I love nothing more than a fad. Always looking to “improve” myself by changing something…. well correction denying myself something. It comes from a good place but invariably I find myself at the point of craving said thing that I have purged from my every day life and then ( like now) think bugger it! I’m having it! This years latest devil items are bread and chocolate. I have always been a huge bread fan. Eating copious amounts the stuff but rather than cutting down on the amount I consume I treat it like an addiction that needs stopped so I cut it out of my diet completely. It starts off ok. Full of optimistic fervour that this will revolutionise my digestive system and the knock on effects from not eating bread will be tenfold but then as the days turn into weeks, turn into months and I realise that I don’t actually really feel any better for it and no my weight is still the same and jeez I can’t even pretend to be gluten intolerant as the excuse I just want to feel crusty baguette and butter in my mouth and the pull towards it is overwhelming. So then we turn to my not eating chocolate. Now my reason for doing this is slightly different. I have given it up for lent. Lent! What a bloody monumental joke! I haven’t a religious bone in my body and now even the ” oh it’s good to give myself an achievable challenge by taking away something I enjoy” is wearing thin. Why do I need to do that? Can’t I just be happy with what I enjoy and just moderate its consumption?
The thing is I think I treat everything like my relationship with alcohol. It has to be all or nothing. If I were gluten intolerant then it would be very sensible for my well being to give up bread and possibly other food stuffs. That way I would lead a more comfortable and healthy life. If I was diabetic or dairy intolerant maybe giving up chocolate or at least some varieties would be a sensible thing to do also. Truth is I feel fine eating bread and chocolate in fact they are two food stuffs that are favourites and in moderation pose no threat to my physical or emotional well being. A friend was giggling at me the other day as I was talking about my new obsession of yoghurt raisins. Well truth be told yoghurt, raisins, peanuts, banana chips, pineapple pieces you name it if it’s cover in yoghurt I’ll eat it. She had a point. If I was giving up something for Lent surely you are meant to feel the loss and therefore have the reminder every day that you are going through the struggle of going without something not just substitute it for something else that’s a sugar hit with the pretence that it’s got fruit in it. So then I thought why do I feel I have to go through a struggle? What is it for? What am I achieving from it. Certainly not a healthier life as the bloody boxes of oatcakes and desert dipped crystallised fruit I am stuffing in my mouth is counteracting to any of that potential “wholesomeness”. The good thing about me ( yes there are some) is that I have never been the type of person who gorges on chocolate. I always have chocolate which I like as dark as possible 70-90% cocoa but a square (or if I’m really decedent) two squares is ample for me. A lot of my fiends would have to finish the whole bar if they opened it so there I have moderate tendencies. I can be in control of it.
Alcohol on the other hand does not hold that same moderation and unlike a bar of chocolate, when I opened the bottle I found it very difficult to put the cork back in after one or maybe two glasses. It was extreme a lot and getting to be most of the time. And yet I have stopped drinking. Unlike bread and chocolate for me alcohol was not a healthy choice for my body and mind and as time was running down the plug hole it was slowly but surely consuming me day by day, sip by sip and bottle by bottle. I had found my intolerance: alcohol. I think it’s time I proudly acknowledge saying goodbye to something in my life that was very unhealthy for me instead of constantly trying to attain a never ending affirmation with myself. It is well known that I cannot help but be self deprecating and I usually hate to fly my own flag but I am unfurling it this time because I’m happy with me. In fact I think I’m ok. In fact I think I’m bloody great! So what if I indulge in some chocolate, big deal if I like garlic ciabatta, stop the press if I eat a Cadbury’s cream egg with a teaspoon. I have achieved something that is life changing for me and now it’s time I celebrated it in all its greatness and life affirming joy.
Nighty night and may all your dreams be covered in chocolate Xx
Ps 337 days