By Carolyn Williams
My love affair with chocolate began as a very small child. Hot chocolate to warm up a chilly Tennessee day. A brownie as a perfect snack after school. A wonderful chocolate malt from Krystal Burger after high school while waiting for the bus. I craved chocolate even though I shared a minor chocolate allergy with my Mom. Mom knew just how much chocolate she could eat and not suffer the consequences of itchy skin. I however, am a much slow learner.
On my first job after college I remember eating a piece of chocolate pie polished off with a chocolate shake. I lost my voice and realized this could be dangerous. This, however, did not keep me from indulging in this seductive, delicious treat. What I did not do is pay attention to the cues my body was giving me. Every time I ate just a small amount of chocolate I felt unwell. This denial actually went on for many, many years.
I have been to an urgent care facility for the consequences of continuing to eat chocolate. I have had swollen ear canals and what was diagnosed as cellulitis in my face requiring an urgent injection of antibiotics. Finally chest discomfort convinced me what I already knew but had never been able to face. I cannot eat chocolate of any amount, any time, in any form.
Once I accepted what my body had been telling me all these years, I felt a huge relief. I am no longer a slave to eating something that is clearly harmful to me. The lesson here is to really listen to the wisdom of your body. After eating, ask yourself how do you feel? Are you bloated and queasy or do you feel nourished, energized and satisfied? This has been one of the most important lessons I have learned. Our bodies are always telling us if our choices are wise ones. We just need to learn to listen.