A couple of months ago, sometime in May, hubby and I decided we both wanted to take off a few extra pounds that had mysteriously taken up residence on various unflattering parts of our bodies.
How to accomplish this? Simple. Cut out desserts and/or baked goods of any kind. And stop putting edible things in our mouths between meals. Being (sorta) intelligent and (sorta) strong willed, we felt we could do it.
Poor Papa Pea has much more of a sweet tooth than I do so it's been a little harder for him. Me? As long as I don't buy potato chips and have them in the house, I'm not tempted to rip into a bag in a weak moment some afternoon or after dinner with a cool glass of something liquid. I'm not saying I don't eat the baked goods I make, but I'm more salt and crunch; he's more sweet.
Is this plan of ours working in taking off the pounds? I think so, but don't really know about what weight loss we may have experienced because neither of us has gone near the scale that lives under our bed. But I can easily tell that my better half is looking leaner and my pants are definitely feeling roomier. I'm wearing shorts that I couldn't get into last summer. Wa-hoo! How great a feeling is that?
Something I've noticed (that is a little upsetting) and can hardly believe is how MUCH sugar, butter and flour I've NOT used since May. Were we ingesting ALL that sugar, butter and flour on a regular basis? Yup. Granted, a certain amount of what I baked was given away or eaten by someone other than the two of us, but all the same, we personally stuffed in plenty of it.
When we set up these restrictions, I expected to feel slightly deprived now and then and there are times when it seems like I NEED a small dessert to properly finish off a meal or when a cookie or two (or three or four . . . see how hard it is to be sensible?) would be just the pick-up I need a couple hours before dinner. But here's what I didn't expect to have surface.
I have found myself missing to a very large degree . . . the baking!
I've always found it both soothing and satisfying to sit down and go through my recipes to decide what to bake. Usually I have ingredients in the freezer or pantry I want to make use of. Or this time of year there are fresh berries and produce from the garden to be considered in my selection of what to bake.
For me the mixing and stirring and actual putting together, the creative process of baking is something I've missed. And then, of course, there is the WON-derful aroma of baked goods in the oven and lasting all the way through cooling on the counter.
Go ahead and laugh at me if you want, but I also feel less of a capable, efficient homemaker when I have no homemade goodie available to offer anyone who might stop in for a cuppa and a chat.
In hearing these sad lamentations (whiney complaints?), a couple of people have suggested I bake and give it away. First off, that would be cruel and unusual punishment for my husband. To watch me stand at the counter mixing up a sweet treat, smelling it while it baked and cooled and then stealing it out from under his very nose? That might be a little too much and send him right over the edge. Nope, can't chance that. It might satisfy my desire to go through the baking process but giving it away would still leave me with no luscious goodie smiling up at me from my kitchen counter.
All this rambling just goes to say that deeming baked goods a no-no in our house has worked well as far as losing pounds and/or inches, but has left a bit of an unsatisfactory empty spot in my Little Ms. Efficient/Happy Homemaker persona.
Can I handle it? Yeah, 'cause even though I do miss the baking for all the reasons mentioned, it's feeling pretty darn good to be losing that excess baggage that makes it uncomfortable to bend over and to not have to wear clothes that camouflage the extra flab making me feel self-conscious and unhealthy.
Will I give up baking forever? I doubt it. But can we limit our self-indulgence in sugar, butter and flour to the extent that it doesn't show up on our waistlines or impinge on our general healthiness? Time will tell. For now, I'm still feeling great about being able to fit into these summer shorts. With room to spare even!
Trinity College Library, Dublin Ireland
12 hours ago