My Chocolate-free Month

Those in the know of my dietary habits wouldn’t disagree with my self-assessment of being a chocoholic. I have many thanks to give to the Ancient American civilizations that worked tirelessly to cultivate the cacao plant, efforts that eventually led to the modern-day chocolate we know and love today. It could be dark chocolate or milk chocolate, chocolate with peanuts or chocolate with crunchy rice, or any other sort of concoction that involves chocolate. If there’s chocolate there, there’s a good chance I’ll savor it.

Given that, it’s with great remorse that I announce that I must take an extended leave of absence from the consumption of chocolate. The decision to cut chocolate out of my diet altogether may seem like curious measure. Why give up something that I love so much? My issue has been that I’ve been eating so much chocolate lately that it’s reached the point that I’m not even enjoying it anymore. It tastes the same as always, but the chemical reactions in the brain just aren’t what they used to be. To salvage my love for my favorite confection I must temporarily set it free.

Chocolate ice cream from Japan
Chocolate: The true lingua franca

Until recently, chocolate has been a treat that I may have abused at times, but never ate more than I could handle. Sometimes the chocolate I’d consume would be something I’d buy, whether it was a chocolate bar from a pharmacy or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s from the supermarket. Chocolate sometimes was provided at work, either in the form of someone’s leftover Halloween candy or the product of a coworker’s baking habit getting out of hand. No matter where it came from, it was rarely the same chocolate twice. I had no consistent source of chocolate, but still ate it on a semi-consistent basis.

This all changed about a year ago, when a domino effect took hold over my work department. One by one, editors left and right were setting up candy containers at their desks. Today, the editorial landscape is littered with sweets. There’s an M&M dispenser right next to my seat. An employee two seats from me has kept a steady stream of Hershey Kisses and Starbursts supplied at his desk. One container in the department has always had a rotating selection of sweets. At any given time there can be as many as five spots around my desk to get chocolate and other candy. As someone who has issues saying no to food when it’s right in front of him, I sometimes find myself munching on candy throughout the day, even on days when I’ve promised myself I wouldn’t touch the stuff.

Too much of a good thing really is a bad thing. Lately, I’ve found myself turned off to chocolate a bit outside of work. I rarely, if ever, buy it for myself anymore. If I’m somewhere where there’s chocolate out I’ll munch on it, but I don’t seek it out in the same way that I had previously. This development is tragic, as chocolate has been something that has brought me great joy on many occasions throughout my life. I want to be able to rely on chocolate as the treat that will consistently perk me up after a bad day. Chocolate has been there for me through good times and bad, and I don’t want that strong relationship to wither anytime soon.

So, it’s time for chocolate and me to take some time apart. The calendar month of June seems like a fitting time to set this trial in motion. 30 days will be the longest I’ve ever gone without consuming anything with chocolate. It will be tough, and there may be times that I’m tempted to throw away this whole thing and dig in to something chocolatey and delicious. I must remain strong, and I believe I will be. I will leave an update here towards the end of the month to let you, the readers of this wildly popular blog, know how it’s all gone. I can only hope that by the end of this my love and desire for chocolate will have returned stronger than ever!

For now, only time will tell…

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