Now is the ideal time to get a grip. Come Easter we are bombarded with the unique orosensory properties of a biologically active substance capable of completely controlling our lives…from one sticky sensation to the next. This shocking pre-dilection has to stop and speaking as one mostly reformed chocolate addict to many others, I recommend the following 12 steps from Chocoholics Anonymous to help you overcome even the most tortuous of temptations.
1. Admit you are powerless over chocolate mousse and that your life has become unmanageable.
2. Realise that the power chocolate wields over you is biochemical by nature but may also be the result of social conditioning. Find new friends if the old ones insist on scoffing Maltesers in front of you.
3. Make a decision to change your life and consult a nutritionist to help you in your quest for a binge-free existence. You’ll also lose weight and have heaps more energy.
4. Analyse your cravings. Are they strongest when you are angry, stressed, happy, bored, depressed or premenstrual? Once you start, can you stop? Does a Galaxy bar make you feel better?
5. Become aware that whatever the reason for your cravings, habitually consuming large amounts of Toblerone is unlikely to cure you.
6. Write a list of all the people affected by your self-loathing, mood swings and plain grumpiness after indulging in your favourite pasttime. Make amends by donating your secret stash of Cadbury cream eggs to them all.
7. Keep busy until cravings subside by engaging in a physical activity of your choice. Exercise releases endorphins which counteracts stress, anxiety and depression.
8. If it is late at night, go to bed instead of opening yet another packet of Rolos. Eat a banana to help you sleep.
9. Do not allow chocolate in the house – in any shape, size or form. Eat small, regular, tasty meals containing protein-rich foods, wholegrains and vegetables. These balance blood sugar and improve your mood by regulating brain chemicals.
10. Wean yourself off self-destructive habits (alcohol, nicotine, junk food). The cleaner your body, the less likely you are to crave.
11. Treat yourself to aromatherapy, massage or reflexology and enjoy a session in a flotation tank to contemplate the richness of life after chocolate. Float and gloat.
12. Pursue a worthwhile purpose in life. An idle mind is a chocolate factory!
By practising these principles, you’ll soon be on the road to a complete recovery (or ask your Doc for chocolate patches…).
© 2011 Martina Watts MSc Nut Med, first published Brighton Argus August 2002