Every Christmas Eve is Cheesecake Eve, and so it fell upon me to once again face off against these wretched cakes.

I did not choose this. But as one of the last of my kind (Level 10 Cheesecake Mastery*), it’s my duty to walk the earth and do battle with these cakes for the greater good of mankind.

Cheesecake Mastery, first historical mention, Book of Cake:

…Ability to consume vast quantities of cheesecake.

…Higher echelons of Mastery can only be attained by besting the cake after a robust dinner, for a true Master enjoys a challenge and welcomes every opportunity to practice his skill.

For good or for ill, cheesecake mastery is the supreme expression of hedonic power and might. The art of gluttony perfected.

Book of Cake, 1248 B.C, author unknown.

For all you young whippersnappers who wish to walk the way of the cheesecake master, I have stories to tell, wisdom to share, and lessons to teach. Gather around the fire and listen carefully to my words.

Cheesecake Eve of Doom II: MegaCake Attacks!

I’m going to start with the events that transpired during Cheesecake Eve of Doom II, which took place a week ago, on Christmas Eve. (Us heathens celebrate on the 24th here in the cold and unforgiving North, not the 25th.)

Let me tell you how yours truly nearly met his maker last week. It all started with the spontaneous last-minute decision to write “Like Water” late that evening, finishing around 3 AM on Friday night/Saturday morning. That would prove to be an almost fatal mistake.

Coupled with last-second Christmas presents to be purchased before catching the train at noon, that brilliant idea left me with two hours of sleep in the tank. Barely enough to keep my eyes open after the Christmas table meat feast – and that’s something I’d normally consider an appetizer. Something to warm up the taste buds before the real eating starts. But my foolish ideas made this otherwise pleasant task feel monumental…

…And then MegaCake arrived.

Enter MegaCake.

For someone with my skill and ability, the opponent would not have presented much of a challenge under normal conditions.

But MegaCake, weighing in at an impressive 4 lbs, was too much for me to handle in this weakened and pathetic state. Sweeping in from nowhere, it overwhelmed me with its sheer power and might. This massive beast was not the type to scheme, trick, and play mind games tricks. No…this was a warrior to the core, putting its brute strength against mine, in a fight where it had the upper hand.

Martin Berkhan enjoying a portion of cheesecake
One of the last pictures captured of me before MegaCake knocked me out in the first round. And yes, that’s whipping cream on top of the cake. A healthy lubricant and an essential tool for any self-respecting cheesecake master. The connoisseur might favor himself some peanut butter as well, often in combination with the whipping cream. However, one must take caution not to abuse this combination, for it leads to the dark side.

A devious combination of sleep deprivation, rice pudding, salmon and cold cuts, lead to MegaCake knocking me out in the first round.

Like Bane broke Batman’s back, MegaCake wrestled me to my knees with brute strength, and delivered a crippling blow that sent me into a long slumber.

Martin's Mother and Sister
These cake conspirators appeared to be finding much joy in my humiliating defeat. Their sinister laughter still haunts me.

However, a True Master is not so easily bested. I was called back from the brink of defeat by the voice of an ancient entity that reminded me of my duty, instilling in me a new sense of energy and fighting spirit.

I arose from my deep slumber and sought out to take up the fight where I had left off. By the cover of the dark, I hit MegaCake with a surprise attack at 2 AM – exacted my revenge, making quick work of its remains, and restored the balance of the world. Victory was mine, in the end.


What a close call that was. I’ve grown sloppy, it seems. Perhaps this is what happens as one grows overconfident of his ability? Preparation and rest is gradually compromised, little by little, until you one day end up paying the ultimate price when something surprises you.

I think my careless behavior can be traced back to Cheesecake Eve 2010. Having conquered the Twin Cakes, I thought of myself as invincible….

Cheesecake Eve of Doom I: Twin Cakes of Terror

Cheesecake Eve 2010: The Twin Cakes

For the first time, I shall recount the events of last Christmas.

Up until now, I’ve hesitated. The powerful Cheesecake Mastery techniques that I am about to show you must not fall into the wrong hands, where they can be used for destruction and dark deeds. With great power comes great responsibility.

However, my encounter with MegaCake reminded me that I might not make it back alive one day. Thus I deem it necessary to pass on my secret techniques, for a potential successor to carry on the fight after my demise, if the time comes.

Two cheesecakes
Mastering The Twin Cakes would prove to be the ultimate test of my skills.

One does not simply walk up to 6 lbs of cheesecake and start eating. For a challenge of this magnitude, one must come prepared in body, mind, and spirit.

The 7 Steps to Supreme Cheesecake Mastery

To become a True Master, you must become an expert in the fundamental principles of battle. There are 7 steps to supreme mastery, and a True Master knows how to apply them swiftly and skillfully when the situation calls for it. Pay careful attention as I demonstrate them, if your life is dear to you.

1. Dress for Success

Martin dressed with a Kung Fu suit
To enter the mindset of a fighter, you must dress like a fighter. Save your unkempt and simple attires for lesser challenges, lest you want your unpolished appearance to reflect in your fighting style.

2. A Proper Warm Up

Martin warming up
Ready yourself with a proper warm up – and strike fear into your enemy with a demonstration of your combat styles. When he sees that you have a move for every situation, his spirit will be crushed.

Step 3. Power Charge

Martin Charging his enegry — Sequence of pictures
Next up, the Power Charge. You have a burning rage inside; find it, grab it, and release it. This technique must be reserved for strong opponents…because every Power Charge brings you a little bit closer to the dark side. Abuse this power, and you might never return.

4. Engage with Full Force

Martin engaging the enemy (Cheesecakes)
Now, engage the enemy with full force. But before any physical exchange takes place, attack his spirit and morale. An Intimidating Shout will make him weak in his knees – and ripe for attack.

Or, assume the role of a berserk, if you have a violent temperament and a streak of madness. Your reckless demeanor and untamed style will make you seem unpredictable and dangerous, instilling doubt and fear. Watch him squirm when he meets your gaze – finding only a dark abyss of madness and destruction.
Perhaps you are a trickster, relying on quick wit, foxy schemes and clever maneuvers, rather than brute force and close combat? If so, you will find it fruitful to employ Drunken Style moves to mislead and trick your enemy into underestimating you. Mistaking you for a drunk fool, will make him careless and force a foolhardy attack. Once he realizes his error, it will be much too late. Enjoy his surprised look, as you reveal your true ability – and unleash a deadly attack.
You understand now, I hope. Win the battle of minds and you will have won half the fight before it even began.
But ever once in a while, you will come across a rare and overwhelmingly powerful foe that you cannot best with your usual techniques….

Martin surprised
If your attack fails at this point, there is only one thing left to do….

5. Your Special Move

Martin waving blades in the air
With your last ounce of strength, you must recollect yourself, and focus all your remaining energy into one final attack – your special move.
Martin prepares to hit the cheesecake with the blades
The Twin Blades yearned for battle…
Martin strikes the cheesecakes
The Twin Cakes met their doom under the edge of The Twin Blades. Victory, at last.

6. Feast Like a Fiend

Martin looking very happy
Now feast furiously on the remains of your enemy and absorb its life force.

7. ???

Hmmm…The Seventh Step…no, you are not yet ready for this one yet. Fret not, my friends! Rest assured that the six techniques I’ve covered so far, will be more than sufficient to master most cheesecakes in this earthly realm – if you practice them consistently and passionately enough.

Bonus: An Ounce of Cheesecake a Day…

Last Christmas, 6 lbs. On my birthday, on my Mum’s birthday, on Easter, once during summer, on Marten’s goose, I did 3-pounders, and this Christmas I did a 4-pounder.

6 lbs + 5 x 3 lbs + 4 lbs = 25 lbs or ~ 12 kg of cheesecake in a year. If we average that out, it comes out to just about one ounce of cheesecake per day.

So, since I haven’t been sick since forever, I will conclude that an ounce of cheesecake a day keeps the doctor away.

One helluva finding, I’d say. Sure beats this 6-month randomized controlled study on soft drink consumption (ambitious and very costly), where they gave people coke (SSSD, “sucrose-sweetened soft drinks”), diet coke, skim milk, or water…and – surprise! – they found that the soda drinking group got fatter and unhealthier.

…Daily intake of SSSDs ( for 6 mo increases ectopic fat accumulation and lipids compared with milk, diet cola, and water.

This study was published three days ago.

Point being, it really boggles my mind to see that money and time is spent on answering questions that we knew the answers to decades ago. Soft drink consumption has been a particular focus these recent years and people don’t ever seem to tire of it.

“Alright now…I got this $900k grant to waste, and the money ain’t spending itself. How about this: are soft-drinks REALLY unhealthy? Let’s check this just one more time to be absolutely sure. No one’s compared coke versus diet coke AND water before, so let’s do that.”

Oh, how novel…

My cheesecake research makes a lot more sense. Plus it’s free.

A Few Words

Well, I hope everyone had a blast this Christmas, because I sure did. Lots of reading and relaxing, and less computer time, does the soul and body good. A big thanks to everyone that sent me a Christmas present, by the way. I truly appreciate it.

OK, it’s 04.20 over here and time to close up shop.

I wish all Leangains fans across the globe the very best for 2012. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a great year for all of us.

Happy New Year, guys.

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