Chocolate and Me

chocolate 

  • : a food that is made from cacao beans and that is eaten as candy or used as a flavoring ingredient in other sweets

Let me just say, milk chocolate is for wimps, but there are many kinds of fine dark chocolate. Chocolate has thrilled our taste buds since the Mayans concocted a drink from the cacao bean about 2000 B.C. We’ve had many years to get it right and I’m willing to keep testing until we attain perfection. My own history with chocolate is fraught with many ups and downs. As a child I could consume my body weight in chocolate, but soon my body weight became the reason I decided to deny myself chocolate. Too much chocolate could lead to bigger hips and zits . Chocolate became a “bad” food and I wanted to be good. Today I am a big fan of dark chocolate and have some almost everyday. I enjoy it and don’t need much of it to satisfy me. As I’ve aged I’ve chosen the  path of self-satisfaction over self-denial.

Chocolate isn’t the only thing I no longer deny myself. I don’t function well on the all or nothing, or never and always teeter-totter. The only thing that is not on any sort of continuum is death. There is no such thing as less or more dead. Today I think it distills down to my wants, what motivates me, and what fosters self-love. Simply, chocolate is “good”and I’m “good”. I may not run everyday, but 5 days a week is great. I don’t write for 5 hours a day but 2 hours a day is  pretty good. I’m much more gentle with myself and I’ve put the mental whip away. The cliche “Everything in moderation” doesn’t piss me off as much as it once did. Maybe I’m too tired to be outraged at myself. I’m not the lowliest, ugliest creature on this planet if I eat that chocolate cookie or buy myself something I don’t need just because I want it. The whole world and my personal world does not come to a grinding halt if littl’ ole’ me ate 2 pieces of chocolate yesterday.

Feeling awful about indulging in behaviors I considered negative actually set me up to indulge even more. In my eating disorder days I could go for months sticking to my strict eating plan, but if I slipped up and ate one morsel more than I thought I should, it was off to the races and a major binge. And then feeling even worse…. The highs and the lows took a toll on my well-being. What I hated the most was feeling out of control. I was O.K. If I felt in control. I got better when I learned and practiced self-love, and decided I was imperfect,but enough. Allowing myself to be a flawed human being,and occasionally  indulging myself myself with a special pleasure,is a much gentler way to live.

So I think we should talk some more about chocolate. Dark chocolate has an excellent nutrition profile, it’s a rich source of antioxidants. Couverture refers to the highest quality of chocolate, and I don’t think Iv’e ever tasted it so that’s on my chocolate bucket list. Both the texture and flavor of couverture chocolate is supreme. Really  good chocolate is a little bit of heaven on earth.

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