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  • mariasylvesterterr

dieting on the down low | i lied about cake

so, i lied about cake 🍰

i come from a family of birthday people. i credit my mom, mostly. when it was your birthday, you picked your favorite meal and picked out a special dessert. for a family of 7, this is seriously special treatment!

somewhere along the diet culture lines, i started lying about cake. i went from requesting tiramisu and strawberry shortcake to... declining any cake at all. i kid you not, i just started saying, "i don't like cake."

i think this is something we've all done, to an extent. we create a sense of ownership of something instead of admitting it is really might be owning us.

and, let me tell you: my fear of processed carbs and added sugars was owning me.

here's the root of it: it's easier to say "i don't like cake" or "no thanks, i don't like cookies" than it is to remind people you're on another diet, watching your weight, or avoiding processed sugar.

by saying i preferred Arctic Zero ice cream [lol] or actually just wanted berries instead of cake, i felt like i still had a say. it's not the diet brain - it's me! you know, just a silly health nut.

i did it with gym class, too. "ugh, i hate gym" was code for "this hour of my week makes me feel like the odd girl out." i freaking LOVE to move my body; what i hated was the way i felt like my body was a problem to be solved.

unbeknownst to me at the time, saying i disliked something was a way to avoid a conversation i didn't have the words for. it was a way to protect my ego and my diet behaviors.

it made me feel in control when i, looking back, felt powerless around food.

now listen, it's not all or nothing. there's nuance to our likes and dislikes. you can just truly dislike cake with no deeper meaning to it.

today, i'm asking you to consider if there are foods, activities, places, or even people you have told yourself you don't like when maybe... we're [unintentionally] trying not to have a harder conversation.

the truth is, if i started telling people i was avoiding carbs, fats, and sugar on my birthday [or any day], somebody would have shaken my shoulders and told me i was more than the food i ate.

that food was more than fuel.

that it's not immoral to enjoy the pleasure that food brings us.

that i blinked my eyes open on 365 mornings this past year and maybe, just maybe, i can celebrate that however i please.

so, for those of you who knew me when i lied about cake, i'd like to come clean: i really do love cake. more than a sliver, more than a finger swipe of icing.

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