I ate a cupcake today. And even thought I’m overweight and a nutrition coach, I felt no guilt.

We were up the hill at a small local farmers market, and someone was selling baked goods. I saw cupcakes with sprinkles on top. They were real, old-fashioned home-made cupcakes, not those crappy abominations they sell at cupcake stores these days. I wanted to taste one, so I did. It was good. Yummy, like how I remembered them as a child.

It was weird, because it was not the end of my world. I did not feel immediate remorse. I did not instantly bemoan the disaster I had made of my diet, and decide that today was an “off day” and binge out. I’m not currently obsessing about other treats either. It seems crazy, but I just ate the cupcake, bought some berries and hand-churned butter, and walked home. Taught some sabre drills to a student, biked 40 minutes to work at a solid pace.

If we look at the numbers on dieting, we see one constant message: If you diet, you will gain weight. Gain weight. Not lose, gain. We see this result time and time again, and yet all we hear is … well, try this diet this time. It’s different. We know better this time. Seriously. Trust us. These words usually come from someone who thinks it’s normal to shave all their body hair, and thinks the gym is a place you should want to go to. They will recommend all kinds of ways to brainwash yourself into liking all the same things that they like, and thinking that obsessing over a six pack is normal.

I was a skinny guy. I hated being skinny. I took up powerlifting to stop being skinny, and it worked. Then I took up IT work and that worked even better, in a different way. I like my muscles, but I could do without the belly. I dieted and lost, and gained it all back. It took me 15 years to put on all the weight I gained. I know exactly how I could lose it in 6 months. I’ve done it before, and with what I’ve learned in my certification, I could do it with real ease now. But I’m not going to. I’ve decided to try something else. I’m going to try to lose the weight as fast as I gained it.

I don’t believe in shortcuts. I think the problems we are finding with our weight these days comes from trying to make everything easy and fast. We want food without having to make it. We have to exercise because we want go places and do things without effort. I love how even the best nutritionists fall back on multivitamins and protein powders, because they keep trying to find a better something or other. It’s too hard to cook real food, I guess. They can’t waste the time, time that could be spent at the gym!

I saw a recipe the other day for healthy chicken burritos, and one of the ingredients was “taco seasoning.” I don’t remember the last time I used such a thing. I can grow and dry my own chili peppers, chop em up and add them to my food. I can blend my own spices as I cook the meal. It takes time and attention, but I’m trying to be alive here. I see no reason to rush that process, the end is not something I’m in a hurry to see.

Since I’m not on a diet, the cupcake was not a breaking point. It wasn’t a significant item in my day. It had zero emotional impact to me, aside from about two minutes of happy chewing while walking around. My calories counts for the day? No idea. I didn’t overeat, never felt the urge. I eat good food. My bloodwork is awesome. I am full of energy all the time, I bike, run, cartwheel, play with swords, do funky gymnastics things…and am happy with who I am. I am healthy and happy. My body shape is not a thing that registers in my life, and I’m happy I’ve finally reached this place. I will be losing weight, but not because I’m dieting. I will lose it because I’ve let go of caring about weight. I will lose it because I’m putting all my attention towards gaining as much life as I can.

I’m going to go out and play every single day. I might even eat another cupcake.