Friday, May 6, 2011
My Dark Chocolate Peanut Candy Indulgence
Yesterday was my last day of work. The whole day started out bad. It took me over 3 1/2 hours to get to the office. I usually arrive to work at 9AM. Yesterday I got there around noon because of constant police investigations on the LIRR. Thanks, Mr. President! Once I heard about the train delays, I shouldn't even have bothered to go to work but I had some personal belongings to collect and needed to deposit my last paycheck into the bank. The bank that happens to be in the same building as my office. There are no local branches close to where I live. My therapist is also in that same building. I see him every Tuesday. I've kind of built my life around the place I work so now this really sucks. I just don't have the energy to change everything around right now so for the time being, when I need to do my banking or see my therapist, I must travel a long distance to do so.
When I finally arrived to the office yesterday, I put in an honest day's work. There were last minute details and paperwork I needed to take care of. I cleaned out the hard-drive on my computer, deleted hundreds of e-mails, cleaned my desk and packed up books, pictures, sweaters, coffee mugs and other personal items. I collected an awful lot of crap over the years. I remembered to bring along a big tote bag for just that purpose so after tearful good-byes and promises to keep in touch, I dragged my weary body and my bag of stuff out of the office and on to the train for the last time.
Blah Blah Blah.... We've all experienced the sadness of losing a job or moving on......
What about the dark chocolate peanut M&M's?
I'm getting to those......
On my way home, I stopped at the store. Honestly, I haven't gone food shopping in a month. I eat, trust me, I do, but I have been so busy that I've been making quick pit stops here and there. I was completely out of cat food and shampoo so I needed to shop. As if driven by some demonic force, my shopping cart found its way to the grocery store candy aisle. The Forbidden Zone. I've accidently turned into that aisle before but I always push my way through very quickly. I don't stop, I don't look, I don't buy. EVER. I happen to be very lucky. I am really not much of a chocolate or candy lover so I am always able to resist temptation. But yesterday, I stopped. I lingered. I stood there looking at all those delicious, fattening, oh-so-bad-for-me-treats and there they were: Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M's. They were on sale: two bags for five bucks. With a quick glance around to make sure no one saw me, I grabbed two bags and tossed them into my cart. I felt so guilty that I actually hid them under a big bunch of fresh spinach.
I ate a healthy dinner last night and quite honestly, I forgot about the candy I bought. Then I settled in to watch American Idol. I was so nervous that Haley was going to get voted off the show (thankfully, Jacob was sent home) so I ripped open a bag of those M&M's. I will tell you right now--THEY WERE GOOD! That hard candy shell, peanuts and dark chocolate. What a combination. We all know dark chocolate is good for us. Nuts are also good to eat. This is what I told myself as I sat on the edge of my seat in front of the television. I shoved a couple of candies into my mouth. They were rich. So rich in fact that I really could only eat a couple of them. After about four or five of those candy-coated treats, I was sick to my stomach. I very rarely indulge in junk food.
What was I doing?
I got up and threw the rest of the bag into the trash. The unopened bag I put in the freezer. I couldn't bring myself to throw them away, too. I don't know why. Guilt? Something to have on hand in case I do have a chocolate craving one of these days? I know what will happen. I will forget all about them and they will also be tossed into the trash the next time I clean out my fridge. I could give them to someone else but that would make me feel even worse--like a drug dealer pushing harmful chocolate covered poison.
At this point, you are probably thinking I am a crazy, wasteful person. How could anyone throw away food--especially chocolate? That's down-right sinful! I really don't care what you think. I don't need them, I don't want them and they certainly don't do my body any good. Quite honestly, I don't know why I bought them in the first place. Chocolate does absolutely nothing for me. It doesn't turn me on at all.
Here's what I think. I was upset yesterday. I am sad. I am frightened about my future. I have good reason. I wasn't really craving chocolate or any other kind of sinful treat. I told myself I should be craving something. I felt pretty crappy, unappreciated and unloved. So, I thought perhaps some chocolate would do the trick. It works for other people, maybe it would work for me. We are conditioned to think this way. What do we do when we are upset, broken hearted, need love and can't get it, or we have a bad day? We turn to food. Food that we ordinarily deny ourselves.
What I really needed was love. I wanted someone to put their arms around me and tell me everything is going to be okay. I couldn't find anyone to do that. My guy was at his house and already sound asleep. I called a few friends- no one was around. So....I did the next best thing. After American Idol, I turned down the lights, lit some candles, put on some music and soaked in the tub with a good book. An hour later, I was relaxed, I was peaceful, and I slept better than I have in months. I even slept in an hour later than usual this morning. Why not? I don't have a job to go today! Today my mind is clear, my future is bright, and those riduclous notions of not being loved? I love myself and I am secure in the fact that other people love me too, even if they couldn't actually be there for me in my hour of need.
You all know I don't encourage junk food. I don't encourage food as therapy ever. I believe in getting the root of the problem. I do understand, however, this is easier said than done for most people. Here's the thing about those Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M's: they are candy-coated nuggets of pure garbage. Avoid them like the plague. If you are the type of person who absolutely must have chocolate-- make it good, vegan, organic dark chocolate. It's rich, it's heavy and it's good for you in small quantities. You will never be able to eat as much of it as the other kind so you won't feel as guilty and you won't sabotage your weight loss efforts.
If you want to know more about the health benefits of dark chocolate, read this:
Cacao Seeds are Super Fruit
And this is my Daily Cyn......