My Battle with the Cheesecake
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Two Words: Cheesecake Factory.
I have been TERRIFIED of this restaurant, known for their ridiculously large portions and calorie dense desserts, for years; however, my roommate and her boyfriend invited me out to dinner tonight, and low and behold, she chose the Cheesecake Factory.
I'd eaten right all day. I was planning to do just as good as I did yesterday and meet all of my nutritional ranges. I did not plan for the Cheesecake Factory-- which is probably the reason I am in the situation I am in now.
I tried not to let the fear get the best of me; I really wanted to be a "normal" person. I wanted to enjoy the night for what it was- a lovely evening spent amongst good friends. I didn't want eating disordered thoughts to ruin my night.
The Cheesecake Factory's menu is overwhelming. It features pages upon pages of every meal you could possibly imagine- pastas, sandwiches, chicken dishes, seafood, tacos, etc. I didn't know where to begin. Immediately the "Weight Management" option caught my attention (there were only 4-- 3 salads and a chicken dish-- which all contain less than 590 calories). However, I wanted to challenge myself, so I did not allow myself to order of this menu. Sadly, I am still not to the point where I could order based off of what "sounded good" to me. Instead, I chose a relatively safe option-- a salad; however, knowing that it was not a "Weight Management" option (meaning it was over 590 calories) still had me terrified.
I selected the Carlton Salad: romaine lettuce, grilled chicken breast, avocado, feta cheese, golden raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts. I ordered the low-cal vinaigrette on-the-side (I know, I know-- still slightly disordered, but it still felt out of control for me).
The salad came, and it was delicious. I ate all of the chicken, all of the avocado, and about 1/2-3/4 of the remaining items. I didn't really use much of the dressing.
Then came the moment of truth: the waitress came back with the dessert menu. My roommate and her boyfriend immediately ordered slices of cheesecake. I really wanted some cheesecake, too. I wasn't hungry enough for a whole slice; I really just wanted to share. I suggested this, but they both wanted their own. I didn't want to pass on the cheesecake altogether because I knew that this would be "letting my disorder win", and I knew that I would regret that later. So, I "manned-up" and ordered the Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake. We all ordered the cheesecakes "to-go" and headed back to the apartment to watch a movie that we had rented.
We got back to the apartment and popped the movie in. Mandy immediately grabbed her cheesecake and dug in. She offered to give me a bite of hers if I gave her a bite of mine (she ordered the red-velvet, which as you all are probably well aware of due to my cupcake obsession, is my favorite), so I made my way to the fridge and retrieved my slice, as well. Both cheesecakes were delicious. Mandy ate about 1/2 of hers, and I ate about 1/4 of mine before we both decided we were too full and the cakes were too rich to eat anymore.
After the movie, Mandy packed up her overnight bag, and she and her boyfriend headed back to his place for the night. As they were walking out the door, they commented that I should enjoy the rest of my cheesecake tonight. This got my mind racing-- I hadn't thought of what I would do with the remaining 3/4 of the cheesecake. I was tempted to throw it away. That's what I would've done any other time (what good is cheesecake to an anorexic?); however, something inside me told me this was wrong-- I had loved that cheesecake. It was delicious. I deserved it. So I did something a little crazy...
I returned to the fridge and polished off the rest of the cheesecake. Every bite was a struggle. I loved the way it tasted but was terrified of what the consequences would be for my body. I tried not to think about it. I tried to live in the moment and enjoy the food... and for the most part, I think I did.
After throwing the empty take-out box in the trash, I headed to the computer to log my food for the day. I contemplated not counting dinner and dessert, but I ultimately decided that I needed to see the totals so that when I wake up in the morning (I rationally know I won't be the 10 lbs heavier that I currently feel I will be) I will have proof that going over my calorie limits one day won't make me a huge, fat, ugly beast.
I keep sitting here looking at my totals for the day. My set calorie limits are 1350-1650 calories. I ate over 2000... The calorie content for the cheesecake (but not the salad) was listed online, so I estimated my salad's calories. I feel kind of numb. In a way I feel guilt for over-eating; on the other hand, I am proud of myself because I know that my body can afford it right now.
I don't know what I really expect from this blog. I guess I just needed to get it all out there so that I can sort through my emotions.
It also helps knowing that many of you have experienced these same feelings. How do you guys cope with guilt? Do you ever allow yourself days-off from counting? What are some strategies that you think I could use to stop my racing mind? I would appreciate any and all feed back.
Thanks in advance :) I just know that you guys will have tons of helpful advice to offer, and that fact alone is helping me to deal right now. You guys are the best.