Here’s to 40 Days Without Cheesecake

Dear Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake,

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m breaking up with you. It’s not so much of a break-up as it is a break. For the next 40 days I will not being enjoying eating you, or any sweets for that matter. You heard me, I will not be eating sweets for the next 40 days. Before you roll your chocolate swirls, otherwise known as eyes, at me, and the countless others who seek to give up sweets during these same 40 days, let me tell you why we’re going on a break.

This has absolutely nothing to do with you. I’m not usually anti-junk food, or eating out or processed food; that hasn’t changed. I’m starting out on this journey to lose weight or even eat healthier food. While I don’t enjoy how many calories you contain, I know it’s reality and I’m not going to change that. It really has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with me.

As someone who is sensitive, I compensate for my emotions and feelings, good and bad, with food, usually sweet food. After a good workout, I feel entitled to eat a candy bar. After a rough week at work, I feel as though I deserve a donut. And after an exciting event, I want to celebrate with break-and-bake cookies. When it’s a very difficult season, and no food sounds good, I ensure I’m getting enough calories by only eating sweets.

Comfort and satisfaction are never going to be things you can provide. Temporary happiness from a full stomach can only last so long. When it’s over, I just find myself at my next binge or coping mechanism. When I get done eating you, I simply move on to something else – a glass of wine, a nap, or a Netflix marathon. You deserve better than that. I deserve better than that. I have a love-hate relationship with you, and this is how we set each other free. I want to learn to enjoy you, which requires that you only be eaten when my heart is in the right place, not only when I’m extremely happy or deeply sad. I didn’t intend for things to end this way, I’ve judged women who give up sweets during lent for years. However, I want to teach my heart, my body and my brain healthy habits, and this is how I do it.

Farewell Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake, remember, this has nothing to do with you, or a diet. I pray that the next 40 days are sanctifying for me and not too painful for you. I hope that instead of turning to sweet food for comfort, I would pray, recite scripture or step outside for some fresh air. I desperately want to break free of a decade long emotional roller coaster relationship with food. I’m out to change not so much what I eat or how much I eat, but the why behind what, when and how much I eat. I desire to treat my mind, body and soul better, and it starts here.

Thanks for your understanding,

Caitlin

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