How Do You Stop Eating Chocolate?
The question came up in my Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating class recently. It also seems appropriate with Halloween only two days away.
How do you stop eating chocolate?
But in order to answer that, it can be helpful to consider a different question to start.
Why do you start eating chocolate to begin with?
For me, the answer to that second question has changed radically over time. This has had a direct impact on when I stop.
In my younger years, I told myself I ate chocolate and other candy because it tasted good. That was the easy answer. But it wasn’t necessarily true, or at least the whole truth.
I ate chocolate for many other reasons. Because it was forbidden. Because it comforted me. Because I wanted a distraction from feeling bad about myself or from worrying about what other people thought of me. Because I was lonely and chocolate was somehow companionable. Because I was in emotional pain and wanted something to soothe me.
In retrospect, the part about tasting good barely factored in. Especially because I rarely paid much attention to the actual taste, certainly not after the first couple of bites. I was often too distracted by whatever drove me to eat in the first place.
So back then, this is how I stopped eating chocolate:
Someone came home or into the room so I couldn’t eat in secret anymore.
The chocolate was gone.
I felt sick to my stomach because I’d eaten too much.
At the time, I also couldn’t imagine being able to stop at a piece or two – especially if I was alone, I still had some candy left, and I didn’t feel sick yet.
Why else would I stop when it tasted so good?
When you change the reason for starting, though, it trickles down to when you stop.
For instance, these days I eat chocolate because it tastes good. For real. Maybe a little part is also rebellion against the people saying sugar is evil and toxic. But mostly it’s flavor.