The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

Who could resist buying a book titled The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted?

I couldn’t. I bought it even though I had stood in Border’s and read the entire 11-page short story with the same title in Elizabeth Berg’s book.

Do you identify with a woman who walks out of a Weight Watcher meeting and goes immediately to Dunkin’ Donuts?

As this unnamed heroine explains, “You may be thinking. Why did she go to Dunkin’ Donuts if she could have anything she wanted? Why didn’t she go to Cinnabon. Well, because I actually like Dunkin’ Donuts better than Cinnabon.”

Before the day is over, she has consumed an enormous amount of food, including a bacon cheeseburger, fries, a chocolate malted, a turtle sundae with extra caramel sauce, Cheetos, steak, a baked potato, apple crisp and crumb-topped cherry pie.

Would you applaud when this defiant character takes a wooden mallet and attacks her scale? “I wanted springs to pop out like they might in a cartoon, but all that happened was it didn’t work anymore and it had a few dents,” she says.

Who doesn’t admire the courage of this Resolute Woman who returns the very next day to a Weight Watchers meeting and eats a turkey burger, spinach and Weight Watcher two-point ice cream for dinner?

“I would like to end this by saying that it felt really good to cheat all day, to eat whatever I wanted,” she concludes. “But it didn’t.”

I must admit that I identified with this woman. For many years, I felt the pain of overeating and dieting and overeating again, and I still sometimes am tempted to try to squash my bad feelings by gorging. Today I maintain a healthy weight and have a healthier relationship with food, but I understand too well this woman’s desire and need to overeat.

Fayteen felt “sick” after she read about this woman’s binge eating. “What’s the message?” she asked.

I hope the message is that it is okay to start over when you’ve overeaten or you’ve made a mistake. But I also want the message to be that you need to try to understand why you made a bad decision.

“I don’t want anyone to misinterpret our message and think that we’re encouraging women to succumb to their impulses, pig out and then simply say that it wasn’t worth it. We all need to understand what causes us to overeat and how to keep our goal of being healthy physically and mentally in the forefront. We need to stop the demons of stuffing.”

–Joy

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