Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate!!!

Chocoholics everywhere love Easter time . . . all that chocolate everywhere . . . total indulgence . . . white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate . . . Easter eggs in an array of shapes, colours, sizes and temptations.
And I must admit, that I too have times when I can easily allow myself to get hooked on chocolate if I let myself . . . because chocolate has that feel good quality . . . it makes you smile . . . it can lift any dull moment and make you feel better . . . instantly!

So what is it about chocolate that drew Charlie into the Chocolate factory . . . was it the smell of chocolate (you know that smell, you can think of it now . . . if you wanted too!) was it the taste (that melt in the mouth sensation) . . . or is it all about the happy hormones that release from chocolate which make it addictive and desireable.

Now, if you don't like chocolate and are really not bothered by the stuff, then great, you have no need to read any further . . . However for most others (and especially it seems to be more of a female thing) chocolate can have such a hold over you that you secretly eat it, or over-indulge, feel guilty about it, and have a weight problem because of it. Not the best outcomes for something as innocent as a little peice of chocolate. And there lies the problem, if only you could just have a little bit! It can be for some people that once the taste buds for chocolate have lit up, then it all has to be eaten . . . something inside saying . . . oh, just one more peice . . . only a little more . . . oh, there's only one left now, I shall have to eat it anyway ~ shame to waste it!
Does any of that resonate with you???

So my way of breaking those addictions is that every year, for the past 5 years I have given up chocolate for lent. None has passed my lips since Shrove Tuesday and I will re-convene if I choose to on Easter Sunday, along with the rest of the population. I don't stop eating chocolate for any specific religious reasons, I do it to make sure that I can! It's good to check that self discipline from time to time, and I fully endorse that you try it too ~ okay so you may have missed starting for lent this year, however you could start today and go up until Easter . . . or choose one month a year (say May or June ~ so you can focus on reducing those excess pounds for Summer)
Any craving or addiction really means that 'IT' (whether that's chocolate/alcohol/wine/cheese) is in control of you . . . and it's important that YOU can gain control of 'it' back.

You are in control if you can feel indifferent about something, something you can take or leave . . . content either way.
As a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, I'm all too aware of how the mind plays tricks on us, can torment us, says "Oh, go on . . . have it, no one will know unless you tell them . . . it's our secret!"
So I'm always amused when my mind starts doing that too, and the first non-chocolate week was probably the hardest. Everytime I opened the fridge, I would be drawn unconsciously to where I normally have chocolate and then notice that slight sinking feeling that came up inside me which said "There's none there!". Gradually those moments get less and less, as you re-affirm "No, I'm allowing myself to have a break right now." Friends round for dinner and my husband suggesting "Let's make a nice chocolate cake?"  . . . my reply being "Remember I'm doing lent, how do you fancy a lemon drizzle cake instead?" . . . because I know that once you get the taste again the spell breaks and it's chocolate time again, so if you're going to put yourself in control, you have to prove to your mind that you really mean it. What you find then, is after those first few tests, it gives up and let's you get on with your determination to prove you can do it. . . letting you be in control once more.

There are some great helpful techniques which I teach my weight loss clients to put them in control of their cravings. My last HypnoSlim weight loss group had a chocoholic turn away from it completely and has not bothered with it since! So to discover more about how it might be supportive for you too see ~

Put yourself in control and have a healthy relationship with those Easter Eggs!
Happy Chocolate Free Easter!


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