I stand in front of the glass display counter waiting to be served. In front of me are shelves of delicious mud cakes, cheese cake and hand-made chocolates.
I quite like a slice of cake on occasion but my true love is chocolate.
And here there are so many to choose from — strawberry hearts, white chocolate mice, and perfect dark chocolate squares with rough nutty tops.
This shop used to call my name every time I walked past. I would look at the delicious chocolates spilling out of their boxes and feel my mouth water. Depending on whether I was restricting or binging I would either avert my eyes or buy one chocolate of each kind.
Today there is no anxiety. The cakes barely catch my eye and the chocolates seem to have lost their sparkle.
The grey haired man in his white dust jacket asks me what I want.
“Just one caramello pooh bear,” I say. “Just so I can bite off his head.”
The man laughs. The heavy-set woman standing next to me doesn’t. Her eyes are wide and she looks unhappy. I think I can guess what she is thinking.
She’s just going to have a few chocolates today and then start eating better tomorrow. Or she deserves one because she’s been so “good” all week. Or maybe she knows she shouldn’t but she’s too weak to resist the craving. I know what she’s thinking because that used to be me.
But today, one chocolate is all I want. I bite off that bear’s head and taste the smooth caramello of his brains. I don’t feel any guilt, it doesn’t trigger a sugar rampage, it’s just a single chocolate on a Wednesday afternoon.
And as I walk home smiling to myself, I give thanks that I’m no longer a slave to the siren call of the cake shop.