Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Brownie Dilema

In November, I signed up for Nablopomo, aka National Blog Posting Month, a challenge where I was expected to post each and every day in the month of November. Thirty posts in thirty days, weekends included. I don't know why I signed up, except to see if I could do it. After all, this year has not been what I would have wanted for reasons of health, and to complete any challenge set forth would be a good thing.

I was successful, learning a little more about my blog service, encouraging my regular readers to check in a little more frequently, and even improving my writing skills just a little. It was a good month.

When I signed up for Nablopomo, I looked at one of the rewards of the challenge with a slight sense of disbelief. They offered prizes for some of us who were successful in their endeavours. Individuals and small businesses donated, and there were around 50 in all. Books, jewelry, soaps... the offerings ran the gambit. But I did not relate; after all, except for a very brief winning streak in the early 90s, I have rarely-to-never brought home a prize. And I can also say in all honesty that I took on the challenge simply to see if it could be done. It could.

At the end of the month, I quickly gave the prize page of the Nablopomo web site another quick perusal, more out of curiosity than anything else. It seemed that somewhere around 90% of the people who signed up were successful in posting. The prizes would be doled out via a random number generator. You can accept the prize awarded to you or turn it down, but you could not convert it into another prize. OK then.

So I considered briefly taking on the challenge once again in December, but decided that my time this month was too precious and I didn't want to make the commitment. So I left Nablopomo behind me, figuring I'd think about it again for January. Then, lo and behold, an e-mail came to my in box. It seems that I was lucky prize winner # 37! Home made brownies, generously donated by Sherrie at Send Out Cards.com. Oy!

Well, anyone who has lost a great deal of weight knows that the struggle is really intense, and it never ends. I thought about turning the prize down. I knew that it would be a bad thing to have sweets delivered to my home. Yet I couldn't bring myself to do it. I'd say that it was because it was MY prize, and indeed, that's one of the things I told myself when I answered the e-mail to set the delivery up. But that is a lie. Brownies were being put into my line of sight and I know that deep down, my motivation was that I wanted to eat them.

The e-mail interaction with Sherrie was very pleasant, the transaction at Send Out Cards was as easy as pie, and last night, the brownies were delivered to my doorstep by UPS. Oy.

Now, I had discussed those brownies with Eric before they arrived. "What was I thinking?" I asked him! "Am I an idiot, bringing them into my home?" And I admit that reading Claudia's Blog and seeing that she's written over several days now how she's honoring our conversation of last week and eating healthy in December (damn that conversation!) is making the situation so much harder. I told Eric that I can't eat the stupid things. That we were going to attend a holiday party this weekend and they would make the perfect hostess gift, and it would be a great way for me to divest myself of the contraband.

Of course, when the brownies showed up, I had to open the box. Inside was not what I imagined. I don't know what I was thinking, but I assumed that they would be loose brownies like those that I make, cut up, and put on a plate for pot lucks that I've gone to in the past. What I found were four giant brownies, individually wrapped, and set side-by-side on their sides. The smell, even through the wrappings, was delicious.

To torture myself more, I took one of the brownies out of the gift box. Lovingly raised it to my nose and took a long whiff. Oy. Did it smell amazing.

And then I turned it over to review the nutrition information. 440 calories for one. 200 calories of which came from fat.

My mind immediately went to work. "Well," I thought. "I can cut each of them into quarters, then I'd only be getting 105 calories at a time. But who am I kidding? I'm not going to eat 1/4 of the brownie and then leave the rest for another day! And even if I did, the bottom line is that the total calories for the box (1760) is the total calories for the box, and whether I ate them in one sitting or spread out over time, it would still amount to weight gained.

I'm still struggling with the weight that I allowed myself to gain last holiday season. I swear that if I had known what was in store for me, I would never have eaten what I did that lead to the gain. But of course, that would have meant that I am psychic, and I"m just not going there. The bottom line is that I am eight pounds over what I was at the beginning of last holiday season right now, seven of which could be accounted for on January 1. And I don't seem to have the capacity to lose them.

So here's the quandary. Do I try to hold onto these brownies until this Saturday when I will pawn them off onto somebody else? Do I just eat them now? After all, last Saturday was my birthday and I didn't go to Sprinkles in Beverly Hills to celebrate as I had planned for over a month prior. Around the same calorie commitment, I would think. Do I put them into the garbage dumpsters right this very minute and waste not only the brownies, but the kindness and shipping dollars of Sherrie? I don't know!

What I do know is that this has been a devastating year. I've been terribly sick, which has prevented me from doing very much physical activity. I've been terrified at gaining weight, and while things are slightly better here at the end of 2008, the key word is slightly. I'm not up to a whole lot.

Additionally, I've watched friends, both near-and-dear to me and those not so close, gain a tremendous amount of the weight that they've lost in the past over the course of the last 12 months. 30 pounds, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80... the general theme of all of them is that "it doesn't matter" or "I'm still a good person" or "I don't know why I"m gaining since I don't eat that much." Of the three statements, the second is universally true. The others? Bullshit. It DOES matter. And even if we may be in denial, deep down we know why we are gaining that much weight. Because we're bringing food into our lives like the brownies and we don't let them go.

I'm scared. I don't know what I'm going to do.

My inclination is to go with the 'give-them-as-a-hostess-gift' plan and if I can be successful at keeping them through Saturday, I know I can give them away. But there's the quandary. Can I not eat them for that long?

But the perpetual question that is already answered is also on the table. Can I live with myself if I gain over 200 pounds back? Can I, knowing what I know now about both myself and how the world works, deal with it? The answer is unequivocally NO!

I wonder how you-all would handle this?
* * * * *
I could survive for 28 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk Beds.net

On a different subject, I could survive for 28 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor. How long could you survive?


Anonymous said...

Box them back up..put them in the freezer until Friday Night or Saturday Morning, and then bring them back out for your party on Saturday.

Give them to Eric's little ones. Okay maybe not..he might not like them hopped up on sugar...and then he would not like me for suggesting such an idea....

Give them to your mailman or paperboy?

Give them to the Car Salesman as a thank you?

Don't give them to the boys..

Death by chocolate!

My thoughts are with you..

Adele said...

If you can't stand them being around, drive by my school and drop them off. Call my cell phone to let me know you are there. I'm surrounded by hungry teenagers all day as well as stressed out teachers. I don't even have to say abra kadabra to make them disappear. That way you don't have to wait until Saturday if you really think it is going to be a problem.


janet said...

Try putting this in a different light. Remind yourself that the brownies are not calling to you. They are inanimate. This is all a head game you are torturing yourself with. Make the decision where the brownies will go and then you can be done with them. You are strong enough and stubborn enough to simply decide what you are going to do and then doing it.

So. Decide. Do. Be done.

luvya, janet

LI Laura said...

What I would do, since I live in the northeast and it's cold here, would be to box them back up and put them in the trunk of my car until Saturday. I don't know if that's an option in L.A.

janel said...

I would keep one, and put it in the freezer, then give the rest away to neighbors or someone else who has done good things for you. Then eat the one brownie by cutting it into quarters, and re-wrapping the other parts. That way you can indulge a tiny bit at a time.

Vennie said...

I think I agree with Janel. Keep one. Cut in quarters and freeze. Give the other three away. Doesn't matter to whom. To the first three people you see! LOL!

(sigh) I think I see myself in your post. In fact, I'm SURE I see myself in your post. Glad you think I'm still a good person. I don't think it doesn't matter. I know it matters. I just don't seem to be able to get a grip right now. If I could exercise I think it would help, but my back hurts so much right now I can barely move. Doing for Mom takes all the energy I've got at present. Not a good excuse, but it will have to do.
Love you--no matter what you do with the brownies (but I know you, and I know you will make an intelligent choice.)

Claudia said...


I love you, (throw them out now!)

ps-I made it 38 seconds with the raptor.LOL it was a fun 38 seconds.


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