decided what to do about that yet — this whole weight loss thing is an ever changing work in progress.

    • Meg

      Way to go, Heather — I am so glad to hear it! And definitely appreciate what you’re saying about getting a little taste making you crave it more. When we first committed to WW, I did go cold-turkey with sweets for a bit . . . and it was tough. Have you ever tried Greek frozen yogurt? I believe Healthy Choice is the brand I buy, and they’re simply delicious (and usually only 2 or 3 points a serving). They are creamy and taste very sweet, but they’re not going to bust your points for the day. Not the same as chocolate, but still great!

  8. Sweets are always my downfall — especially when people bring them into the office. I can’t resist a good donut, it seems.