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In the last 5 days I have reached for chocolate at least 100 times. The shock of just how much I turn to chocolate is just starting to hit.

Wednesday, Day 1 of this experiment, (also my birthday), hardly counts because it was a day of fasting (no snacks). On such days, everything is a temptation and I’m generally a miserable grump by the time bed time rolls around. In terms of giving up chocolate, this day did not count.

Day 2 was the real start to life without chocolate. While I didn’t go straight into withdrawal, I faced temptation over and over again. I ran several errands and everywhere I went I considered picking up a chocolatey treat to celebrate the triumph of turning a year older. A hot chocolate from Tim Hortons or William’s Coffee Pub. Dark chocolate-covered pretzels from Bulk Barn. The Hershey’s kisses leftover from Valentine’s Day sitting on the kitchen table. The semi-sweet chocolate chips sitting by my computer that I still have not tucked back into the pantry from my temper-induced binge on Tuesday. Turns out that I think about chocolate everywhere I go, and I was not really aware of that fact. The wake up call finally got through.

Day 3 I kept myself occupied with socializing, and remarkably few chocolate temptations crossed my path, but I found myself yearning for something sweet several times, but I don’t care much for candy and nothing but chocolate felt like it would satisfy so I resisted. Day 4 was a whole ‘nother story: I came eye to eye with chocolate pudding shooters. Just let those 3 magical words hang in the air for a moment. They kind of shimmer, don’t they? Cold, boozy, chocolate-cake-batter-like pudding shooters. I was at a friend’s house party and there they were, sitting on a plate with a few of their friends on presentation just for me. I had to be up fairly early the following morning, so I convinced the crew that I would only indulge in one shooter. Under the watchful eyes of those who know me very well, I selected a vanilla shooter with just a hint of butterscotch schnapps. To my surprise no one commented. I played it cool, savored my treat and no one uttered a single surprised remark about my choice. I didn’t know if I was in the Twilight Zone or if truly no one thought it strange. I may never know.

Two things that I’ve been pondering this week:

1) Do I intend to replace chocolate with another snack?

2) When and why do I want chocolate so often?

No solid answer to either yet. But every day that goes by I think that I’d better make clear decisions or else I’m going to fail in my mission.

I believe I will greatly benefit from understanding why I turn to chocolate. Is it mostly in times of good cheer? In upset? In boredom? What is it about chocolate that soothes my soul, settles my temper and interests me? I also need to make the decision whether to replace chocolate. So far I’ve been trying not to, but I don’t know if that’s the right answer. Before I can make a final decision about the switch, I want to understand the why. Knowing that will help me decide how to enjoy chocolate once Lent concludes for the year. 

Today is Day 5. I’m a weary, cranky lady today, but I suspect it’s due to a lack of sleep (party!) more so than lack of chocolate, however, I’ve yet to enjoy my birthday cake. That will happen tonight. My coconut concoction awaits in all it’s shredded coconut glory as tonight’s dessert. I’m incredibly skeptical of this cake because it is not chocolate. I’ve told anyone who asks that I’m skeptical because I’ve never tried it before, but the real truth is I want chocolate birthday cake and I’m not getting it, so disappointment has already set in. I’ve been disappointed with this birthday anyway (psychologically/philosophically, not in terms of attention and celebration), and no chocolate cake just adds insult to misery. I’ve only myself to blame, and only myself to rely on so I better snap out of it.

On the bright side I have gone 4.5 whole days without chocolate. Each day is a success. Nay! Each HOUR is a success! And so while I spend a little time wallowing in self-pity, I’m also mighty proud of my strength.

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