Confessions of a Chocoholic

Hello. My name is Tiffany, and I’m a chocoholic. You may laugh at the term chocoholic, but I assure you it is a real thing, as I am one suffering from it. While it may not be nearly as dire and dark as many other addictions are {I realize drug and alcohol addiction are such major beasts they’re incomparable}, it is however, a biting beast of its own.

My entire life I’ve loved chocolate. Whether it was candy, cakes, ice cream, or whatever- it didn’t matter. I loved the taste, the texture, the smell. All of it. I don’t ever remember not craving it, not “needing” it, not wanting it.

Confession #1: Even when I was a little kid on Halloween, I’d dive into my goody bag after trick-or-treating and wonder why on earth anyone would give out candy that wasn’t chocolate. I’d immediately toss the non-chocolate candy to the trash pile, never giving it the time of day again.

There are some researchers in the field of psychology who don’t perceive chocolate addiction as a legitimate addiction. {Personally, I’d like to switch bodies with them and then watch them see how wrong they are…} But, there are many researchers who believe eating chocolate causes a release of endorphins in the brain that can create a physical dependency to obtain that feeling of a euphoric rush again and again {which in turn suggests it is possible to be addicted to chocolate}. I, for one, don’t need it to be researched in order to know it is a real addiction. I live it every day.

Confession #2: Limiting myself to eating just one bite of chocolate never works. If it was near me, I’d eat it, no matter how sick I got. I can’t tell you how many times I ate a full bag of candy in one day. I even remember a few times I finished an entire family-size bag of Peanut Butter M&M’s in one sitting. And no matter how sick I felt, I couldn’t stop eating it until it was gone- until there was no chocolate left to eat.

I know a lot of people ask, then why didn’t you just stop eating it? Well, because it’s not that simple. At all. When you’re locked into addiction -no matter what the addiction is- you feel so over-your-head-enveloped by it {a lot of times becoming depressed over it} that you can’t see any way out, and that in turn makes you fall even further into your addiction. It really is an awful, vicious cycle. I know personally, there were so many times after a binge-eating chocolate session, I’d look over and see the piles of discarded chocolate wrappers and become so depressed by what I’d just done, that I felt a strong need to be comforted. Ironically, the place I found my main source of comfort was in chocolate, so I’d eat even more.

Confession #3: Every birthday growing up, my mom would make our beloved family recipe of “Triple Chocolate Cake.” And while she made it, she’d let me lick the batter off the beaters. I soon discovered that I actually enjoyed the batter more than I did the baked cake. So there were many times I’d make up the Triple Chocolate Cake batter and save it in a big bowl in the refrigerator. What I never told my parents {until later} was that I would secretly eat it for any meal that I could get away with- breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just slapped a big helping in a bowl and went to town. It nearly became an obsession.

Chocolate addiction can be embarrassing in itself, but also in the repercussions. I gained about forty pounds in the height of my addiction. Not only did I have to deal with my depression in my addiction {as well as other things that were going on in my life}, but also the extreme low self-esteem that came with the weight gain. I never wanted to go anywhere because I felt so awful about myself. It was absolutely horrible. For years, I felt like I couldn’t stop eating it, no matter how hard I tried. And then something happened a month after my twenty-first birthday- I got the worst case of the flu I’d ever had. I was sicker than a dog and so nauseous {that’s the one thing my body doesn’t tolerate and starts shutting down} that I couldn’t keep anything in. Including chocolate. I remember being so sick and controlled by the intense nausea, that I was distracted by it, and chocolate rarely entered my mind. I was just too sick.

And then a week passed. And then another. Until finally, I recovered enough to eat regular food once more. The cravings roared their ugly heads again, but then it hit me- I had gone two entire weeks without chocolate. I remember it had been like a revelation, like the impossible had just been done, and therefore I knew I could continue to do it. I felt such an overwhelming sense of pride in myself for having gone so long without chocolate, that I thought, why not continue to fight it?

Confession #4: I am now six years, two months, and five days chocolate free. I’m beyond proud to say that not one bite, crumb, or morsel of chocolate has touched my lips.

As odd as it might all sound, the fight has been a hard one for me. There have been countless times I wanted to give in and have just “one taste” of chocolate, but I knew that even one bite would cause a tailspin back to the place I didn’t ever want to be again {and reset the clock on my “chocolate-free calendar”}. So instead, I’ve stood firm against my addiction, and am prouder of myself than I ever have been before. Now I bake my chocolate desserts for others without any problem at all {though I still have to catch myself when I automatically go to lick the beaters, as I’d done it my whole life} and actually take joy in it once more, even if I don’t allow a piece of it for myself.

It’s been one of the toughest battles for me personally, and I’m proud that I’ve come out the other side a new woman. Not only did I end up kicking my chocolate addiction, but I also kicked all sweets to the curb and now eat healthier. I’ve lost over ninety pounds {I’ll write more about my weight loss later…} and have more confidence in my body than I have had in a long, long time.

So I encourage you, no matter what your addiction is, to do your best to fight it. I know it may seem like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, but I promise there is. You just have to keep your eyes open to see it.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Tiffany's Life

2 responses to “Confessions of a Chocoholic

  1. Wow. That’s amazing. I gave up sugar for 30 days back in February. But giving up chocolate for … actual years? Beyond impressive. And inspiring. Congratulations!!

    • Thanks! It’s been tough, but it gets easier once you have the first year under your belt. And that’s awesome you gave up sugar for thirty days! I think it’s amazing some of the things you can learn about yourself when you choose to go without something you thought you “needed,” especially if it’s an addiction. It can be very eye-opening and empowering. Go us! 🙂

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