Thursday, April 23, 2015

On saying goodbye to chocolate

Two months ago I said goodbye to chocolate.

It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done. Chocolate has been my best friend for as long as I can remember, yet it was a friend with an edge.

I was addicted to it, and my addiction was getting worse. I couldn't eat a piece without immediately wanting another, and then another, and another.

No amount of chocolate ever satisfied my craving for it, and I realised no amount ever would.

I despaired over my chocolate addiction until it finally dawned on me that I could just cut it out all together.

Since no amount of chocolate would satisfy me, I realised I could be just as unsatisfied with none as with a whole block.

I may as well eat the none, and be better off for it. So the next time I did the grocery shopping, I skipped the chocolate aisle. Paul didn't think I could really restrain myself, so he was just as surprised as I was when I came home with all the groceries and no chocolate.

The first three weeks without chocolate were hard! Really, really hard.

I was depressed. Life wasn't worth living anymore since I couldn't have my favourite thing in it.

I was depressed and didn't have my favourite thing to comfort me.

I felt lonely and worthless and pointless and pathetic. Unloved and unloveable.

This amazing whirlpool of emotions came to the surface - emotions that I had been previously burying under chocolate. I didn't know what to do with them all; with myself.

Fortunately, in my darkest hour I was blessed with a conversation with one of my oldest, dearest friends, who also happens to be a counselor. She let me talk and cry (in the middle of a cafe), while I tried to figure out what was going on with me.

She gave me wise counsel, including the words, "Be gentle with yourself. When you feel yourself heading down a path of self torment, just remember to be gentle with yourself."

She also encouraged me with the idea that there are support networks out there. That change is possible. That life can be better.

I think she gave me hope.

I've dwelled on our conversation a lot over the past few weeks and it has helped me to change my mindset about myself and life.

And as the weeks have passed, I've found that I don't miss chocolate anymore. I can walk past it in the supermarket without batting an eye. It has lost its hold on me, for the moment at least.

Still, I am aware that chocolate is to me what alcohol is to an alcoholic. I understand that I will always have to keep it out of my home and my life if I am going to live any kind of sane life.

Now that I'm living without chocolate, I realise that this is a better way to live.

Mentally, I think I'm stabilising. When I feel an emotion now, I try to think through where it's coming from, what's causing it, and whether it is based on the truth or a lie. There's no running from the pain anymore, so I've just got to tackle it head on. And I am. And I can! Who knew?

I also feel less hungry for food in general now. I use to crave any kind of sugar like crazy in the evening, but now I find that I'm so full from dinner, I don't need anything else until morning.

Physically I have more energy and am unleashing that energy in constructive ways, like exercising and cleaning.

In general I feel empowered by the fact that I could do it. I could say goodbye to something that had held me in its tight fist my entire life. I had the willpower. Me! The weakest of the weak.

What else am I capable of?


  1. Wow Emma, I'm so proud of you. I'm in the same situation. I did give up chocolate for six months about 5 years ago and it felt good. But I fell of the wagon and I'm back to eating a family size blog in one sitting again. And I know its really bad for me, but I feel like I need it at them moment.... I watched a good youtube about how the fructose in the sugar is addictive in exactly the same way as alcohol, it does the same thing to your brain. Knowing that hasn't helped me, but it was interesting! I'll send it to you later.

    1. Thanks Liz! I honestly NEVER thought I would be able to give it up, but I was just at the end of the rope and realised I couldn't live like this anymore. I didn't think I would get to a point of feeling good again after giving it up, but am so delighted that I have. I would be interested to see that video you mentioned. I totally believe it to be addictive. I was like a crack addict!

  2. Chocolates are my favorite. I can't throw it away. You are great, proud of you!

  3. Chocolate is the only food which I can`t refuse. But I found a good way out of this situation - eating only dark chocolate, 72% :) But you are really great! You shoul be proud of yourself

  4. Wow. Thanks for your honesty. I'm, again, easing off chocolate. But I don't go cold turkey, I usually start by having some choc bits meant for cooking- sometimes in my yoghurt. It tells my brain it's had a treat. The trick is not to go back for more.....mmmm


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