Why I can't eat the birthday cake. Again.

When I pass on the kids’ birthday cake, everyone thinks I’m being good. But I know where it will lead…

It starts out innocently enough – a quarterly birthday celebration that we have in the kitchen at my office to celebrate birthdays. Last Friday, anyone whose special day falls January through March gets a shout-out and we all get cake.

I am in charge of ordering the cake, which is like the biggest mistake/joke ever, seeing that I have a serious issue with food.

Especially sweets.

Especially cake.

And this isn’t mediocre, bad icing grocery store cake either – this is fancy, bakery-born, comes-in-a-pink-box cake.

I have had issues with food all my life, dating back to when I was a little girl. For me, it always has been and unfortunately still is “the binge” part of binging and purging that I have perfected.

I did not partake at the office celebration and was told countless times how I was being “good” to not have a slice of the to-die-for triple layer marble cake with cream cheese frosting.

I did decide I would take a plateful home for my family, my husband and two boys. I’ve been back at Weight Watchers (for the zillionth time) for the past three weeks and have lost over three kilos. I’m feeling good, confident and totally in control as I set the cake on the passenger seat of my car to drive home for the day.

It’s Friday, so we have pizza for dinner as usual. I eat a big salad, a slice of veggie and call it good. So far, things are going great!

Then it’s time for dessert.

It's never "just one piece" of cake.

I cut the boys their hunks of cake. It's all gooey and moist and lovely. I make the decision that instead of having my Weight Watchers "fudgsicle" tonight, I would treat myself to a piece of cake. A sliver. Like a normal person, a small piece. It's from a bakery and it's here and it's delicious, so it would be dumb not to have some.

I cut a small piece and I savour it - and that should be the end of the story.

But here is what the sliver of cake led to on a Friday night with my older son on a play date, the other one watching "SpongeBob" in the living room and my husband upstairs putting together a dresser from IKEA for me:

- Three mugs full of cereal
- Another sliver of cake
- Two pieces of pizza plus the kids' crusts
- Handfuls of 'organic cheese and cracker sandwiches'
- Several Thin Mints from the freezer
- A few spoonfuls of peanut butter
- Another sliver of cake
- Wheat Thins, Wheat Thins, Wheat Thins
- Half of a giant oatmeal raisin cookie
- Another sliver of cake


There's probably more that I'm not remembering, but that's a pretty accurate list of what went on last Friday night. PARTY!

Full of carbohydrates, salt and thirsty as hell, I land in the living room to watch some "SpongeBob." Then it's time to go pick up the older one from the playdate. I get in the car feeling sick, bloated and like I've ruined everything. Again.

I want to go back. To one hour ago. And not eat that cake - that damned cake. That trigger that set this whole thing into motion. How am I going to weigh in on Monday? I won't eat barely anything tomorrow, I thought. I can fix it. I'll exercise. I was doing so well. It will be okay, I can fix it.

My Weight Watchers report for that week.

It surprises me how these binges can sneak up on me. That sense of urgency, the sneakiness that I despise and the desire to fill this hunger that cannot be satisfied. What's with that? Food is so my drug, my best friend and my enemy.

I go to bed feeling sick. I wake up feeling sick. I spend the day feeling, you guessed it, sick. I exercise. I drink litres of water. I feel better. No one else in my family knows what I'm feeling because why would I tell them? I'm ashamed.

I do have a "good" day Saturday and on Sunday, I sit at the French toast breakfast after church and I say 'no thank you' when they come around with the plates of sticky sweet, syrupy goodness. I don't take a bite as my youngest says "Mummy, try it, it's soooo gooood." I'm being good.

I'm back on track.

And now it's a new week with no birthday celebrations, no cake. I breathe a sigh of relief and wonder if and when I will ever be able to have that piece of cake or that something special and celebrate the sugary goodness - rather than feel like I've ruined my day.

One piece of pink bakery box, no binge, no guilt cake sooner rather than later sure would be nice.

Have you ever struggled with binge eating?

Want more? Try this:

If your son does this he might have an eating disorder.

You know what? You’re doing a great job.

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