Chocolate Addiction | Are You A Chocoholic?
Are you addicted to chocolate? I was, well I still am. My name is Hope, and I'm a chocoholic. You never really reform from being a chocoholic, it is something you carry with you every day of your life. As you walk to work and see candy for sale in the shop windows. As you go to the supermarket and toss up whether or not to go into the confectionery free checkout aisle, an aisle designed just for weak minded people such as yourself who are unable to restrain themselves from grabbing handfuls of chocolate bars if they are presented with them at the checkout. Chocolate is everywhere. It is insidious. It stalks among us, a bringer of calories and a harbinger of cellulite.
You don't need to be obese or even overweight to be a chocoholic. Chocoholism is described by the professionals (me and my cat, Mittens) as feeling the need to have some chocolate every day.
My descent into chocoholism started early in childhood when my father would give us a little piece of chocolate every day for being good and not burning the house down. I soon became used to a constant stream of small sweet treats doled out for all manner of achievements, from not seriously maiming my younger brother, to not thieving anything from the teacher's desk that day. Slowly, but surely I began to perceive chocolate not as an occasional treat, but as a part of every day diet.
I didn't realize that I had a problem until my boyfriend asked why I had to eat chocolate every day. Yes, he actually did that. When the crying had stopped and ice packs had been liberally applied to areas that needed them, I thought about what he had said in slightly less homicidal terms. Perhaps he was right. Perhaps chocolate actually isn't one of the recommended five daily fruits and vegetables. Perhaps its not really a necessity. Perhaps it's not a cure all for PMS, stress, and the decline of Western society. I know that scientists have discovered that chocolate releases endorphins, but I'm pretty sure calling Simon Cowel at 4 am in the morning and verbally abusing him for an hour would also release a lot of endorphins. We cannot assume that things are good for us just because they make us feel good.
When I started confronting my chocoholism, I realized that chocolate had a hold on me. The idea of not eating any of it for a month or more was truly horrific. Now, people say that chocolate is fine in moderation, but the logic centers of my brain considered the possibility that having to have chocolate on a regular basis, even in moderation counts as addiction. I wouldn't panic at the idea of not having a carrot for a month, but the idea of not having a bar of chocolate for four long weeks send my adrenal system into overdrive and made me want to start stockpiling cocoa supplies like a frightened republican engaging in a run on 50 caliber bullets.
I then noticed that chocolate is deceptively more-ish. One piece is not enough. One piece always leads to another until I start to feel slightly sick, which thanks to weird biochemistry is after one 55 gram bar of chocolate. That's the only thing that stopped me from ballooning into a large ball of chocolate fed lard, the fact that my body starts to reject sugar after just a few doses of it.
As a society, we love chocolate. But does chocolate truly love us, or is it the sinister companion of middle age spread, the gradual loss of mobility and physical agility and the beginning of the dreaded end?