Which Would You Rather?

Illustration for article titled Which Would You Rather?

I took this photo this morning, just to give you an idea of what it’s like to be the only one in the house counting calories. On the left, half of a “mini” chocolate crème cake at 210 calories and 11 grams of fat per serving; on the left, my breakfast: two packets of raisin, date and walnut oatmeal with a dash of sugar and a splash of milk for 315 calories and 5 grams of fat.


Failed to mention that little cake serves eight. All together, now: HAHAHAHAAAAA!!!

Bobby bought the cake last night, on his way home from karate. That’s how he stays fit. When he’s not teaching karate to kids and the black belts, he’s taking it. About eight or nine years ago, I enrolled the whole family in karate because the class always started with about 20 minutes of tough exercises, and both of our children were looking a little chubby. A few months of hard-style Shotokan fixed that. My son lost weight, so did my daughter. She ended up quitting after about a year or two, and I enrolled her in an all-star cheerleading gym. At the time, Skyler refused to get out of the van. When I came to pick her up, she didn’t want to leave. At the time, Sky couldn’t do a forward roll. Now she’s five inches taller than I am, strong, lean and throwing the most difficult stunts on the top-ranked squads.

My son, Trey, eats only when he’s hungry, and that seems to work for him. However, he’ll often go too long without eating, then inhale large bowls of cereal or buy some meat patties and carrot juice at the Jamaican restaurant up the street. He doesn’t work out, but he always looks like he does. Mostly he walks, easily a couple of miles a day, just visiting friends in the neighborhood – who also like to walk.

Me, I’m really the only one in the house faced with a struggle. I don’t ask that they don’t eat what they want, just that they not LEAVE IT SITTING ON THE COUNTER, LOOKING ALL CHOCOLATE-Y AND STUFF. And it cost $2.99. That’s about the same as a whole box of my instant oatmeal.

But Bobby has a sweet tooth. Thirty-two of them. He, like me, tends to crave sweets late at night. I’ve been working on not eating past 7 p.m., unless I need a snack, and if so I limit it to 100 calories or less. Lately, it’s been fat-free chocolate pudding. Thankfully, that usually hits the spot.

Soon, both Trey and Sky will be home, the rest of the cake will be gone within minutes, as will last night’s leftover pizza. As for me, lunch will consist of a Smart Ones frozen meal and a bunch of green beans with spray butter. I hope you’re not feeling sorry for me. Smart Ones are the tastiest things out there. I like to keep several on hand. Easy, healthy and when paired with a salad or veggies, very filling.


But I’m not going to lie. That chocolate crème cake would have tasted 10 times better than my oatmeal, but not the guilt and shame I would have swallowed along with it.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it. ~ Mae West

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.