Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dessert-free for 28 days and counting... will I ever eat chocolate again?

“That looks so good,” the girl to our right says, leaning into Sook’s personal space to gaze longingly at the pistachio coupe that is sitting directly in front of me at the bar at Tavern restaurant in Brentwood.

Sook insists that the glossy-eyed gal take a bite, before returning the dessert back to its central position between Sarah and her.

Which of course means it is directly in front of me. Again.

“I don’t even like dessert,” Sarah says as she spoons another bite of the grown-up pistachio and chocolate ice cream sundae into her mouth.

Sook doesn’t love it at first, but once her spoon connects with the thick foundation of fudge lining the bottom of the glass, she, like Sarah, is won over as well.

They “ooh” and “aah” as they savor every salty pistachio nut, while I sit quietly, a passive eyewitness to the dessert massacre before me. Our server Eric takes note of my docile state, and comes by to heckle me into taking a bite.

“I gave up sobriety, moderation and abstinence,” He quips.

I smile (he’s cute), but shake my head firmly, unaffected by his ploys to get me to break my Lenten pledge. The spoon to my right remains idle. I’m perfectly content to sip my glass of Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc ($9.50) and am not even the least bit interested in the sugary concoction my friends are enjoying so audibly.

Today, March 17th, it will be four weeks since my last bite of dessert – a chocolate macaroon from a batch I made for a co-worker the night before Lent began. At the time, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to make it through six weeks of no dessert, and was half expecting to go back to my original plan to only give up chocolate – especially when the withdrawals and headaches hit that first weekend.

As my fellow food bloggers at the Stir it 28 fundraiser can attest, I was a grouchy, irritable mess.

For the next few days all I could think about was what I wasn’t allowed to eat. At my lowest, I fantasized about frosting shots from Sprinkles and had toxic dreams about devouring brownies. But I stayed strong – relying on tea and dates (the edible kind) to get me through the worst of my cravings, and after two weeks, I stopped feeling like I wanted to claw someone’s face off.

Now, with only two weeks to go, I feel like I could almost swear off desserts forever. My skin, which has always been speckled with visible pores, has never been clearer – or smoother. While my weight hasn’t changed, the waist band on my skinny jeans no longer cuts into my sides. And I no longer harbor neurotic thoughts about what will happen if I run out of money to buy food, or whether the people I’ve let down will ever like me again.

Okay, not really. I’m still as neurotic as ever, but one can dare to dream…

I’m not sure what is going to happen on Saturday, April 3rd when I can once again have my cake and eat it too. I’ve always defined myself by my sweet tooth and penchant for chocolate, but after four weeks without it, I now know that I don’t need to have it. I can go to a restaurant and not order dessert after dinner. I can get through an afternoon without a piece of chocolate. And I can sit by and watch my friends eat an ice cream sundae without a hint of longing.

I’ve realized that there really is truth to the belief that, with God, anything is possible.

Even for a girl who lives for her sugar-fix to give up dessert and not become any more neurotic than she already is.


Jenn said...

We've both been doing good on our Lenten sacrifices. Only a couple more weeks. We can do it!!! We'll be eating chocolate once again. :-D

Suzanne said...

i gave up dessert for Lent, too! AND bread! It surprised me how long it took for me to get over my I-just-ate-a-mea-so-I-need-something-sweet cravings...about two weeks, just like you! It's nice to let go of that reliance on sweets, though, don't you think? I agree that I will try not to make it a daily habit again but more of a special occasion kinda deal. Way to go!

yutjangsah said...

I'm going to be the devil on your shoulder saying letz get some dessert huh whydoncha yeah yum letz do it oh c'mon don't be a sourpuss your pores are not visible and your skinny jeans look betterer w a threatened muffin topish situation happening.

ok fine, i'll be quiet.

Anna A. said...

now you know you can't do your due diligence as a food blogger and have a bite of dessert? plus, who's gonna run off to pazzo with me?

H. C. said...

hang in there, you're over two-thirds of the way through!

I'm sure you'll eat and enjoy chocolate and other sweets again, but probably in greater moderation and awareness than just mindlessly snarfing it down. And that's a very good thing.

Diana said...

Jenn - I can't believe it's just 2 weeks away now... I never thought I'd be able to do it!

Suzanne - I've always had a crazy sweet tooth and it's been so nice not having those intense cravings any more. I really couldn't go a day without a little piece of chocolate or something to give my insulin levels a boost. I was really shocked at how strongly I reacted those first couple weeks without it - makes you realize just how addictive sugar is!

Sook - You are always the devil on my shoulder. I remember you at Gjelina, silently urging me to drink my weight in wine...

HC - I think it's a good thing too! I will savor it more - take the time to really enjoy it. And hopefully be satisfied with less!

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

i really can't believe you've made it this far! i'm proud of you :), I certainly never could have done it!

stuffycheaks said...

OMG. Pistachio. chocolate. ice cream. yum! You have self control! Good luck!!