Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Joys and Benefits (?) of Chocolate

Nutritionists have recently discovered that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is good for us. Hooray! But . . .

After I added this information to my mental list of food facts right above the benefits of wine, I stopped to think for a moment. As my ample figure shows, I have always had a problematic love-hate relationship with food, and chocolate has always been one of my biggest problems. I'm afraid I'm one of those crazy binge eaters. If elated, I want to celebrate with chocolate. If depressed, I need the comfort of chocolate. Cake, cookies, ice cream, candy: I want it all, as long as there's chocolate in it (and sometimes even when there's not).

I drink wine occasionally, seldom more than one glass a week, and it's not a problem. I can drink a single glass of wine without demanding the whole bottle. But give me a chocolate, and I want the whole box. Serious, rational woman though I am, I crumple at the sight, smell, taste, or even the thought of chocolate.

When I was finally old enough to go to the dentist alone, I preceded nearly every visit with a trip to the five-and-dime for a bag of chocolate candy, usually old-fashioned chocolate drops with that creamy white stuff inside, as I recall. I'm sure that my dentist knew, despite my heroic rinsing efforts, but that habit probably contributed to my lifetime financial support of a long line of dentists.

Another example of my chocolate insanity came a couple of years ago, while I was taking care of a neighbor's cat during the holidays. I went into his apartment twice daily to take care of Gracie, the elderly cat. My honesty was sorely tested. Had there been money lying around, or a pile of diamonds on the table, I would have ignored them completely, but there on the kitchen counter was -- a Christmas box of almonds covered in dark chocolate! The box had already been opened, so what was the harm of my trying one or two? My neighbor wouldn't notice.

Well, one or two led to three or four or more, and remember that I was going in twice a day! As my nieghbor's return approached, I paniced. The box was nearly empty. I couldn't replace this particular gift package. I decided to write a confessional note; I was really ashamed of myself, and very apologetic.

Fortunately, my neighbor laughed, and even presented me with the remainder of the box. I was forgiven, but I was also embarrassed.

I've never had any of the standard addiction problems: drugs, alcohol, even smoking. However, I guess each of us has his or her own "Achilles heel." I'd probably be better off if those nutritionists had discovered that chocolate is poisonous to humans--but have you noticed that Peanut M & M's now come with a dark chocolate coating? Yummy!

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Barbara said...

Food can certainly be addictive, and I've binged on chocolate myself. Those days are in the past for me, thanks to Overeaters Anonymous, a Twelve Step program of recovery for compulsive eaters. OA meetings are in most cities in the USA and in many other countries in the world.

seniorwriter said...

Yes, I know, but I have an aversion to group meetings. Now that my birthday is over, back to Medifast."Different strokes for different folks." Thanks.