Some people may laugh at the phrase chocoholic, the words get banded about quite lightly but in some instances it’s not quite so funny as it sounds.
With another Easter fast approaching I’m coming up to my seventh year of abstaining from the dreaded substance. Yes that’s right, almost seven years without chocolate.
People look at me a bit gone off when I say I don’t “do” chocolate, how can I possibly not like chocolate ?!. I don’t usually expand on the fact that I love chocolate, and even after this amount of time I’m still having to put up with chocolate cravings, I just smile nicely and move onto the next topic of conversation whilst all the time wishing I could have accepted the sweet, slice of cake or other goodie which was on offer.
Chocolate, believe it or not, contains a substance which actively triggers the happy chemicals in the brain, it’s perfectly natural to feel a slight “high” after a bar of chocolate, but unfortunately also natural to feel the corresponding “low” after it, leaving you craving more.
I used to eat chocolate by bucket full, I’ve been known in the past to just pop around the shop for a bar, buying an extra one and eating it on the way home, discarding the wrapper in the bin outside the shop to dispose of the evidence. Remember the multipacks, buy four, or sometimes five bars for just £1 ? I’d go to the shop with just the £1 in my hand to save money on the multi-buy, always intending to put the three or four extra bars to one side for later or another day, but within an hour or so, I’d eaten them all and would be on my way back to the shop for another four or five bars.
My moods would swing so erratically up and down they were perfectly controllable, as long as I was eating chocolate I was happy.
Finally I decided enough was enough and seven and a half years ago after a particularly bad Christmas binge I decided that was the end of my relationship with chocolate. I had no idea how hard it was going to be, not only was it the dark and milk chocolate which set me off, the white chocolate and cocoa butter set off the cravings too, I’ve always had a pretty good sence of smell but I would walk into the house and instantly know if someone had been eating chocolate while I was out, Eldest Daughter is very fond of a particular brand of hand lotion which used cocoa butter and even the smell of that would trigger the cravings and often reduce me to tears.
I had to avoid shopping, I would walk out of my way not to go past the corner shop on my way to somewhere else, and would make a point of not taking my purse with me so that even if I was tempted I couldn’t buy any chocolate.
I think that first six months was worse for me than giving up smoking, I smoked from my first year in secondary school and gave up when I first fell pregnant, about ten or eleven years in total, but that’s another story.
At Easter time, almost seven years ago, that would make it 2007, Hubby took the girls away for a couple of days visiting family and I stayed home, unable to take the corresponding days off from work. Having the house to myself I decided to put my feet up, watch a few films on tv and generally treat myself, of course I went to the shop to buy some treats and what did I come back with ? … chocolate.
Having abstained for six months, my tolerance was low and although I savoured every mouthful of the sweet brown substance … I cried uncontrollably for the rest of the week.
After seven years, my tolerance level is almost non-existent, don’t get me wrong, I still have treats, I still eat sweets, cakes, biscuits etc, they’re all very nice, but not quite there, it’s sort of like drinking water when what you really want is a glass of milk.
I’ve had the odd chocolate accident during my time of abstinence, I remember one baked cheesecake in particular, it was really gorgeous, and I didn’t associate the taste or the enjoyment of it with the white chocolate which had been used to make it. Wi”thin half an hour or so I felt a very familiar “down” and after checking with the cook worked out what was the matter and endured the after effects with a lot less pleasure than the cheesecake.
More recently I was given a slice of red velvet cake and assured that is wasn’t chocolate, like an idiot I tucked it. A couple of my friends said they could tell instantly that I shouldn’t be eating it, but they could also tell that it was more than their lives were worth than to try to take it away from me once I’d started eating it.
Oh how I wished after that they had, or that I’d had enough will power to put it down as soon as the chocolate taste hit my tonge. After almost seven years of abstinence, my chocolate tolerance is practically non-existent, it’s going to be difficult to explain to any of my male readers, but for the female readers, imagine the couple of days before your monthly dates are up, the couple of days when you just want to pull the duvet up over your head and just cry until it’s all over … then multiply by at least ten !
Here’s to learning my lesson and to another chocolate free seven years.
As for the photo, I’ve dipped back into the archives to the “Humpty Dumpty” post for a couple of chocolate eggs with names which actually made me laugh … Sam’n’Ella.