How I’m quitting chocolate cake

Tony Robbins’s mom is very smart.

When Tony was a kid, he wanted to drink beer like dad does. ‘Cause if he did, he’d look cool and mature. Just like dad. Naturally, mom told him it’s bad for him. Tony persisted.

So mom said, okay. You can drink beer. But on one condition: You have to drink 2 whole cases. And you can’t stop until you finish them.

Tony, thinking what a sweet deal, exclaimed Yes!

And so he drank one. It tasted bitter and he didn’t really enjoy it… But feeling proud, he drank another bottle. By the third bottle, he didn’t want any beer anymore. He wanted to stop. Mom wouldn’t let him.

She made him finish two cases. He got so sick, he barfed all over the kitchen floor.

Long story short, to this day, Tony has such a strong visceral strong reaction against beer, he refuses to even touch it.

And I thought, wow what a powerful tool. Seems like a…

Fast and easy technique to quit some things I’ve been trying to quit

Why not do it with one my favorite bad foods, cake?

It’s simple. I’d commit to eating lots of cake in one sitting. I imagine I’ll enjoy it at first, but soon enough I’ll get sick of it. But I won’t stop until I get to my pre-determined quota. At which point I should get sick enough that I will get a strong, visceral reaction against chocolate cake.

Hopefully, it will create neural pathways in my brain that tells me cake is painful and I hate cake.

As a side note…

Oddly enough, I had a hard time just deciding to quit cake.

It’s funny.

You’d think it makes perfect sense. Make a one-day upfront investment to give up something bad for you, and resist it with ease forevermore… That’s the dream, right?

But I hesitated. I’d have to give up the things cake represents in my life – a shared gastronomic experience, socialization, etc.

What if I start hating it  and I miss out on the greatest cakes and pastries in the world?

Most of the time we think we really, really want something, like get healthy and we think the how-to is hard. But not really. The truth is we don’t want what we think we want bad enough.

How are you going to do something when you don’t even consider it worth doing?

Joel Runyon sums it up quite nicely in What Are You Willing to Give Up

There’s no use figuring out what you want if you’re not willing to pay the price.

So anyway, I decided in the end that yes, this is worth the price.

I am willing to give up everything cake represents for me in order to get what I really want — more energy, a fitter body, better health, etc.

I did it.

Today, I ate 7 whopping cupcakes.

It's harder than it looks
It’s harder than it looks

Surprisingly, it got old and not-very-fun by the 4th cupcake. By the 5th, I was feeling pretty miserable. I forced the 6th into my mouth. At this point I had to go to the washroom and vomit. Then I ate a 7th which totally and absolutely sucked.

Now, it’s 10 hours later, and the thought, mention, and picture or ANYTHING at all that references cake, cookie, chocolate, and all that fun stuff makes me SICK.

So far so good :)

I’ll keep you posted how this works out in the long run.

For now, have you tried or thought of doing something like this? If yes, did it work? If not, why did’t you follow through or why did it not work?

P.S. I planned for 20, but that was an arbitrary number and I was feeling like a zombie by the 7th. I know, I know, I thought I am better than that too…

  • David Perrotta

    Really interesting way to apply this concept. I remember reading that story and thinking it was a great idea, but I never thought of applying it to anything else. I’ll keep on you and hold you accountable for your cake habit :p

    • Haha thanks David. When I wake up I think do I want cake? And I think BARF! So far so good!

  • Max

    Ha, cool stuff!

  • I wonder if I can do this for the days that I oversleep?

    Thing is, my body likes sleep. Hmm.

    • you mean you want to quit sleeping??

      • Yes. I am sick of all of the maintenance work that comes with living in my physical “meat suit.” ;)


        When does it all end? Can we just upload our minds to the supercomputer yet?

  • Raspal Seni

    Great way to give up a habit! There’s a story I had read in my childhood about a Indian Nawaab (viceroy). This was about a 100 years ago.

    This Nawab had a habit of eating too much “Paan”. Another bad habit he had was to spit anywhere on the palace walls.

    His Begum was always worried to get the walls cleaned of the red spit. She tried a lot of times to change him of his habit but he wouldn’t. So, she kept near him all the time, and would hold a spittoon. Whenever he was about to spit, she held the spittoon and asked him to spit into it. But, there were still times, the Nawab spat on the walls.

    One day, this Begum thought of a plan to eradicate Nawab’s bad habit of spitting anywhere. She ordered a truck full of beetle leaf and asked the Nawab to sit with her and that she wanted to serve him with “Paan”. The Nawab thought she loved him. He sat with her and she prepared Paans and gave it to him to ear. She kept preparing more and more Paans and he kept eating till his mouth ached. Then, he asked her to stop, but she wouldn’t.

    The Begum said “Eat more Paan”, and the Nawab said “No more Paan”. He got sick of Paan. After this incident, the Nawab never ate Paan.

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