Saying that I love bagels, pizza, donuts, and ice cream just doesn’t do it justice. I think about them all of the time, every day. I’m obsessed. I’m thinking about them right now. And I crave them, want them, yearn for them. And they seem to love me too. I can hear them calling to me as I type. Right now, a toasted sesame bagel smothered with scallion cream cheese is shouting my name over and over and over, “John Pa! Get over here, now. You need me!” And the others are always in the background, clambered for my attention, too. And I want to yield. Oh, I do.
Living in a city filled with the best bagel, pizza, donut, and ice cream shops isn’t helpful either. There is an overabundance of great places to buy these treats on seemingly every corner. And I am a short walk away from my favorite places to fulfill my cravings. There isn’t even a budgetary reason not to indulge since all of them cost no more than $5 a pop.
It’s simultaneously heaven and hell in this city. Heaven because all that goodness is right there for the taking. Hell because it’s all right there for the taking, but I must stop myself from enjoying it, almost all of the time.
Resisting is an absolute necessity. And I’ve learned to do it. If I ate the way I want to eat, yearn to, I would be so unhealthy, overweight, and unhappy. I know that. So I focus my mind away from the shouting in my head toward another voice, a quieter one, but still powerful.
It says, “No.” No, you won’t give in. No, you won’t fall into your temptation. No, you won’t eat that beautiful plump circle of delicious dough. This quieter voice also recites my goals, the benefits of discipline, and it reminds me of how far I’ve come.
That quieter voice also tells me, “Yes.” Yes, you’ve lost fifty pounds and are fit. Yes, you can keep it off. Yes, you can run today even though you loathe it. And yes, sometimes you can treat yourself to that sweet scoop of heaven in a cone, some days.
I love those days.