I have a few really funny cooking stories that have happened over the years. One that I am those most harassed about by loving friends and family members occurred when I was in college. I decided that I wanted to make a key lime pie because my best friend and I always loved it. So I found a recipe in a Cooking Light magazine (because of course, I was trying to make a “healthy” version), wrote down all the ingredients and went to the store. Cream of tartar was on the list, but I had no idea what it was and was too embarrassed to ask someone working. I looked all over the store, but could not find it. I decided I must have written it down incorrectly and it must be tartar sauce (I laugh even as I type this out). I bought the tartar sauce and went home to make the pie. All of my roomates were gone while I was cooking so they had no idea of my “secret ingredient.” The key lime pie came out of the oven and looked a bit odd, but I decided to let it cool and see what happened. That night several of my roomates and their boyfriends and I all ate dinner together and then I served the famous key lime pie. The guys went first and they were like, “Hmm, it’s good, but it’s different. It doesn’t really taste like key lime pie. What is in it?” I told them everything that was in it, including the tartar sauce and how I thought that was a bizarre ingredient. No one could stop laughing, including myself. It has been over ten years since this happened and just thinking about it brings me to tears from laughing.
After that experience, I dabbled a couple more times with baking, but never was very good at it and had a few more mishaps along the way. Part of my problem was that I was always trying to make “healthier” versions of desserts, which didn’t always work. I finally just gave baking up. I have been with my husband for 20 years and have never once made him a birthday cake. I always told him if he wanted a bake good to go ask his mom because she is a great baker. That doesn’t work out as well now that we live across the country. Oops!
The point of me telling this story is that I had a few mishaps with baking so told myself I could not bake. I just stopped trying because I thought I wasn’t good at it and never would be. The ironic thing is that I have had several mishaps with cooking in general too, but I still cook almost every night. I think I am a pretty good cook now too. So I find it amusing that I only gave up baking and not cooking all together.
I realize now that my thought “I am not good at baking” created my reality of not being a good baker. I believe I let that be my reality because maybe I subconsciously did not want to be good at baking. Baking means making delicious, decadent, high calorie and high fat foods. My disordered eating brain did not want these foods in my house because I might eat them and get fat. Sounds crazy even as I type it, but it was what was going on in my head.
Last week I did something crazy, I baked something, not once, but twice. You know what? They were both delicious (husband and toddler approved) and I enjoyed doing it. I made blueberry muffins from scratch (gluten/dairy free so I could eat them and still feel great) and chocolate covered almond butter cups. I sat down, looked at them, smelled them and chewed slowly so I could enjoy every single bite. I discovered the chocolate almond butter cups were so rich that I only wanted a few bites and saved it for the next day when I could thoroughly enjoy it again. That would never have happened when I was counting calories or macros. Also, I didn’t beat myself up for eating either of them. I just enjoyed them, guilt free.
Two things to remember from my ramblings today. 1) Our thoughts create our reality, but we have the power to change our thoughts and therefore our reality. 2) Food freedom is possible and there is hope if you are struggling with food issues. Seek help and remember you are worth it. For information on eating disorders, www.nationaleatingdisorders.org and Intuitive Eating, www.intutiveeating.com.