a chocolate-shaped hole

It’s been 5 days since I last ate chocolate. If I may quote Noah Ritter, the adorably precocious internet sensation, that’s a whole week! By his 5 year-old logic, my year without chocolate would be over in just 5 more days, apparently. (Forgive me, I had to.)

If only life were so simple.

You see, there’s a chocolate-shaped hole sucking at my life like a vacuum. It’s a hole that I’ve been digging for a while now. A hole, which every chocolate bar I ate seemed to dig a little deeper, rather than help fill. After a lifetime of indulgence, I am nearing rock-bottom. Enough is enough. I will dig no deeper — not for a year, at least.

I never thought there was such a thing as too much chocolate, and neither did I ever imagine that I would one day reach a point in my life when it would become so clear that I had had more than my fair quota.

In my heyday (i.e. up until 5 days ago) I ate so much chocolate on a daily basis that I single-handedly supported an entire village of cocoa farmers. My year-long hiatus will surely reflect on the balance sheets of one or two chocolate merchants, and the global chocolate economy will probably feel the pinch of my absence. If you are invested in chocolate stocks, now would be a good time to sell.

This is actually pretty scary, if I may confess. I have an uncanny fear that I will someday find an exotic chocolate bar, or an amazing dessert which I would forever regret passing up. I can handle a chocolate-free tomorrow, or a fortnight without my guilty pleasure, but it’s the long term commitment to saying “no” to the thing(s) which give me pleasure that I fear the most.

At its core, mine is the fear of missing out (FOMO). I worry that I will deny myself for years, only to have it discovered that copious amounts of chocolate and candy do not, after all, lead to poor health and weight gain. Maybe some heroic scientist will someday find irrefutable proof that vegetables, not candy, do the most harm. I will gladly help fund research into the subject, although if such proof was actually found, I would never forgive myself for the years of futile sacrifice.

I believe that our greatest victories can only be achieved when battling our biggest adversaries, whether we slay them or not. So this year, I am taking on my arch-nemesis: the bottomless void in my life disguised as a chocolate-shaped hole.

I hope to blog about my journey, and share any insights I find along the way. I will do my best to speak plainly and lay it all bare. After all, there is great redemption in vulnerability — and Lord knows, I have a lot that needs redeeming!

This post first appeared on my blog, afterchocolate.com on January 06, 2015.

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