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Post #73: Chocolate

Post #73: Chocolate.

I am not a religious person, but if someone were to ask me what I believe in, chocolate would be mentioned. That’s how essential it is to my everyday life. I worship it. In any shape or form. However, a recent horrendously shameful event culminating in the miraculous evaporation of two whole Ritter Sport bars, led me to realise that something must be done.

I depend upon chocolate for my emotional and physical wellbeing. I crave it. I need it. And that’s precisely why I need to deny myself the stuff. I display addict-like behaviour when I don’t get my chocolate and it’s quite shameful. The American can attest to my pacing of our apartment in agitated states this week, unable to process my deep-rooted need for the stuff. It had to be seen to be believed.

Ritter Sport: my current drug of choice.

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I speak particularly of shame because my behaviour towards chocolate has not been healthy. I know that. And like Dr Brene Brown says in ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’:

Shame needs three things to grow out of control in our lives: secrecy, silence, and judgement. When something shaming happens and we keep it locked up, it festers and grows. It consumes us… Shame loses its power when it is spoken.

I ate chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had multiple secret stashes of chocolate, and even an emergency stash. Each time I walked past my colleague’s door, I’d grab handfuls of peanut M&Ms from his lolly jar (with his permission, aber natürlich). I would inhale my chocolate when the American was in the shower so that he wouldn’t see how much I was actually consuming. But worst of all, I had become someone who would hide her food for fear of being caught out. I was THAT girl. There was no ‘off’ switch for the craving of the sugary goodness.

“We have a gnarly, deep-rooted resistance to quitting sugar… We grow up with a full-on emotional and physical attachment to sugar. Just the idea of not being able to turn to it when we’re feeling a little lost or tired or bored or emotionally bereft terrifies us.”
— Sarah Wilson, as quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald

Chocolate tastes amazing, and I use it to feel better. Yet the very product that is making me feel (temporarily) better is destroying my body, and tricking my mind. No matter how much chocolate I consume, it is never enough. It’s never going to provide me with the satisfaction I need, because I am trying to fill an emotional void with a physical product. My rational brain knows this! So now it’s time to give my rational brain an opportunity to win a few rounds.

Bailey’s Truffle, Teuscher Chocolates.

[Source]

“Diets don’t work, forcing doesn’t work. The human experience doesn’t respond to ‘restrictive thinking’. I’ve found that being kind and nurturing with yourself does work. You’re doing this, not because you have to but, because it might make you feel better … you don’t have to commit beyond [eight weeks] if you don’t want to.” And when you fall off the wagon, you gently dust off the chocolate crumbs and jump back on.”
— Sarah Wilson, as quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald

Tonight will mark the end of my 9th day without chocolate. Going cold turkey is tough and terrifying, but it’s also quite liberating. Chocolate was single-handedly jeopardising my chances at improving myself, at being able to complete the 3.5 mile run next month. And I’m taking control of what I put into my body.

Tim Tams: Australia’s greatest export.

Ultimately, I do think I will go back to enjoying a life where I can enjoy chocolate in moderation and not use it as an emotional crutch. Less quantity, more quality. I want to savour the experience of Teuscher’s champagne truffle, the aroma of CocoaBella’s Marquise de Sevigne Jasmine Tea Milk praline and enjoy the texture of Godiva’s hazelnut praline. But before I do, I have some more work to do on myself.

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