Learning to share the funnel cake

Funnel cake

I see you over there, eyeballin’ my funnel cake.

It looks fantastic, right? The ultimate in fried pleasure. Perfectly golden on the outside, crispy on the edges, but still doughy in the center.

Warm from the fryer, the grease soaking through my paper plate.

Covered in powdered sugar, which is just beginning to form the most finger-licking crust.

Few things in life provide as much joy as a really good funnel cake — and they’re not all created equal, friends. The ones at our local baseball stadium? Lackluster. The creations at our county fair? AMAZING.

I know I should share one with my sister, a fellow funnel cake lover, or my husband — but, you know, I’m greedy. I can’t help myself. Though I have no problem stealing food off others’ plates (rude, I know), I don’t like to share dessert.

Ever.

As I continue seeking healthy eating and try to keep the weight off, though, I’m in the habit of avoiding sugar . . . until I get to an event. It’s harder to say no when deep-fried goodness is all around you, perfuming the air, and everyone has a corn dog or fried Oreo or funnel cake in their messy hands. I’m pretty strong, but I’m not that strong.

Where once I would have hogged a funnel cake all to myself, though, I keep working on balance — and know devouring an entire one alone is probably not wise.

So I shared. I shared on Sunday.

Spencer and I split one while my sister and brother-in-law had another, and the results? Pretty great. Successful. I ate my fill of fried goodness while feeling (somewhat) less guilty, and we all left feeling coated in powdered sugar in the best possible way.

The key to staying on track — with Weight Watchers, yes, but in general — is not to restrict yourself completely from foods you love. As our mothers always told us, All things in moderation. This has been the lasting strategy that keeps me from returning to old, unhealthy habits, and is one I plan to continue indefinitely.

Some goodies are “trigger foods,” though — and a year ago? I would not have had the funnel cake. At all. It’s a gateway food, and it would have been too easy for me to return to bad habits and eating whatever struck my fancy as often as I liked — a routine that brought me to my heaviest weight ever with health troubles that kicked off my mission to drop the pounds.

But I’m no dieting saint. I don’t have all the answers. All I know is that, for me, the occasional half of a funnel cake has to be okay — and as along as I wake up tomorrow still staying the course and choosing health, I’m doing all right.

For me, food once brought guilt: guilt of eating too much; eating “bad things”; snacking too much or too little; making the “wrong choices” and not doing anything about it.

I feel farther removed from the woman I once was 35 pounds ago, but I’m concentrating on not falling into habits that brought me there in the first place. Weight loss is great, sure, but how I live now is really about living. Reaching a sustainable level. Getting into habits that will serve me well for the rest of my life.

Even if I haven’t been tracking as religiously as I used to, I can see the fruits of that discipline in everything I do. Fresh produce, smaller portions, lean protein — and far less sweets.

Aside from the occasional funnel cake, of course.

It’s really not optional.


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26 thoughts on “Learning to share the funnel cake

  1. This is something I have yet to master! I always intend on sharing or only eating half and then wolf it all down like cookie monster haha- good for you!

    • I have not — but I am certainly intrigued! I tend to be a bit of a purist when it comes to funnel cake, Sandy . . . no strawberry toppings, etc. But chocolate? Well.

  2. Mmm funnel cake!

    Yeah, there are some things that I let myself have (whole wheat pasta, homemade whole wheat bread) that I don’t let myself feel too guilty about. And I have a donut or funnel cake like, once every couple years, so I know those won’t become a binge food for me. But once I swore off soda, I swore off soda. That was a straight up addiction for me. I’ll still have one every 1-2 months, usually due to circumstance, but I will not keep it in the house. And I won’t order it in restaurants. I don’t want to go back to that place before I swore it off.

    Candy is another thing that seems to become a binge spiral for me. Haven’t cut that out yet, but I’m aware of it >.>

    • Oh dear, the soda addiction . . . huge kudos for kicking that habit! I’m trying to scale back myself, having just one a day (versus three or four . . .), but that’s another animal entirely. I haven’t written about my Diet Coke addiction partially for fear of the backlash — given folks have such strong opinions about soda! — but might touch on that later on.

      • I was used to 1-2 a day and I craved it reguarly. The first week off it SUCKED. But after that, it honestly wasn’t that bad. I don’t even crave it anymore (although I still like the taste. Some people say they dislike the taste after quitting for awhile but that hasn’t been my experience.)

        I will say it took me three attempts to quit though. The third attempt stuck because I was finally getting enough sleep and wasn’t as dependent on the caffeine. I also used soda to help with my sinuses and by the third attempt, I was on Zyrtec. I’ve heard Diet Coke can be even harder to kick than regular Coke, but you can do it! It’s all downhill after the first week, especially if you take a hard look at the why/when you drink soda and fix some of those reasons in other ways (half the time I just drank it cause it was there, which was pretty easy behavior to modify!)

  3. I’ve never tried funnel cake, but it looks pretty darn good. I’m impressed you managed to share yours with Spencer. I’m an all or nothing girl when it comes to anything sweet and baked (or in this case fried.) I’m able to resist it until I take that first bite. Then all bets are off and I eat the whole thing–the entire funnel cake, bag of Halloween candy, tray of brownies… I’ve learned that for me, certain foods just have to be on my restricted list.

    • That first bite can definitely be dangerous, and I can also be an all-or-nothing eater! But oh dear, you simply have to try funnel cake. When done well, there’s really nothing like it! Consider it your occasional indulgence and then back away slowly . . .

  4. I am just like you, I do not like sharing food. It took me a while to not get annoyed every time my husband wanted bites. But you’re right, it’s a great way to do portion control.

    And now I’m craving a funnel cake…

  5. I’m 45 & my grandma told me, 20-25 years ago, to find a way of eating & exercise that works for me, because, it’s something I’d need to stick with the rest of my life. It is about balance & moderation. Things happen & it’s not always easy to follow a certain course, though.

    Extra weight runs in my family, so, I’ve been a BBW most of the time. I love my curves. I just want them to be in a somewhat smaller version. I have one day a week I indulge. That helps me keep on track a little better. Knowing I have something to look forward to. I enjoy sharing, but, I agree, some things are difficult to part with. Even if it’s just a bite.

    • Sounds like you have a great system that’s working for you, and I definitely agree about balance and moderation. Though everyone is different and some folks like the restrictions, weight loss programs/diets that required the consumption of very specific foods — and nothing else — did not interest or work me. The ability to make my own choices and be accountable for my own menu has worked wonders! And great for you staying on track and having that indulgence day . . . excellent idea!

      • I’m too strong minded, independent & free spirited to follow a particular program. There’s nothing wrong with support. I’ve needed that at times, for different things. It’s just with this, I’d rather be accountable to myself than someone else. When it comes down to it, it has to be for ourselves. We will be more determined & more successful.

  6. “Weight loss is great, sure, but how I live now is really about living. Reaching a sustainable level. Getting into habits that will serve me well for the rest of my life.” Exactly! *pompoms* What fun is life if you can’t enjoy a funnel cake? :p

  7. The state fair is coming up in just a few weeks here, and I’m definitely planning on grabbing one of these. Though it seems like every time I do, I’m always wearing a black shirt which, of course, ends in disaster.

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