Sometimes, only chocolate will do. I don’t understand why. I have fought this craving and quit multiple times. Craving… verging on dependency, and I’m not joking. There are times when all I can think about is getting a little bit of chocolate inside of me. That taste, and then the buzz… it’s really about the buzz, those times when it’s driving me crazy, and that scares me a little. My thought process looks a little like this:
I feel kind of tired.
You’re probably hungry*.
Hmm… what should I have for a snack? What’s quick and easy and high-energy and tasty?
No… I don’t need chocolate. My teeth don’t need chocolate. My brain probably doesn’t need chocolate. My thighs certainly don’t need chocolate.
You’ll stress it off.
But I won’t be able to sleep.
Yes, you will, remember how tired you were when you got up this morning?
I remember. That’s because I had 1/3 of a bar of Lindt&Sprungli 70% half an hour before bed.
Seriously. It’s a little bit of chocolate.
Can I even afford this habit?
You have an extra bar in your makeup bag. You hid it there last week so you wouldn’t eat it.
And I won’t “stress it off”! I eat when I’m stressed!
Think how much more attractive that little piece of chocolate will make you in… the Congo! Yeah, in the Congo! Where women are supposed to eat chocolate and be zaftig, because that’s sexy! Think of Marilyn Monroe! Think of Adele! Think of Queen Victoria! No, wait, don’t! Think of Amy Winehouse and all the crazy crap she takes because she doesn’t eat chocolate!
Then I go on a silent internal rant about standards of feminine beauty in the U.S., and just barely stop myself from justifying eating chocolate with my anger about anorexia epidemics. But I manage it, and I eat something else. Let’s say, some cashews.
But that doesn’t really do it for me. I’m still craving that buzz. So I eat an apple. And then some corn chips with hummus.
Etc., etc. ad nauseum.
This can go on all day before I break (I try, I really do, not to give in before noon, even on the days when I wake up with cocoa and sugar on my mind). But in the end, I always realize that the only thing that will satisfy me is… wait for it… an actual piece of chocolate. That little rush, that starts in the stomach and makes its way as a little tickle of excitement up the back of my neck, to the base of my skull and behind my eyes, and lurks there, satisfied. It doesn’t even have to be very much, if it’s dark enough! But in the process of trying to avoid that little square of chocolate, I’ve gone and eaten several portions of other things, some of which weren’t that much better for me.
Am I the only one? I don’t know why this happens. I’d like to think that it’s because I was deprived of the stuff for the first two years of my life (I’m told that my miserable stint as a chocolate-virgin was terminated in an encounter on a train with a KitKat), or that my DNA is missing some tiny bit of coding that has to do with self-control. But how does this happen? I actually cannot focus on anything else when I get it into my head that I need some. That’s why I’m writing this and not memorizing the solubilities of different chemical compounds right now. This is dangerous, and I don’t know what to do about it. I know about the dopamine – how every time I eat a little more chocolate in one sitting, I get a little less kick out of it. But chocolate makes me happy – I’m not about to quit the stuff, I can’t. Should I give in every time, and spare myself the in-between snacks that I don’t really want? Or can I beat this out of myself? Is there an addict in our ranks who has stayed clean for a while, who could lend me a bit of advice?
Note: I ate half a bag of chocolate covered pretzels while writing this. No joke.
*Try to imagine Imogen’s evil inner twin saying these bits – she has an Australian accent.