I first heard this one in Weight Watchers when I was just barely into my twenties. Lest you think Pinterest thinspiration purveyors invented all the fat shaming, these pithy sayings have been around since dieters were putting liver in a jello mold. I’d lose weight, too, if that’s what was on the table!
So, you know, if you had enough self-control to deny yourself, well, everything, you’d surely lose weight and be “thin,” which should be your ultimate goal. Right? Because nothing tastes as good as thin-smug feels, y’all. Nothing.
Yes. Deny yourself all the things and you will get thin. It’s science or something. But will you feel so good that you’ll be happy forever in a state of constant denial? Will you be leaping tall stacks of pancakes in a single bound? Will you never want another morsel of gluten again in your life because it just feels so darn good to look at yourself in the mirror naked?
I did it – I was so good and so perfectly on track for 2 stints in a 90 day weight loss competition that within the 180-day span, I lost over 100lbs. Just exercise and eating “right.” No pills, no wacky shakes, no cabbage soup or cleanses, just the plain old regular way. Science. But then it ended and I had perfected my all or nothing mentality to such a perfect extent that when I deviated from my perfect diet, I not only fell off the wagon, it ran me over. Twice. I did that thing (stop me if you’ve heard this one) where I “ruined” my eating day, so the rest of the day was a free for all since it was already wasted. And then the next day. And the next week. And the next six months until “thin” forgot it ever knew me and won’t even acknowledge me when we pass on the street.
Thin, you see, thin is a right bitch. Especially when it comes at the expense of joy and pleasure and learning moderation. Because, folks, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that there are so, so many things that taste way better than it ever felt to be thin. Okay. I’ve learned two things. The other one is that “thin” will not escape my grasp by eating one of them, as long as I knock off the mentality that my self-control, my will power, my strength, my beauty, and my worth depend on my attaining “thin” and keeping it. Thin is not perfection, and being healthy does not depend on unending self-denial.
So, for now, I’m working on fit. I’m working on strong. I’m working on fast. And I’m working on giving really amazing food that has gluten and sugar and white chocolate chips a place at the table when it’s warranted. I mean, I run my booty off, I lift heavy things, I eat like I’m fueling my body for peak performance. Why not let your hard work pay for some indulgence?
In order to do this with any success, I’ve found that the sugar and gluten has to be of a variety that is worth it. The sort that totally tastes amazeballs and awesomesauce and all the other made up internet words. Eleventy. Figuring out when it’s worth it is my way of thumbing my nose at thin and thin’s cronies who try to tell me that broccoli and boiled chicken breast should sustain me until I die, thin as a rail and sad.
So, I could give you a recipe here for my favorite Paleo breakfast or the best way to bake chicken for emergency protein, but no. Since Pinterest has re-gifted our generation the fat shame of all that came before us, I’m going to improve on a recipe I found there (that was already pretty awesome), bumping it into the fall pumpkin crazy stratosphere and ensuring that it is totally going to taste so much better than “thin.” Dude. Thin, thin is so overrated anyway. Be a bad-ass instead. It looks better on you.
Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Muffins of Joy
The original was great, but when fall hit and all of a sudden EVERYTHING PUMPKIN EVERYWHERE, I wanted something that was going to bowl me over with the pumpkin spice awesomeness so I wasn’t tempted every time I passed a Starbucks. I wanted the be all and end all pumpkin spice in one batch to last me until Christmas.
To achieve this, I doubled all the spices and added extra pumpkin from the original. They take slightly longer to bake, but they’re worth it if you want the ultimate in pumpkin spicy goodness. If you find my version a little more pumpkin spicy than you have room for in your world, the original is still great – it’s just a more noncommittal pumpkin and noncommittal spice. More sweet muffin with a hint of pumpkin spicy fall. Mine’s like pumpkin spicy fall came and beat you up and stole your lunch money. In the best possible way, of course.
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 15-oz. can pumpkin
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 oz unsalted butter, melted
- 6 oz white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla extract, pumpkin, and melted butter. Add in the white chocolate chips and mix well. This is a really good job for any children you may have underfoot begging to help. The rattling feeling of the chocolate chips makes them feel like they’ve actually done something.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Glop your batter into muffin cups. Aluminum cups are your best bet because these are wet, and paper cups tend to not hold up as well. These don’t rise much, so feel free to fill them up higher than you would for other recipes. You may need 2 if you use paper. Bake for about 20-28 minutes (I start checking at 20) or until a toothpick comes out (mostly) clean. Makes 12 muffins. They freeze really well, so if you need to store yourself some joy for the upcoming weeks, wrap them tight and pop them in the freezer.
Keely is a weight loser who bakes muffins, raises children, wrangles wienerdogs, and in her spare time writes novels about the elderly. She blogs about her pursuit of healthiness, a sub-60 10K, and fighting the good fight at fitterthanyourmom.com. She may or may not be fitter than your actual mom, but she’s working on it. Don’t tell your mom.