I always tell people who ask, that I am not a chocolate person. I don't crave it. I don't put it on top of ice cream. I'm not terribly fond of things made with it. Most importantly, I don't eat it plain. Every now and then I will see a candy bar or a box of fine chocolates and I'll think, "Wow! That looks good!" However, I learned the hard way that it never really tastes as good as it looks.
So why am I sitting here eating a second piece of chocolate? I'm just not sure.
I think the heart if it is that all chocolate is not created equal. The normal every day Pennsylvania brand stuff just doesn't "do" it for me. It's too sweet and gritty and not at all enjoyable. I can tolerate it when it has almonds or peanut butter with it, but alone - blech. I once got a giant "kiss" shaped candy for Valentine's. I finally threw it away after it collected dust for an entire year.Why should you feel like you are suffering through a treat? However, there are some chocolates that I DO enjoy. Dark chocolate, I've learned, can be very tasty. Dove is pretty good, too. Even the milk chocolate is quite good. I like brownies and chocolate cake, as long as there isn't any additional icing on it. Oh, and I do enjoy tiny slivers of the family dessert that is made from a million skinny layers of wafer-like cake and chocolate ganache.
So, I guess it isn't that I'm not a chocolate person, it's that I only really enjoy GOOD chocolate. The problem is that I also have developed a sweet tooth (thanks to DH) and there are times (like every day after dinner) that I start looking for something dessert-like. If there is only REGULAR chocolate around, I will eat it. I just won't enjoy it. How dumb is that to, eat something you KNOW you won't enjoy?
Around the holidays it gets even worse. Once the Halloween candy comes in, I give in to the flashy, colorful draw of the wrappers. I immediately feel yucky for eating something I didn't like (as well as guilty for filching my kids candy) but it doesn't seem to act as much of a deterrent. Christmas candy isn't much better. By the time Valentine's Day gets here, I feel like punching anyone who tries to give me any kind of chocolate or candy of any sort.
The other part of this is that I have learned that there are, in fact, medicinal purposes to chocolate.One of the reasons there are so many people who become truly addicted to it, is that it really does cause your brain to be happier. I have found that at times of stress, a small piece of chocolate really can help and what can be more stressful than the Holiday season? I'm beginning to think that maybe the chocolate makers are REQUIRED to pump the public with all this chocolate just to keep the number of assault and battery cases to minimum between October and February.
This past week, as you know, has been a real test to my limits of sanity. From the awesome wedding of Spike and her Walrus, and all the fun and family reunion-ing, to a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, to the sudden and tragic loss of our beloved doggie, to attempting to make holiday plans without my in-laws for the first time in 14 years (they just moved to Colorado, so they can't make it back to visit just yet.) Plus, I just saw the pictures from the wedding and, sure enough, I did -indeed - look as much like a bloated whale in sequins as I thought I did.
While my mom and D were here, they bought us some extra treats, knowing that they might be needed in the coming weeks. Thank you two for your generosity and foresight! Along with the ice cream and the fancy butter (trust me, it t has to be experienced to be believed) they brought a bag of assorted mini chocolates for the kids and a bag of milk chocolate Dove bites just for me.
Maybe my brain instinctively knew that it would help or maybe I'm giving in to binge eating because of stress. Who knows? All I can be sure of is that I truly believed I wouldn't touch any of the candies, but I've had at least one every day since they got them. I have to say, I feel better and much less guilt when I just resign myself to having just one and leaving it at that, instead of fretting over it all day. It feels so opposed to who I think I am by negotiating with my brain over chocolate, of all things. I guess with age comes wisdom, and a bizarre need for chocolate.
Deb "Kisses" Lollar