2 I will not eat a single morsel of chocolate until my birthday on March 1st
Of all six resolutions I made this year, this is the one you most likely scoffed at. Certainly those that know me well did, sometimes even to my face; cough, cough, hello nice neighbour. For that matter, I did myself and still am. If ever there was a resolution ripe for failure by yours truly, this is it. Meth addicts have better odds of remaining clean for two months, which is all the more incentive for me to do whatever it takes to succeed. My other resolutions might make me a better or happier person but this one, more than any other, will make me a healthier person and, by extension, hopefully, a longer lived person.
I Am Addicted To Chocolate
Folks, I have a serious problem; an addiction. I can eat chocolate until I’m literally ill. And then I can eat a bit more. My chocolate consumption exploits have become legendary in my social circles and for many years I viewed this addiction as a badge of honour. I was the Fun Bobby of chocolate. But I’m 43 now and getting flabby and frankly, I’m concerned about my eating habits.
Everybody likes a treat now and then, a little something to sweeten up the palate. Or at least normal people do. But I eat chocolate to self-medicate. There, I said it. If something goes wrong for me, off to the store I go for a four piece chocolate cheesecake sampler which I will devour completely. If I have a stressful week worrying about this or that or the other thing, well, I deserve a quarter of chocolate fudge cake to ease the pain. If I feel guilty about eating the upper tray of Black Magic chocolates I was given as a gift, it’s best I eat the second tray immediately so it’s out of the house and no longer a temptation.
Ah, but it doesn’t end with cocoa based happy pills substitutes. I’ll also reward myself with chocolate. Changed the winter tires on the vehicles? Good boy, enjoy a bag of Double Fudgeeos … literally. Shoveled the sidewalks around the house and for all your neighbours? What a wonderful citizen I am, why don’t I finish off that half empty 1kg bag of chocolate chips in the baking supplies cupboard. Noticed that the Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars are being offered at an exceptional price this week plus I’ll earn five Air Miles? Exceptional bargain finding and budget consciousness, buy four; one for the ride home, one for mid-afternoon snack, one for pre-bed snack, and one for the family to share.
This doesn’t even account for the treats and desserts consumed just by being a contended member of socialized society. Get invited to a co-worker hosted party? It’d be rude not to indulge in the chocolate fountain. Having friends over for supper and games? I’d be remiss as a host not to bring out the Bridge Mix and M&Ms. Family visiting from out of town? A selection of Grandma’s rich brownies and Hello Dolly squares will make the perfect end to a special meal and conveniently leave plenty of leftovers for the succeeding three days. It’s a bloody mess I tell you.
The Chocolate Monkey On My Back
So to help shake this thousand pound chocolate monkey from my back and, once again, truly test my willpower, I am pledging to not eat any chocolate until my birthday on March 1st. That is two full months without chocolate. It may not seem like much, but it’s an eternity to someone like me. And it will be a genuine test despite the typically blasé winter months. By choosing to abstain during January and February I will be a voluntary non-participant in one of the grandest chocolate days of the year, Valentine’s Day. Add to that my wife’ birthday which also falls in February and has traditionally involved the kids and I making a sinfully delicious cake using a recipe my sister gave me that is essentially type 2 diabetes in a pan, and we’ve got the makings for temptation the likes of which has not been seen since a certain snake mentioned something about an apple.
I have a printed calendar on our refrigerator upon which I place an orange ‘X’ for each day I go chocolate free. There are nine already marked and I’m feeling pretty good about that. And Wednesday night was a very difficult moment, believe me. I came home from my daughter’s late hockey practice and I was starving, thanks in part to the healthier, less voluminous meal I’d eaten beforehand due to resolution 6. I so badly wanted a treat; something sweet and something chocolatey. Normally I’d have slipped out to the grocery store for any one of the aforementioned indulgences, but I managed to resist. Not completely, mind you. I scarfed down a bowl of cereal, but it was a non-sugary, non-chocolate cereal so I still earned my ‘X’. Yay me!
I’m feeling pretty good about this resolution. I’m hoping that my public statement of this goal will prevent my friends, some who’ve been known to gift me cookies and the like, will take my earnestness to heart and resist their compulsion to feed the cocoa beast within me. I really want to do this. Yes, for my health, but also to prove that I can ignore the cravings and strengthen my willpower. Who knows, if I am successful with my two month chocolate abstinence I may attempt an even longer period of withdrawal through the summer months of camping or, dare I be so bold, over Halloween and Christmas. Okay, that’s likely just crazy talk but make no mistake, if I make it to my birthday without having eaten even the most insignificant molecule of chocolate, the binge that will ensue the day I mark forty-four years on the planet will be truly epic and cringingly unconscionable. This is one resolution where the reward for victory is a permitted relapse of legendary proportion!