Wednesday 18 January 2012

In denial or in control?

Gretel Hallet, is a Trained Chocolate Fairy and is running the Getting Started half day workshop in Norwich - perfect for beginners to experience the core principles of Beyond Chocolate and equally great as a refresher for any Beyond Chocolater. If you live in East Anglia and want to know more about Beyond Chocolate or her workshops, get in touch with Gretel.

Something happened the other day which gave me pause. My other half said he thought I was in denial about chocolate as I had lots in stashes around the house.

After all the miserable dieting years, just when I thought I’d reached the calm tranquil waters of a life Beyond Chocolate, this bombshell fell.

So I have been thinking about what he said. Am I kidding myself? Am I still in thrall to chocolate? Does it still wield mysterious and subliminal power over me? Is the fact that I have lots of chocolate in the house proof that I still need it and that I’m not ‘over’ it yet?

Probably yes and no; but more no than yes. I am maintaining my chocolate stocks because I want to be sure that I have finally got to the point where I can take it or leave it. I want to be assured that chocolate is there if I need it or want it, but that I won’t eat it randomly, unconsciously, voraciously until I feel sick and disgusted with myself any more. I am still, I guess, ‘testing’ myself. What happens when I’m bored? Do I start working my way through my chocolate collection? What happens when I’m angry, or sad or madly happy? What happens when I’m just feeling a bit dull and lack-lustre or so tired that I can’t cook? What happens when things go wrong? What happens when someone offers me chocolate?

This curiosity about myself is something that Beyond Chocolate has taught me to value. It’s not a tool I would ever be offered on a diet programme. Knowing what I do, when and how is a far more valuable weapon in the on-going war on over-eating than any of the advice given out by any of the diet clubs. And I feel more powerful the more I know about myself and how I react to external stimuli and the more often I make a conscious choice about what I do in response to stimuli.

I suspect I will be maintaining my chocolate stocks for a while longer yet. Although I know I no longer automatically turn to chocolate to help me deal with many of life’s problems, I do still want to have the option of eating chocolate when I want to. And there’s no point in only having ‘virtuous’ high cocoa content dark chocolate in the house (which was one of my other half’s suggestions) if what I really want is milk chocolate with peanuts, or biscuity bits or caramel. So I need to keep a variety of chocolate in the house to cover as many eventualities as I can.

I don’t think I’m deluding myself here, nor do I think I’m in denial – what I think is happening is that I am very clear about what I am doing and why and that doing this is helping me. And I no longer hide chocolate around the house – the ‘stashes’ my other half referred to consist of one glass jar on the shelf above my desk and one drawer with chocolate in the kitchen.

I have explained Beyond Chocolate several times to my other half and he has always seemed to understand and has always been supportive. But it seems the messages from the diet industry and the government are running very deep indeed and that the constant drip drip drip effect of their advice reaches even into securely Beyond Chocolate households. I think I’ll sit him down with a cup of tea and some chocolate and talk about it again ...


  1. Gretel, hang on in there - it WILL come. It has for me, but it's taken a couple of years. When I reach for chocolate now, I ask myself "is this what you REALLY want?" and sometimes the answer is no ... but it's so different to how it was when I was on a diet.
    I also bear in mind that there are plenty of shops near me selling chocolate and if I need it, I can go get it any time I want.

  2. The sad thing is mass market chocolate is heavily promoted. We have been brainwashed by adverts on tv, hoarding posters, magazines and anywhere else. We think it gives us something when sadly all it does is destroy our health. Clever marketing and lies. Most choc contains vegetable oil which means oil heated to high temperatures which is far worse for our bodies. Otherwise known as refined fats, hydrogenated or trans fats. I know BC is about being your own guru. Certainly on this dont tell yourself you cant have something but be aware that nature didnt intend for us to eat heavily processed rubbish. So i personally am being my own guru on learning the truth behind the choc industry. They dont care about peoples health only how much money they can make.


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