I Blame The Yule Log

The Logical Heart Knows Best

Christmas 2011, the beginning of the slide down the slippery slope to Jabba the Huttness 🙂 I blame the Yule log. You heard me right, it began with that heinous, chocolatey, decadent confection from Fresh Market. I couldn’t decide between the snowy, white sheet cake with the adorable, solid fancy chocolate figures of snowmen, Santas, sleigh, and reindeer perched on top. The victor was the intriguing log. It was almost grotesque, it was detailed with rich chocolate, realistic, bark-like frosting, and festively accented in holly leaves with red berries. It was so ugly it was cute. I had to try it.

It was met with a puzzled reception by my family. “What is that, a log? It looks weird.” It sat there on the kitchen table. It made me smile every time I passed by. I finally tried a piece that night. It was uber sickly sweet and rich, moist chocolate upon chocolate, it made me thirsty, but I ate the whole slice. My family asked how it tasted, I replied it was okay, just really rich, but not too bad, was interesting. It was so cute and funny, I was eating a cake which looked just like a festive log. I was amused, my family, not so much.

It sat there untouched for another day, I tried another piece, Mmmmm, it was even better, yum, I liked it 🙂 I asked everyone if they wanted to try the log, unanimous, “Maybe later.”

It sat there all forlorn and untouched day after day and I thought, “Well if no one else is gonna eat it I might as well.” Each day I ate a piece, finally one day an adventurous other family member tried a piece, yay! I waited for someone else to eat it, but no one did, so I helped myself until it was allllll gone.

A few days later someone asked, “I’m ready to try some of that cake.” Ummmm….”I ate it.” I blushed guiltily. “What? You ate that whole thing?! But you said you didn’t even really like it?!”  “Uhhh. well no one else was eating it, so the more I tried it the yummier it was and I ate all of it but one slice,” I replied sheepishly. Buuurrrpppp. And I grabbed and patted, then jiggled my belly. My pants were tighter around the waist. I laughed about it then, but as I look back, it was the beginning of the end of my healthy diet and exercise regime. As each stressful month passed I would veer towards eating to relieve my discomfort, eating my way into oblivion, using the pleasure, the endorphins to relieve and distract me from the discomfort of painful growth during challenging times. I reverted back to old ineffective patterns of coping. Gradually, bit by bit. I blame the Yule log, lol.

Not really. The Yule log is a scapegoat, but it’s funny to joke about it 🙂 At least I did not hit rock bottom at the end of that slope. In fact, I actually coped exceedingly well considering the circumstances. The more experiences I grow through, I don’t fall as hard and bounce back faster. my navigating skills are improving. I learn more about everything, breaking free from fear. I only gained 20 to 25 lbs as opposed to the 40 or more I have gained in prior circumstances over the years. My weight has yo-yo’d according to what drama was happening in my life. I also used to use alcohol to escape, not anymore. Even though sometimes I succumb and fall short of my intentions, at least I’ve made progress and  I can keep my sense of humor and not beat myself up as much. And I keep going on trying and trying again 🙂

It helps when I allow myself to be supported by my friends and family. For example, I was asked if I wanted to join a group that was going 100% vegan raw for the month of January, a 30-day challenge. I was hesitant at first because I’d never done it before and did not want the added pressure because that usually backfires on me. I rebel when I try to be too strict or on the other hand I become too obsessive. But I thought if not now when? It might just help. I am so glad I did because it was no pressure, but support. Like a team working together towards a goal of helping one another attain a healthier lifestyle. I was amazed at how much it meant to know that others were going through the same process and sharing what helps and how we felt. It made it fun 🙂

I am climbing swiftly back up that slope. I blame Raw January with the help of awesome friends. I lost 10 pounds already! I am feeling great and hopeful for more successes to come for 2014!!! I am gonna continue with this vegan raw, it really is amazing, the energy I have from eating this way. And thank you poor, maligned Yule log for helping me laugh and enjoy even though I got fatter, I have learned and grown even more in spirit. Thank you Raw January for giving me the jump start back to the top, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and hope 😛

Michelle Miyagi
Hi! I was an RN, BSN in mental/behavioral health for 27 years. Now I'm helping empower caring people like me to prioritize themselves by maintaining healthier boundaries for more freedom, peace, and joy. I am also active in Long Covid advocacy.

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