Monday, April 5, 2010

Thinking the Chocolate Through

I hope everyone had a nice Easter!

I really enjoyed my 3-day weekend and can't believe it's time to go back to work already today.

Saturday night, Mike and I went to the basement and filled the Easter baskets. I was having MAJOR chocolate cravings. Meanwhile, Mike was popping a little of this and a little of that into his mouth every time I turned around. Whoppers Robin's Eggs, Cadbury eggs, mini Reeses cups, solid chocolate eggs and my absolute favorite, the Reeses Peanut Butter egg.  I was REALLY struggling... it was like 9 p.m. while we were doing this - always the time of night when I want something sweet and usually hit the sugar free Jell-o to get me through.

I lowered my face over the bag of peanut butter eggs and inhaled the sweet and heady scent of chocolate.  It was making me crazy!!!  I wished right then and there I could go on a food rampage.

Then I did a little technique I often tell my clients about, "thinking the use through."  It's a tactic to use when you are having an urge to drink or use, where you think beyond the immediate gratification of using what you desire to the "after effects."  You look at the big picture/end result of your behavior, not just the beginning part that always brings good feelings.

I stared down the chocolate and imagined myself having a buffet of Reeses, Whoppers, Swedish Fish, Raisinettes and Cadbury Eggs. I thought of how exquisite those first few bites (when your brain releases 70% of the dopamine associated with the pleasure you feel when eating a delicious food) would taste and how the chocolate would feel in my mouth. Then, I imagined what would happen next. Encumbered by guilt, I would continue to ravage the leftover candy bags until my stomach was maxed out and my resolve was completely crushed. I'd carry the leftovers upstairs, get a drink of water and regroup. Perhaps I'd find some ice cream in the freezer and try my hand at that. I wouldn't stop until bedtime. I'd hobble to bed and cradle my swollen belly as my sugar-shocked brain reeled and nausea rocked my body. I'd sleep restlessly as my blood sugar spiked and plummetted. Then, I would wake up feeling like death.

This didn't happen.  I finished filling the baskets, had some sugar free Jell-o (not as satisfying by any means, but it was SOMETHING) and went to bed.

I woke up Easter morning and watched in amusement as the kids retrieved their baskets.  Once again, all the candy looked irresistible. Once again, my brain rationalized, "C'mon, it's EASTER! Live a little!"

I had found myself some 71% cacao dark chocolate by Dove, which has only 9 grams of sugar per bar. I decided I would allow myself a bit of candy so I could partake in the festivies and not go out of my mind. Throughout the day, I had 2 Dove bars, one mini peanut butter egg and 6(mini, like little Whoppers) Robin's Eggs. Total calories and sugar spent: 540 cals/35 grams sugar.  Not bad!!!

Through careful planning, I was able to control myself, not get crazy and enjoy a few treats.

Much better than waking up with a bellyache and a sugar hangover.  I feel great today!

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