Thursday, October 2, 2014

In Praise of CHOCOLATE

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." - Charles Schultz

Yes, you heard right. I'm blogging about chocolate only days after blogging about this healthful year. Believe it or not, it does tie in together.


Not fruits. Not veggies. Not healthy smoothies that combine the two. Not lean protein or low-fat cheese or sugar-free this-and-that.


Not one of those fun-size, two-bites-and-it's-gone, baby bars, either. One of my friends recently claimed she's satisfied with one or two of those, and I'm no one to question her. At times, that's all I need, too.

But let's get real, ya'll: When I have my once-a-week chocolate treat, I make it worth my time. I have deliciousness in its full size, all 210 luscious calories of it, like the one above, aka The Great American Chocolate Bar.

This year, at 54, the same year I maintained my weight in the mid-120s, I also realized that I really enjoy having a candy bar now and then. Whether it's a Snickers, a Nestle's Crunch Bar, a pack of plain M&Ms, or a Hershey bar (seriously, I love them ALL), if I have give in to the desire to have one, I'm set for a week.

I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. I have my chocolate satisfies me and makes my tastebuds all excited...I get it out of my system, and the rest of the week I'm happy with fruits, veggies, nuts, lean means, whole grains, and all that other good stuff. For chocolate, I gladly--no, I passionately--give up the 6, 7, or 8 flex points from my WW weekly allowance of 49.

It's called everything in moderation. Not eating 5 candy bars, but being happy with just that one candy bar. And everything about it is pleasurable, too. Buying it is fun; holding it in its neat wrapper is fun; toting it around for a day or two in my purse, sometimes, until the urge to eat it really hits, is fun. Taking my time with it, to savor it, to give chocolate the chance to release whatever chemical magic it releases that makes the human heart all light and bubbly.

Chocolate is food, something to eat. We refer to it as "sinful" and "decadent," and when we have it, we feel guilty and say, "I was bad today and had a Milky Way bar." In reality, it's not sinful; it's food, it's a special treat, and it's delicious. We're not "bad" when we have it. Like Carrie Underwood has said, "Sometimes a girl just has to have chocolate!"

I don't apologize for my weekly chocolate. Sometimes, like this week, I'll have one chocolate bar...and then have one more, later in the week. I don't do that often. That's all right; I have permission to do that. From me. Permission to eat what I really love.

And I Really Love Chocolate.

"And it melts, God forgive me, it melts ever so slowly on your tongue, and tortures you with pleasure." - Yvette Marceau in Chocolat

"Eat chocolate every day and be happy." - Carolina Herrera

"Chocolate symbolizes, as does no other food, luxury, comfort, sensuality, gratification, and love." - Karl Petzke

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