Get Thee Behind Me, Cheesecake!

How do you spell S-T-R-E-S-S?

My son, Matt, was fighting a cold this morning and trudged off to school looking like a doomed man. I had to take the dog to the vet. And then I had one of those work mornings I’d just as soon bury in the back yard…

But there was no time for pity parties. I had a lunch date scheduled with my friend Robi, who deserved to have a happy lunch companion for her BIRTHDAY lunch, for crying in the soup! Clearly, it was no time to actually cry in my soup.

But as I was driving to meet her at the Cheesecake Factory, where I usually order something diet-worthy, like the luncheon-potion grilled salmon, I was overcome by an urge to eat cheesecake. A BIG piece of CHOCOLATE cheesecake. Because (say it with me now) I DESERVED IT.

You know the drill: Stressed-out mom has a tough day and decides to indulge in something that (a) doesn’t talk back, (b) provides unconditional comfort (at least until I try to fit into my jeans or I need an angioplasty) and (c) makes me happy.

Well, let’s hear it for the power of friendship. Robi actually encouraged me to whine a bit over my salmon. (What a pal.) Then we went on to talk about everything from scrapbooking to writers’ conferences. Some things are even better — and certainly better for me — than scarfing down a huge wedge of cheesecake.

I ended up bringing home a slice for my son as a special treat. (He’s on the swim team and burns calories like crazy, but I don’t even let him eat stuff like this all that often.) I checked out the nutrition information later and learned that one slice of the Cheesecake Factory’s chocolate mousse cheesecake is (get this!) 780 calories and 55 grams of fat. Yowza.

Thanks to my Robi-therapy, I didn’t rip open the to-go box and down the whole thing in the car on the way home.

And when he sat down for his after-school treat, Matt noticed that the edges had only been slightly evened up.

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11 Responses to “Get Thee Behind Me, Cheesecake!”

  1. Kathy, this made me laugh out loud…I have so been there!
    So much of emotional eating comes back to finding new ways to reward or comfort ourselves, don’t you think? For me, a bubble bath will never replace cheesecake on a bad day, but I am starting to see the wisdom of my Shape dietitian’s advice — the first couple of bites are the most satisfying anyway. A few shavings of cheesecake might have been just enough to take the edge off a bad day!

  2. Ellen says:

    I’ve always wondered why an orange doesn’t do the same thing cheesecake or chocolate does. Oranges are delicious. Maybe next time I have one of those moments I’ll grab an orange instead of a big hunk of chocolate something…
    yeah right, who am I kidding?!

  3. I’ve been right there, too. I probably shouldn’t be reading this post late at night-my danger time. But I do agree that the first few bites are the best. Sometimes I’ll dump the rest of a cake into the trash just to get rid of the temptation. If I can make it to the next morning, I’m okay.

  4. Joy says:

    Well, JOY joining in here. My question of the day is CHANGE IS STRESSFUL! Starting Weight Watchers has been stressful AND exciting AND rewarding. I lost 5 pounds the first week’s weigh-in and gained a pound on the next. This was a great equalizer for my fiance (aka dieting buddy) who did not have the same success the first week but who passed me up tortoise style the next. Anyway, what is my comment here? Just wanted to pass on a new diet-friendly comfort food: I take a packet of fat-free flavored oatmeal (water added and cooked to the consistency that makes it yummy for you personally) and add 1/4 cup of All Bran cereal and then a tablespoon of low-calorie fruit spread and stir it all together. It’s VERY satisfying and warming. Did I mention high in fiber? Whooohooo! (It’s amazing the difference between what turns on a woman pushing 50 and a woman pushing 21-my daughter’s age) Ahhh well, fellow dieters…ta ta for now.

  5. Kathy Sena says:

    Joy, I love your idea — and it doesn’t get much more fiber-filled than All Bran. (My husband has another name for that cereal, but I can’t repeat it here!)
    This sounds good. Did you pick up this tip at Weight Watchers? Or was this one of the great ideas you come up with on your own?
    Would you be interested in compiling some of your wonderful amazing-diet-mom tips and recipes and doing a guest blog post here? You have SO many good tips. (Pretty please?)
    Thanks again!

  6. Joy says:

    I suppose I’ll just fling my hat in the ring and say yes….but if I add one more committment to my life I will have to “be sedated” as the old song goes, so keep your expectations LOW LOW LOW and let me know what I do, okay?

  7. Kathy Sena says:

    Yippee! Let’s make it as easy as possible. I’d suggest starting a Word document and keeping it on your computer desktop. Just add the tips or food ideas/recipes as bullet items whenever you want. No time pressure at all. (This can be fun to do when you’re procrastinating about something you don’t want to do!)
    When you get 5 to 10 bullets, send ‘em to me and I’ll post them as a guest post. Oh, and please send a jpg photo of yourself!

  8. Kathy Sena says:

    Margarette, thanks for your comment. Good idea, throwing away the offending food before we have the chance to gorge ourselves!
    It’s true… Beyond about the third bite, it’s not as satisfying. (But the first two bites are heaven!)
    I also checked out your blog and I see you’re a children’s book author. Very nice blog with great tips re kids and reading. Readers, you can check it out at

  9. Kathy Sena says:

    < yeah right, who am I kidding?!>>
    I think God has a sense of humor… Making all those beautiful fruits and then STILL giving us a desire so strong for all things cocoa-bean-related!

  10. Joy says:

    Okay, here I am again and wondering if anyone is weighing in regularly to this post and if it’s Kathy Sena. Kathy, would you be interested in taking a picture of your feet on the scale each week (or should I)? …… I miss the rawness of this fessing up thing. I heard recently (and have heard before from all types of gurus) that after 21 days of consistent behavior, you have formed a habit… how come my emotions are not loving my new eating habits? My body has now “gone over” and will not let me get out of line without letting me know “you don’t eat like this anymore and when you do, I will protest by feeling yucky”, but my brain longs for care-free eating and a “vacation” from my new eating habits. Ahhhh, sigh…….

  11. Kathy Sena says:

    Joy, I have been a slug! Just got back from vacation, and I’ve been eating, eating, eating! I do need to get back to the fessing up. You are encouraging me! I’ll keep you posted.