February 1, 2010

BABY STEP 27 - Singing an ode to chocolate (Jan 27)

“Money talks. Chocolate sings.” (Tee-shirt from Zazzle.com)
Addition and cravings are interesting things. What makes us crave stuff? Sometimes it’s the situation (sitting down for a movie without popcorn? I don’t think so!). Sometimes it’s the chemistry (I’ve never smoked, but my sister-in-law said it was easier to get off cocaine than it was to give up smoking; now that is some serious chemistry). Sometimes it’s our frantic need to push down our emotions (my husband’s ex-wife is coming to town? Bring out the chocolate!).
Ah, chocolate. Now there’s a craving worth talking about. I gave up chocolate for an entire year (well, I did allow myself chocolate in baked goods or I couldn’t have handled life, but I don’t bake very often any more). And my father, a founding member of the fat police (every visit, he would mention that I could probably lose a few pounds, said by a man who chose his last psycho wife based on her skeletal body form; hmmm, I wonder if there’s any baggage there?), convinced me to buy a big box of hand-dipped chocolates to give as Christmas gifts several years back. And I resisted them for at least a month.
And then I caved. (Anyone here surprised at that?)
I listened to a talk a few weeks ago: It’s easier to avoid than to resist. I avoided chocolate all year. And then I brought it into my house and was not able to resist it.
Another interesting thought in this talk? That if you don’t avoid a temptation, then you have to not only resist the temptation, but the chemistry. The speaker gave the example of giving up chocolate chip cookies, but if his wife has set two dozen warm-from-the-oven cookies on the kitchen counter, he won’t be able to resist.
The chemistry. Chocolate has caffeine. It also has something that calms my once-a-month chemistry (any other women out there ever come across that one?). If it’s in my house, I will eat it. If not now, then eventually.
I’m working on giving it up again. I have given up regular candy bars, because if I don’t I can’t even run into a gas station to pay for my gas without thinking, “Oh, look, a Three Musketeers.” I do allow myself dark chocolate (I prefer the Lindt brand with chili in it, because it’s a lighter dark chocolate and because the chili gives it just enough kick to keep me from eating too much) and chocolate chips, either baked into cookies or just poured into my hand.
Today, let’s look at when and how we cave to cravings. What triggers our cravings?
And what changes can we make to make sure we are avoiding temptation rather than resisting both the temptation and the chemistry.

© Copyright 2010 Heather Horrocks

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