I was looking through my saved images in a folder called “Starling Fitness Ideas,” and I found this one:
The Cake Is A Lie Diet: Lose 17 pounds a week by changing your diet with this one simple tip!
Awarded for: “Watch an inspirational video on YouTube or TED.”
I have a vague memory of an app that I played with that gave me awards and kudos for doing good things in my life, but I cannot for the life of me remember where this came from or even why I saved it.
“The Cake Is A Lie” is a meme that came from the game Portal. In that game, the computer voice kept promising me that if I completed the tasks, that there would be cake at the end. About halfway through the game, you come to this creepy hallway and the phrase, “The cake is a lie,” is scrawled over and over on the wall.
At the end of the game, you realize that there is no cake and you have been doing all these things for nothing. The phrase “The Cake Is A Lie” has come to mean that a promised gift is being used to motivate you without any intent of delivering it. For a while there, I couldn’t log onto Facebook without seeing this image it was so popular.
The truth of the matter is, the cake IS a lie. Every time I eat cake, I am trying to recreate that intense feeling of ecstasy that I had the first time I ever ate cake. I am trying to get that same hit of dopamine that I got when I first had cake. The problem is that the more cake I eat, the less of a dopamine hit I get until I need to eat cake all day long EVERY day to just feel normal. The promise of the cake is a lie.
Then again, the promise of the “fit” life is a lie, too. I remember being at 150 pounds and being so close to goal and STILL feeling miserable. I had told myself that when I got skinny, I would be happy. I had told myself that when I lost the weight, I would love myself. That was a lie just as much as the cake was.
Eating the cake was a lie. Not eating the cake was a lie.
THAT is the sense of hopelessness I had when I stepped into my first Overeater’s Anonymous meeting. I hated myself when I was fat. I hated myself when I was thin. I couldn’t stop eating and I didn’t want to eat anymore. I was in a No-Win situation and I had no idea what to do. That’s why I got a sponsor. That’s why I did EVERYTHING she told me to do. That’s why I cleared the wreckage of my past and started fresh. That’s why I was willing to meditate every day and make a “God Box.”
I knew the cake was a lie and I knew that I couldn’t stop eating it.
Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.