I am a totally unashamed and unapologetic chocolate lover. I don’t use the term chocoholic because that implies it’s some sort of addiction that needs to be cured. Not so, I believe that chocolate could be the eight wonder of the world, it’s a beautiful, magical thing to be worshipped and admired. I’d have to say that I eat it every day in one form or another, whether it’s an evening cup of hot cacao, a spoonful of my badass blend cacao coconut butter for a pre-workout or mid-afternoon snack or a square or two of dark chocolate after dinner.
My latest revelation is Lindt 99% cacao, I shit you not, that stuff is legit, suffice to say I got 99 problems but lack of cacao ain’t one. And when I’m having my daily hook-up with that dark brunette babe I never feel any guilt attached to it.
Guilt has no place in your relationship with food; that should be about love and respect. Food is fun and sexy and a source of pleasure and, guilt, well guilt is just shit. It’s taken me a long time to nurture a positive relationship with food, where it’s something to be enjoyed, not agonised over and that’s why I don’t go in for the concept of cheat days or meals. The word ‘cheat’ itself is loaded with thoroughly negative connotations and it just doesn’t sit comfortably with me. When you start using those sort of terms in reference to food it implies that you’re doing something wrong, that it’s a cause for shame or regret and once you’ve invited those guys in guilt is never far behind. My experience also tells me that it opens the door to the binge mentality; like this is the one chance you’re going to have to indulge, and if that’s the case you better make sure you capitalise on the cheat meal window you’ve allocated yourself and stuff as much in as you can. I’ve been there, done that and beat myself up far too many times for it to know that for me, it does nothing to help create a healthy attitude towards food. The way I see it, if there’s a C-word that’s really offensive this is it.
And I say it’s time to drop the C-Bomb.
So here’s what I reckon, guilt and all his destructive cohorts have got to go because we’ve all got far more productive things to spend our energy on. The thing that eating clean and eating shit have in common is that they are both self-perpetuating behaviour. If you eat shit, your body feels like shit, your mood turns shit, so you might as well just go drown your sorrows in eating some more shit right? When you’re putting good things into your body on the other hand, something awesome happens; suddenly you have more energy, your skin and hair look better, you notice your clothes are looser, and if you can show me someone who doesn’t enjoy that feeling I’ll show you a dirty liar. When you’re on that high the last thing you want to do is come crashing down by shovelling some nasty shit in your mouth for the sake of it.
But look, I’m not claiming to have the perfect partnership with food here, every relationship has its off days and I don’t always make the best choices. I still have my filthy little favourites that I indulge in from time to time (did someone say soft serve ice cream? With a side of salmonella? I’m all over that shit like a fat kid on cake). There will always be days when nothing but a burger (or whatever it is) will do, so you know what? Have the damn burger. But before you do, ask yourself how this meal is going to make me feel? Is it going to be worth it? If the answer is yes, then knock yourself out, enjoy it, but do it mindfully, treat it with the respect it deserves, and then move on. Don’t use the C-word, call it what it is, it’s a goddamn meal, that’s all. The trick though, is to save these meals for when you really know want it and will totally enjoy it, not just because you can’t be fucked hauling arse into the kitchen to make some real food.