Saturday, April 08, 2006

All because the lady loves...

I REMEMBER my first chocolate craving very well. I was off school sick one day, laying on the sofa with a blue blanket wrapped around my person when 'This Morning' (in the days with Richard and Judy presented) had a feature on some fancy Belgian chocolatier.

The screen was filled with images of little eeny sweeties rolling along a conveyor belt as sweet, gooey, delicious, melted chocolate was drizzled over them.
I may have been suffering from some weird stomach bug at the time but the effect was powerful. I swear I could smell the chocolate, I craved it, needed it and so when my mother enquired after my health I assured her some of the good stuff would make me all better.
I have not looked back- my love affair with chocolate has flourished and grown ever since and now we are like an old married couple. We get along nicely most of the time. It serves my needs and I help it fulfil its life purpose of making someone happy. Occasionally we have a falling out- when I go on a diet, or try a new variety of Chunky Kit Kat- but we pull together again in the end and I cannot, no matter how I try, ever imagine my life without it.
I am the chocolate makers' dream, the stereotypical woman who puts chocolate on a golden pedestal and can spend many a joyous 15 minutes enjoying that sweetest of treats.
This, of course, may go a lot of the way to explaining my ongoing battle with my weight, but as someone who rarely has the chance to enjoy a drink and who has never smoked, it is my one vice in life. And, in an ironic twist of fate, just like the the demon drink and the evil weed for most people, the only time in my life I found myself capable of giving it up was when I was pregnant. (There was one successful Lenten episode too, circa 1992).
For the final four months of my pregnancy I could not eat chocolate. I could look at it, desire it, smell it even- but eating it was simply out of the question as it brought on the most horrendous heartburn imaginable.
Sadly, growing another human being meant this temporary moratorium on chocolate did not have a positive effect on my waist line and I still ended up with a belly that wobbled like a bowl full of jelly at the end of it all.
As I celebrated the arrival of my son, I also celebrated my ability to once again eat slabs of Galaxy and my post box over flowed with king-size bars sent by well meaning friends. Of course, it would have been rude to shun their kind offers. I had to eat the chocolate, I owed it to them and to myself at a time when I was too tired to cook or prepare proper food.

Resist temptation
I often wonder now if I had only been able to resist that temptation would I, like many a reformed smoker, have turned my back on chocolate for life and would my body now be thanking me for it as I bought clothes in an all together more acceptable size?
You see, the thing is, no one has a recovery programme for chocaholics. You can't walk into a support group and ask for help, nor can you walk into your average chemist shop and buy Cocoa Replacement Patches to help you through that tricky withdrawal period.
Nowhere employs a Chocolate Cessation Counsellor to help you over that bumpy period where you would gladly steal the Magic Stars from the paws of your excited two year old, or who helps you over the 4pm jitters when the sweetie machine comes a calling.
Being a chocaholic is actually deemed to be quite cool- but for some, dare I say it, it is an affliction. Yes, I enjoy chocolate but I do not enjoy the effects it has on my body. Aside from the obvious weight issues it gives me a stupid and false sugar rush followed by periods of lethargy. It does my skin no favours and it lacks nutritional value.
I would love to kiss it goodbye forever- to be one of those disciplined souls who can enjoy a square of Green and Blacks (posh chocolate which is scientifically good for you) and put the rest in a cupboard for another day, as opposed to the girl who wolfs a Snickers (not posh chocolate which isn't awfully good for you) and craves another one 20 minutes later.
I would love to crave the contents of my fruit bowl as opposed to the sweetie shelves but alas, I fear my addiction is for life. I have of course tried the alternatives- the low fat, low sugar varieties but in my opinion when it comes to chocolate you might as well be hung for a Mars as a Milky Way Crispy Roll.
If anyone has a sure fire way to beat the addiction, then I'm open to all offers- but can you just wait until after Easter? There is a Buttons Egg with my name on it.

1 comment:

Janice said...

I adore Chocolate. You know on The Simpsons where Homer dreams he is in the land of chocolate? Well if it were real I'd be there & eat my way through it :-D

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