Battling the Eternal Cookie

eternal cookies
Caroline Burau
Caroline Burau

Last week, for work purposes, my husband brought into our peaceful home not one, but TWO chocolate chip cookie cakes.

If you’re not familiar with the “cookie cake” then let me school you: It’s a Big Freaking Cookie, about as large in circumference as a delivery pizza. The equivalent of thirty cookies, it seems to go on forever.

Except in my house.

Cookie cake number one went with my 19-year-old daughter to her college dorm, where it probably lived for about fifteen minutes before getting sucked into a coed feeding frenzy.

Cookie cake number two stayed home because initially, I had this hilarious notion that I could partake of it with some sort of discipline. But since it had already been nibbled on, subsequent nibbling was barely perceptible. The ability to nibble with perceived impunity made it possible for me to keep nibbling, making it the object of my obsession.

I had no choice but to trash it.

That’s right, I dragged it to the garage and chucked it into the dumpster in much the same way an alcoholic pours cooking wine down the drain. When my husband, Jim, who is capable of consuming sugar in moderation (freak!), went looking for a nice sensible bit of cookie cake, he found crumbs on the counter and my general discontent.

“So . . .” Jim galumphed carelessly into a minefield he should actually know pretty well by now, “What happened to the big cookie?”

“You mean the eternal &%$# cookie? It’s gone.”

Jim checked the cupboards to see if there were any Hostess Cupcakes left (he’s been stocking up for the Cupocalypse.) Thanks to me, negative.

He sighed. “In this house, there’s no such thing as an eternal baked good.”

Oh, no he did not.

“Scars and bullet wounds last forever.”

“I’ll make myself a sandwich.”

“Good man.”

Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons, who wrote Potatoes Not Prozac (aka my unauthorized biography), says people like me who frequently experience a certain loss of control around sweets and carbohydrates are “sugar sensitive.”

When I first accepted this diagnoses, I had high hopes that eliminating sugar from my diet would be the cure. But twice I tried and twice Jim almost became a domestic violence statistic. For me, this wasn’t the answer.

Fitness guru Susan Powter, (remember her? Spiky blond hair? Stop the Insanity!) says that if you’re told you can have anything in the world but a ball point pen, you will spend most of your life obsessing about that ball point pen. That’s what happens when I try to quit sugar. It becomes a ball point pen. A ball point pen made of sugar you say? I’ll take three, and dip them in chocolate.

Is there a cure for sugar addiction? If there is, I have yet to read the book, take the pill, or buy the DVD box set. A good friend asked me not long ago: “What if you got to your ideal weight? What then?” I pondered that. Would it cure cancer? Would it feed starving children? Who cares?

Anymore, I don’t look forward to finding the cure nearly as much as I look forward to the day I decide to just stop searching for it.

So, when I find myself in an “eternal &*%$ cookie” situation, I refer to a short list of rules, which have so far helped keep me at a weight that I actually like and a temperament that Jim can live in the same house with.

  1. Naps have no calories; clementines, almost none.
  2. Yoga calms most homicidal urges.
  3. Jim’s metabolism is not technically his fault.
  4. Perfect people have nothing to write about.
  5. When all else fails, throw the damn thing in the dumpster

Caroline Burau is a freelance writer and author of Sugarfiend and Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat. You can also follow her on Twitter (@carolineburau).

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