Please Don't Make Excuses for Eating That Extra Piece of Cake


It might be because I’m in recovery from an eating disorder that I’m suddenly very aware of the conversations that occur when you’re eating with others; especially the toxic comments and jokes I’ve noticed others make when it comes to desserts, cookies and other “unhealthy foods.”

The comments are usually exaggerations and jokes that might be meant to give others an excuse for having that extra slice of cake. Comments like, “Oh well I deserve it, I actually ran here,” “This is too tasty, I’ll take a second portion — no need for breakfast tomorrow,” or “I guess I’ll have to spend an hour or two extra at the gym after eating this.” Now, the majority of people that say these things don’t skip their breakfast, compensate with exercise the day after or spend their night questioning if they actually did or didn’t deserve that cookie — which is a good thing because they shouldn’t. However, if you rewind my life nine months, you would find me doing exactly those things, especially when somebody in my surroundings made a joke like that.

These casual everyday comments made me doubt if I had done enough to eat that cake. If my table neighbor had ran, did that mean I also had to run? I used to compensate all the time, and these comments fueled that compensation. If others are saying it, I justified that it meant it was OK for me to do them. Not only was it OK to do, but I should them. Today, I know that I shouldn’t, and I try my best not to act out those behaviors. But I don’t think I’m alone when I say that my eating disorder loves these comments, even if I don’t. They make me angry because they aren’t needed — you don’t have to make excuses to eat. Every human that’s alive eats and excuses are not needed. Recovery, however, is a choice you have to make every minute, and hearing comments like “I’ll have to run a few extra laps today in order to make up for these” makes it much harder to choose recovery.

So while these joke and excuses for eating may seem harmless to the majority of the population, for those struggling with an eating disorder, it can be an excuses for our eating disorders to take over — and that’s a potential death sentence. Eating disorders can kill people, but a slice of cake does not. Therefore, please think before you speak. If you want a piece of cake, get it. There’s no need for excuses because you don’t have to do anything to be worthy of having that piece of cake.

Enjoy your cake, and know that you always deserve it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Toa Heftiba

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Eating Disorders

Vector graphic of a young woman in black on a white background.

When I Was Diagnosed With an Eating Disorder I'd Never Heard Of

Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741. It’s Thursday and I’m sitting down for a typical lunch, packed with all the nutrients I could possibly need for the day. It might not seem obvious [...]
young woman doing yoga, downward dog position

How Hot Yoga Helped Heal Me From My Eating Disorder

It was freshman year in a religious imagination class when I was first introduced to the term, eudaimonia. Eudaimonia is a philosophical concept that means; one’s own personally defined excellence. When I was a freshman, this really stuck with me. Every time I took this professor’s class, he never failed to talk about eudaimonia. Every [...]
Woman eating a bowl of yogurt

Why Meal Time Isn't Always the Hardest Part of Eating Disorder Recovery

It is often thought that during a meal is the hardest time for someone with an eating disorder. As someone recovering from anorexia nervosa myself, I can say that after a meal can actually be equally, sometimes even more, challenging for the person. The disordered thoughts that can accompany a meal: guilt, disgust, regret and [...]
Troian Bellisario

Why Troian Bellisario Made 'Feed,' a Different Kind of Eating Disorder Movie

Eating disorder stories are often told from the outside looking in. You know the tale: girl has body image issues, girl starts restricting food, there is perhaps some intervention and finally, girl starts her journey towards recovery. When “Pretty Little Liars” star Troian Bellisario started working on a film inspired by her personal experience with [...]