On (not) eating chocolate

If it’s not already obvious here at “The F Word,” let me say it: I refuse to diet. I think it is a fine way to lose weight, if that is your goal. However, as a daily eating habit, I just cannot force myself to go without carbs or without meat or without food in general. Everyone I know who diets ends up failing, then beating themselves up about it, then trying some new diet. It seems like some kind of torture to me.

Part of the reason I feel this way is that I’ve never really been an emotional eater. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy destroying a tub of Ben & Jerry’s or most of the cookie dough every now and then. But I never go out and get a bag of chips or a chocolate bar, just to eat it. I don’t buy soda to drink at home. (My mother never had soda in the house either, which I hated at the time, but guess what, mom—it worked!) Most of the junk food I eat is either at holidays, at restaurants or parties, or as gifts.

Before you, dear reader, get all mad that I’m being high and mighty, let me tell you what happened on Friday. I’ve never been in an office where people other than the boss give cards and gifts, but last week I walked away with quite a bit of loot—cards, earrings, picture holders, and chocolate. One of my friends gave me a very large bar of Godiva milk chocolate. It was early in the morning, but I thought a pre-breakfast square of Godiva might be the perfect appetizer. It was smooth and creamy and oh-so-delicious. I was typing, looking over proofs, and before I knew it, I’d eaten 4 squares. It wasn’t even 10 in the morning.

By the end of the day, I’d eaten the entire bar. I think it was something like 800 calories. I know I’ve talked shit about calories before, but I looked more out of curiosity than anything else. By the end of the day, I’d also eaten some mint-chocolate candy, some peppermint bark, and some truffles. One of my other friends asked me to go down to the cookie exchange, but by that time I was rocking a pretty severe sugar headache and didn’t think I could stomach it.

What happened? I thought I had self-control. I thought I wasn’t an emotional eater. But it turns out that chocolate is my kryptonite. It turns out my impulse to not buy chocolate is completely grounded in reality. I was thinking of making some sort of dessert to hand out at work, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea. If other people are anything like me, they’ve already had more than enough chocolate. However, I also don’t think people will like getting a bag of carrots with a red ribbon tied around them as a gift. How is it that chocolate is the perfect holiday gift, and anything else would just seem grinchy?

I decided not to be too hard on myself. ‘Tis the season, and all that—maybe the chocolate binge was just my body’s way of celebrating. After all, one of my family’s holiday traditions is still to get up early, open our stockings, and break into the chocolate long before we’ve eaten breakfast. There’s nothing quite like coffee and chocolate in front of the Christmas tree.

Happy holidays!

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  1. […] of obligation. (Have I gotten older and jaded? Probably.) If you read my blog a few weeks ago about my chocolate bar binge, you’ll remember that I received lots and lots of goodies in my office. When I started getting […]

  2. […] Sugar. And way too much of it. There’s a reason I don’t buy these things for myself—I’m unable to resist. Since Valentine’s Day, I’ve been eating some kind of chocolate and/or dessert almost every […]



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