Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Cake-less Birthday

     Today was my birthday and I didn't have a cake. I can't remember the last time I didn't have frosting on this day in the last 45 years. Did someone forget? Was the dessert overlooked? No. I chose not to have one. My treat was an apple, and I may chomp on some grapes later while enjoying a flick with my bride.
     Many probably can't fathom a cake-less birthday. I never thought I would be going without one, that's for sure. I love sugar. I love frosting, I love CAKE! But I choose not to have it today. If I had a bite of cake and broke my abstinence around my food plan (no sugar, no flour, weighed meals), then my brain would tell me, "Have another piece." And I would, justifiably so because it's my birthday. That thought would take me to a drive thru window later tonight with a pit stop to 7-11 to pick up some candy for after my late night meal, not snack, meal. One bite of cake would put me on a slippery slope and that one bite would not be enough.
     I've always justified my bad choices around food. If I worked hard in the yard all day, I deserved a pizza. If it was Father's Day, I deserved chili dogs and french fries because it was a special day. If it was hot outside, we "needed" a trip to Baskin Robbin's. But you know what I really deserve? I deserve to take care of myself. What I really need is to ensure my health gets me to a ripe old age. A pizza won't serve that purpose.
     Instead of focusing on what I've given up, I'd rather reflect on what I've gained. Since surrendering my eating habits to God, I've lost over 40 pounds. I had the privilege of going through my closet and throwing out every extra large shirt I owned. I went shopping for new clothes. Today I wore a shirt to church that was a medium instead of XL. And I was frustrated this morning because all my belts were too big. I can bend over and tie my shoes without gasping for air. I'm not falling asleep midday because I'm simply sitting still. My knees don't hurt anymore. My blood pressure is lower. I don't shun the mirror or am repulsed by the image I see walking past a store window. I think I've gained a lot more than what I've given up.
     It was a cake-less birthday, but that was my choice. I wasn't losing out because I shunned the dessert, but rather I gave myself the gift of self-care. I've had enough cake for a lifetime (and candy, and fast food, and soda, and pizza...). I've had enough. So let them eat cake, but none for me, thanks.


Amanda Salaiz said...

Way to go. I remember the cake-less birthdays, the pie-less Thanksgivings, the candy-less Christmases and Easters. They were hard. I salute your determination, surrenderedness, and your abstinence. You have truly found a gift. I'm cheering you on from afar.

Happiest of birthday wishes for you today.

Shane said...

Thanks, Amandala. I'm presuming that is what my holidays will look like in the future, but can't think that far ahead. Have to focus on now.