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Ode to Chocolate

Chocolate delays reality. When I am eating chocolate, everything is on hold: anxiety, panic, frustrations, and insecurity. Chocolate offers a profound richness, a sweetness of life, a euphoric sensation of luxury. I love chocolate in many forms, from M&Mís, to imported Lindt balls, to dark fudge frosting in a pop-top can, to Hersheyís dark chocolate bite-sized morsels.

It is difficult to eat only a little chocolate. I cheat myself when I chew it up quickly and swallow it like other food. To eat chocolate correctly, one must let it melt in the mouth with eyes closed, feeling the tasty, thick smooth velvet coat the tongue. It is also difficult to eat really good chocolate silently. I usually purr a long ummmmmmm of feminine satisfaction when enjoying such a pleasure.

I have strategies to keep from eating chocolate. I meditate after lunch, enjoying the sweetness of life without calories, I brush my teeth after drinking my afternoon coffee, and I give chocolate away to my mother so that itís not in the house. But it comes back as gifts from other sources, knowing that it is loved and cherished in my presence.

My daughter loves chocolate, too. A hereditary trait, I guess. Sometimes my mother and my daughter and I enjoy chocolate together, a female bonding of sensuous gratification.

We give each other gifts of Easter Bunnies, Christmas balls, and Valentine confections, then share our blessed bounty with each other. We hide it from other family members, and never apologize for succumbing to such greedy decadence. We have trained the men in our lives to buy it for us as well by expressing our enjoyment and satisfaction as lip-smacking, vocalized bliss. Itís as if we permit our chocolate gift givers to be voyeurs of our pleasure.

I have a girl friend who refers to chocolate as the fourth basic food group. She eats it publicly, in front of people, instead of holding private chocolate sessions where no one can count bites or pieces. Self-righteous jailers they are, those indignant souls who reprimand us. Sometimes it is us, ourselves, our split personalities loving and hating our obsession. My sister-in-law denies her children from chocolatesí evil influence, but yields personally to its entrapment. Chocolate calls her name, beckoning her in a trance- like state to follow itsí seductive aroma to the kitchen. I know that aroma well, it cannot be contained in a cardboard box, a foil wrapper, or an insulated refrigerator.

Sometimes I eat chocolate to wake me up, or to keep on working when I want to stop and take a nap. Much preferred to a carrot on a stick. A self-imposed bribe to keep pushing. Of course, this bribe has negative consequences when my jeans donít fasten.

I suppose the alligator here is the addiction. But addiction to what? Chocolate? Or pushing to achieve? What a shame that my time is spent in activities that donít burn calories. Striving, planning, dreaming, persisting, setting boundaries, checking off chores, reviewing goals, paying bills.

I refuse to give up chocolate. I know women who have. Women committed to thin. Iím committed to enjoying my life. I have accepted other limitations, and I refuse other desserts, bread, and wine during the week. But chocolate has its place.

Submitted by:

Ana Tampanna

Ana Tampanna, "The Alligator Queen," is author or the "The Womanly Art of Alligator Wrestling." To learn more about her books in addition to her speaking and coaching services, visit her site at http://www.alligatorcoach.com/index.html.

NOTE You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint to ana@alligatorcoach.com.





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