There’s nothing more disheartening than torturing yourself on an elliptical machine for 30 minutes (read: wheezing, gasping for air, purple faced and burning) than getting the read out afterward: 280 CALORIES BURNED. What?! I’m dripping with sweat, can’t feel my legs (let alone get off the machine), and I only burned off the equivalent of a donut? In one way, it’s like having cash in the hand. You are less likely to spend calories when you know what the HazMat removal process is, exactly.
It was easy to pass up the donuts in the bakery section when I went to buy bagels. I wouldn’t let myself even look near the cake. My body had total control: enough is enough, it said, no way are we going to gain MORE weight and have to do more of THAT miserable !@#$%^.
Then something odd happened.
I missed a day. My body stopped hurting. My brain decided to get involved. (For those of you new to this blog, this is never a good sign.) My brain did some pretty fancy calculations. I couldn’t quite keep up with it. (It’s very smart. I’m often in over my head when I talk to myself.)
Brain: You walked the dog 2 miles. Rode 2 horses. On the exercise scale, that’s roughly equal to sweating to death for 30 minutes. You can stay home from the gym. In fact, you’ve probably already lost a couple of pounds, since you’ve been doing this for a whole week.
Brain: According to my algorithms it’s fine. In fact, you could swing by the store and get a slice of cake to celebrate your weight loss.
Jane: I think we’ve had this conversation before? Doesn’t it undo all that hard work?
Brain: Are you kidding? Who is the expert here?
Jane: You. What kind of cake?
Brain: Lemon. Your favorite.
Jane: Are you sure this is not a trick?
Brain: Me? I always have your best interests at heart.
Jane: I don’t know. Let me check in with the Body here.
Brain: Humph. That thing.
Jane: (shaking self) Wake up! I need your help. Brain is saying cake okay? What do you think?
Body: Mumph? Sleeping. Yawn. Go away. Soooo tired….Zzzzzzzzzzzz
Brain: See? I told you. Trust me. Your pants are gonna fit again in no time. One little slice of cake won’t hurt. You need to celebrate!
Jane: What am I celebrating again?
Brain: You’ve been to the gym FIVE WHOLE TIMES in the last week and a half.
Jane: That is pretty good…
Brain: I rest my case.
The car happily drove me to the store, where the brain took over and bought me a nice slice of cake. Which I ate. The next morning, my body woke up and was incensed: YOU DID WHAT?!? Do you have any idea how many calories is in cake?? How could you be so stupid, and throw almost two weeks worth of agony away? Do you have any idea how many DAYS that is going to take to peel off your thighs?
I have a feeling I’m about to find out.