There are just some days it feels like a crime to stay inside and sit at your desk. Today is one of those beautifully windy, but not too windy, days where all you want is to wrap a scarf around your neck, throw on a light sweater, take a good long walk and breathe the fresh air. Sadly, work frowns on randomly leaving your desk for multiple hours to stretch your legs, so I’m left with the view out my window taunting me with gently waving tree branches. (Note the fabulous view from outside my work window)
Truth be told, quite a few of us Californians are pretty much wimps about the weather. It’s important to understand, the San Francisco Bay Area really doesn’t have four seasons, more like two and a little bit over: Spring, Fall, and a smattering of Summer days. You might think Armageddon itself was raining down on us when we get a rain storm, let alone thunder and lightning. Forget about snow, we don’t get snow, don’t know how to function in snow, and the couple of times we’ve had even a light dusting in all the time I’ve lived here we all stand transfixed at this weird white stuff falling from the sky.
As the temperature drops, my deep-seated desire to bake rears its ugly head – cookies, cakes, fudge, pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, you name it, and there’s a chance I will bake it between now and February. It’s the time when my cupboards are stocked full of flours, brown and granulated sugars, chocolate chips, molasses, canned pumpkin, and all those other deliciously yummy ingredients needed for fall and winter baking.
Alas, this is also the time of cookie cravings, temptation and diet sabotage. My willpower is at its weakest point and the siren song of chocolate is a very strong lure.
One might be saying to their self that it’s a little early to start thinking about Holiday Baking, but I don’t do just holiday baking. Oh no, it’s a holiday baking season that starts with Halloween and lasts until Valentines Day. And I look forward to it every year. Last year I hosted what basically amounted to “Cookiepalooza” at my house in December. For two days, my friends and I baked and decorated what seemed to be a metric ton of cookies, and as the hosting homeowner we were left with the dozens upon dozens of cookies remaining after each person took home their cookie selection. Peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies and more. Which in my mind translated to “Ooooo, yummy, cookies for breakfast, cookies for lunch, and cookies for dinner! YAYYYY!!!!”
Yeah, no so great actually.
Faced with the rather large weight gain that inevitably followed the After Cookiepalooza cramming-my-face-with-dozens-of-delicious-cookies-session, I realize that I have to approach this baking season with a plan. A plan that takes into account the numerous pitfalls and traps I’m most likely to encounter while allowing me to enjoy myself and have some of those baked treats I look forward to every year. This is not something I can just say “Oh, I’ll wing it and be fine”, so I’m arming myself with all my weight loss tools, approaching this season with some trepidation, and trusting that I am strong enough to overcome any challenges that might present themselves.
I am the master of myself. Food does not control me. I can walk past temptation and persevere.