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It Was Me All Along

sour cream chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am an avid book reader. I’ll read just about anything, from any genre. Reading is my escape and my favorite way to spend my free time. It is rare that I read something that moves me so much that I think about it for days afterward. And then feel like I need to share it with everyone I know

It Was Me All Along has not been far from my mind since I finished it. It is such a beautifully written book, and the story is one that I feel like I could have written myself. Anyone that struggles with their weight, body image, or self-worth should read this book.

Andie Mitchell tells her story with such bravery, honesty, and rawness. After suffering a lonely childhood and the loss of her alcoholic father, she turns to food for comfort. She becomes morbidly obese and grows into a woman with little confidence. She goes to college and loses over 100 pounds – the old-fashioned way – through diet and exercise.

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After she has reached her goal weight, she realizes that hitting the magic number was not the key to happiness that she had expected it to be. When you lose weight and no longer have it to hide behind, there is a surprising new wave of emotions and pressure to deal with. People treat you differently. You are praised in ways that can be uncomfortable and make you question the person that you were before the weight loss. Was I not pretty before? What was wrong with me when I weighed more than I do now? Why are you noticing me now? Why am I worthy now that I am smaller, but not when I was bigger?

As someone that is an emotional eater, I could 100% identify with her story. I have spent many years of my life comforting myself with food. Eating when I am happy, sad, depressed, anxious, celebrating, bored – all of the emotions. Food was my friend when I was lonely. Food is a cheap and easy form of entertainment. It is socially acceptable to overindulge and unlike alcoholics or drug addicts who never have to take another drink or do drugs, you have to face your demons three times a day, every day of your life. It’s really, really, hard.

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After gaining and losing the same 30 pounds over and over again, you can easily become obsessed with your weight. When you are heavy, all you think about is losing it and why can’t you just stop eating bad shit and go on a diet like a normal person. And when you do lose it, you are constantly thinking about keeping it off and the pressure to stay thin. It makes you feel like an absolute lunatic.

The thing is, losing weight is not everything. It doesn’t matter if I am a size 8 or 18, if I am not happy and content in my own skin and fulfilled living the life that I have now. It only changes what is on the outside. Not being fat didn’t make me happier or fix everything that was wrong with my life. It didn’t make all of my problems go away. It really was just a symptom for everything that was out of balance in my life. Fixing my inside was the key to my happiness, not buying smaller jeans.

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Your weight can’t be the barometer for your life.

Reading Andie’s book reminded me that it was me all along. We are all worthy of being happy and loved and fulfilled, regardless of where we are on our journey. Being healthy and happy trumps everything else.

This Sour Cream Fudge Cake with Simple Chocolate Buttercream is a recipe included in the book. She made it for her birthday and ate the whole thing. The shame and guilt that she felt was something that I have felt many times in my own life. I made this cake with my 9 year old daughter. When we were baking it, we talked about body image and self-worth. I want my children to have a healthy relationship with food. All foods. I think that it starts with having these conversations.

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Thank you Andie for writing this moving memoir. I thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing your story with honesty and realness.

You can find the recipe for this cake in the memoir It Was Me All Along or through this link. Here is her equally inspiring TED talk. You can also read more about my emotional eating journey here.

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  1. Darcie

    January 13th, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    ABC’s web site said the cake is one of her “diet recipes” It doesn’t appear to be lower in anything. . .I’ve looked at the recipes on her site and a lot of them seem full sugar and full fat. Is the idea to test your self control? Because a lot of these are trigger foods for me–cake being one of the biggest.

  2. bakedbree

    January 13th, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    The cake is a metaphor. When you stop using food as medicine, it is just cake, and has the same value as anything else you eat. Food isn’t the problem, it is using food to mask what is going on in your life or not dealing with your emotions. That is what caused me to overeat. Now I can eat a piece of cake without it causing a binge or being a trigger.

  3. Heather

    January 13th, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I have no idea about that cake, but I’ve been following your blog for ages, and you’re worthy 🙂 Hugs from Michigan!

  4. bakedbree

    January 13th, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    thank you Heather. 🙂

  5. Annalise @ Completely Delicious

    January 13th, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Beautiful post, Bree! Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve heard so much about Andie’s book, I think I’m going to have to check it out.

  6. jenna @ just j.faye

    January 13th, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    This is a beautifully written post. I just put this book on my Amazon “to buy” list.

  7. Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

    January 14th, 2015 at 10:04 am

    This post really speaks to me, Bree, thank you! It’s always good to be reminded that losing weight can often be the result of making other parts of our life better. I haven’t read Andie’s book yet but it’s on my list for next month.

  8. Stacey

    January 14th, 2015 at 10:13 am

    You are just amazing, Bree. And you always have been. I’m constantly inspired by you in one way or another. And I miss your face, friend! XO

  9. bakedbree

    January 18th, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    I feel the exact same way about you. I love you and I miss you so much!

  10. Rachel Cooks

    January 14th, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Love this post, love you, and love Andie. You’re both inspiring.

  11. bakedbree

    January 18th, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel the same way about you.

  12. CakeSpy

    January 14th, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Having suffered 15+ years of disordered eating, this post resonated with me. I love the idea that we can live a sweet life…cake included…and overcome eating battles. Thank you for an inspiring post and recipe!

  13. bakedbree

    January 18th, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    We can live a sweet life, cake and all, and still have a healthy relationship with food. Thank you for the kind words, I really appreciate them.

  14. Laura @ My Friend's Bakery

    January 15th, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Beautifully written tribute.

  15. bakedbree

    January 18th, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you so much. <3

  16. Gina

    January 15th, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Terrific post, Bree.

    But, but – I don’t recall you mentioning a doggy. What a cutie! (I know too much chocolate can be toxic for canines and all that, but I hope that patient, attentive gaze was rewarded with a small sample of that yummy-looking batter!)

  17. bakedbree

    January 18th, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you Gina! She’s on my Instagram a lot. Her name is Pippa and she is 16 month old lab rescue. We love her. 🙂

  18. lynn @ the actor’s diet

    January 16th, 2015 at 2:23 am

    LOVE Andie and her book. And I really wanted that chocolate cake too!

  19. bakedbree

    January 18th, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    I do too! I am so happy for all of the success coming her way right now.

  20. Joshua Hampton

    January 16th, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you for the book rec. I have a few people in my life who have that sort of relationship with food, and I was one of them too. And that chocolate cake looks awesome.

  21. bakedbree

    January 18th, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    You are welcome. This book is so honest and moving. I loved every word.

  22. Aggie

    January 21st, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    I loved Andie’s book too. I struggled a lot with my weight & body image, mostly in the college/post-college years…but still sometimes as an adult and mom. It can be a real bummer! Andie’s writing was pretty empowering though, she really speaks honesty about what a lot of us feel about food in the unhealthy fashion. I love that she lost it the good old fashioned way too. Really great post! (and your cake is beautiful.)

  23. bakedbree

    January 21st, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you Aggie. I think that you would be hard pressed to find someone that couldn’t relate. Her writing is beautiful and her story so raw and honest.

  24. Julia

    July 1st, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes!

    I’m a fellow EmoEater and spent 20 yrs with several eating disorders. I have come a long way but I still struggle everyday with the self esteem that I owe myself. I’ve come to realize that I have problems regardless of what size I am. When I lost the weight the last time I traded size-related problems for a whole-host of others. I have found it’s a seesaw. The thing I focus on now is *trying* to see that it doesn’t matter that I am plus size or that I hate shopping for clothing and I haven’t a clue on where to shop for NICE clothing that makes me feel great. I am trying to focus on those two sweet toddler girls upstairs sleeping. That they love laying on mommy’s tummy and no one can get them to sleep but Mommy. That my body was strong and healthy enough to give life to two little girls and runs around daily trying to care for them. That I do have worth, value, talent, and beauty despite what others or our culture say. That my husband loves me, I just need to let him.

    I love this post. I am buying the book. I am making the cake this weekend (or perhaps some of those fun vanilla cupcakes you posted a while back).

    Thank you.

  25. bakedbree

    July 8th, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    <3. Andie is the best and I think that you will identify with her memoir like I did.

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