Well, it’s over.
The 30-day trial without chocolate (or 31 days depending on your math skills), unceremoniously ended with the eating of a single individually wrapped Dove dark chocolate square at 12:01am on June 5th.
Like I said before, I had assumed that this would be the longest month of my life, but as it turned out it was only the second longest. And yes, it was certainly a month of privation, but I also went a little crazy playing the martyr.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, it definitely sucked and it was pretty hard to do, but nobody died or anything.
Instead, I had what I would call a month with very little joy in the “stop and smell the roses” sense. You know, those little pleasures that collectively add up to making life worth living. [Memo to Laura: that’s what it’s like to crave chocolate!]
So I can say with confidence that I will NEVER do something like this again with chocolate. Life is too short. From now on I’ll stick to real ways to build character--like trying to save more money or trying to exercise more. Or trying to run another marathon. Those are productive tests of will.
I can also admit that this trial didn’t help me snack less or eat less junk food. If anything, it caused me to be subversively creative, as in “hmmmm, what can I stuff in my face that does NOT contain any chocolate?” How’s that for resourcefulness?
A perfect example: the other day I ducked out of the office briefly to buy a box of... no, not my usual Double Chocolate Milano cookies from Pepperidge Farms, but instead a box of stupid, non-chocolate-containing Chessmen.
The problem was, I was still going to eat the same number of cookies (about 1/3 of the box today, 1/3 tomorrow and then I’d finish it off on the third day). Both types of cookies have about the same fat, sugar and nutritional content (or lack thereof). There's just less pleasure in eating Chessmen. What is the point of that?
I bet that’s how it feels to be in a methadone clinic.
One final comment: it’s been an absolute blast reading and hearing all of the comments I received while on this fast--not just on this blog, but also via email and in person. It’s been encouraging to hear the collective sympathy of the chocolate addicts out there (especially the ones I’m related to), and it’s been pretty amusing seeing the proverbial raised eyebrows and blank stares of all the people who just don’t get it when it comes to chocolate addiction.
You’re missing out on one of the great joys of life.