One-Month Challenge: Chocolate Free, The End
[Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. This month, reader Lauren is going on chocolate detox. Her first week was challenging. And so was the next. Thank god she's almost done!
So the end is near for this challenge and chocolate goodies are ready to be eaten! (Nom nom nom.) As I am nearing the finish line on this challenge, I am constantly and increasingly questioning why I started it in the first place. I guess it seemed like a great idea in the beginning, but it certainly has caused more aggravation than I think it is worth.
Truth be told, I definitely cheated over the course of the last week.... several times. And quite honestly, I didn't even really care. I wanted chocolate, my body craved it, and I don't care what I told myself at the end of February, I was going to eat it. I thought maybe I'd feel a little guilty for "failing," but I didn't. My goal for this month was to learn a few things and despite the (gooey, melty, delicious) speed bumps along the way, I did!
Eating chocolate and other sweet treats is not bad per-say, but eating a ton of it is no good. My metabolism won't always work this way. I can hope that I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want and only exercise occasionally and still stay stick thin, but the chances of that actually happening aren't good. One day I will have to watch what I eat and I might as well start now.
My idea is to use chocolate as a motivational treat. If I work out and eat right, I can have a chocolate cupcake as a reward and delicious treat. I will not eat it nearly as much as I did before (hourly), but I won't completely quit chocolate either. Cutting certain foods that you love out of your diet just because you think they're bad for you only makes you crave them more. Deprivation never helped anyone; the key is balance. Eating more chocolate than actual nutritious food in a day? Not good. Having one small chocolate treat a day? That's much more my style. And having chocolate dipped fruit? Come on, could there be anything better?
Looking back on my month sans chocolate (OK, my month without as much chocolate as normal), there were hard times and there was failure. But every time I fell (into a bowl of brownie batter), I picked myself back up and started again. And that's how these personal challenges go. While I don't plan on totally giving up chocolate again any time soon, my diet has forever changed. Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to go reward myself for writing this article with a Cadbury Creme Egg.
[Check out the other One Month Challenges we've taken on. And if you've got a challenge you want to tackle (and be held accountable for), email us and we could feature you next month. Come on - it's good for you!]