Today is Matt's birthday! 42 circles around the sun. Whew!
With every birthday, I am reminded of so many happy milestones, as well as the ones that weren't so memorable. Like skipping years of birthday cakes to avoid the added calories and weight gain, tremendous guilt of indulging, and extreme binge eating in private that left me with hazy food hangovers.
Well, I'm here to tell you, if it's your birthday, or there's any reason to celebrate (like baking during COVID), you should eat the damn cake.
Here are my reasons.
- You deserve to be celebrated with a cake. Add on piles of brown butter frosting, yummy flavors and a bunch of burning candles.
- When we fear food, our body develops a fear relationship with what we consume. When we resist a special treat like cake, we binge and gorge on it when we finally allow it. For me, binging was always in private, and that makes me sad, because cake is a treat meant to be shared with people you love. If you simply allow yourself to enjoy cake in a way that feels compassionate to yourself, you'll feel satisfied. I know it's scary to trust your intuition when it comes to food. I promise, your cravings will normalize when you allow yourself the freedom to have what you crave.
- Making a cake is a labor of love. It takes an old, tried and true recipe and a lot of time to make a cake. Someone really wants to celebrate you and show you they love you. You might not know this about me, but cake is, in fact, one of my very special birthday love languages.
- Cake calories are not going to make a difference in your body type. I invite you to stop obsessing over counting calories. The last time I counted my calories on an app, I lost my period and experienced infertility for two years (when I gave up calorie counting and my period came back).
- When you practice Intuitive Eating, you can save room for a slice of cake, look forward to it, and savor every bite. If the calories of a slice of cake will put you over the top when it comes to weight gain, you probably are not at the right weight for your body anyway. BMI is not a valid measurement.
I know it can be scary for some of us to cut into a cake and enjoy it, especially if it's not sugar free, gluten free, paleo, vegan, etc...Or if the points don't fit into our diet plan.
Here's what I can promise, eating the cake will not kill you. It will not set you back. It won't keep you from fitting into your jeans. (If it does, you should probably ditch those jeans anyway!) Enjoying cake with loved ones can bring the intense happiness that humanity craves, and with it, a moment of self-reflection and a powerful wish for the next year.
Happy birthday, my Love!
If you're struggling with an eating disorder, please check out NEDA's helpline.