Denying Myself Chocolate

When I was a little kid, my mother read an article that said that, regardless of the type of food, 3500 calories equaled one pound. From this nugget of science she reasoned that sending my brother and I to school with a half a large bar of chocolate was the same as a packed lunch. So began my life-long chocolate addiction . . .

The school eventually figured out something was up, grabbed me and forced me to eat an apple in a teacher’s lounge while they called my mother up on the phone and informed them that a half a large Hershey bar wasn’t an optimal lunch. Me? I ate the stupid apple and asked for the rest of my chocolate bar back.

Anyway, through a mixture of exercise, not over-indulging in anything else (no smoking, alcohol, drugs, … bunny rabbits? I don’t know a lot about addiction, okay?) I managed to survive on a diet of about 30% chocolate calories for decades.

What’s changed? Well, nothing really. Chocolate’s a pretty fun drug as these things go. If I get anxious, I reach for some delicious low-rent milk chocolate and it takes the edge off. But eventually you hit a point where you think, “how long do I want to stay hooked on something that’s really not good for me?”

Last year I went off chocolate entirely for a month (which I hadn’t done in . . . ever?) then eased back in to just have it if I was out for dinner or something like that. Luckily, it wasn’t too traumatic. But these things can creep up again over time, and Christmas yields lots of chocolaty treats which I consumed at an ever-more-impressive rate as the season went on.

So, back to no chocolate again until my birthday at the end of January (not eat my wife’s Toblerone chocolate cake? Are you mad?) and then back to “if we’re out for dinner”.

Not a very exciting story, really, but, well, what did you think you’d get when you clicked on the link?


P.S. Please don’t tell me about how good rich dark chocolate is for you. Dark chocolate is a vile trick played on chocolate lovers by the demonic forces infesting those who consume things whose names are preceded by words like “artisinal” and “vegan”.

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