Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Chocolate - The 5th Food Group

I love chocolate. It’s as simple as that. I love it pretty much any way it comes – in cakes, in cookies, in milk, in brownies, out of my children’s Halloween candy bags after they’ve gone to bed at night. To me, chocolate is pretty much the best thing ever created. If I could, I’d eat chocolate for every meal of the day as well as morning and afternoon snacks. And, of course, I’d eat it for dessert! But I don’t. Why don’t I? Why don’t I eat chocolate instead of anything else? I certainly like it more than anything else. And I feel happier when I’m eating chocolate that when I’m eating anything else. So why don’t I eat exclusively chocolate and nothing else?

Of course we all know that answer to that one – actually there are many reasons that I don’t eat exclusively chocolate even though I would like to:
· We all know about the food pyramid and last time I looked, chocolate wasn’t on it. There’s fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and so on and so on. But no chocolate.
· If I ate only chocolate, I’d probably balloon up in size until I was bigger than the state of Montana.
· My health would suffer. As much as I would like to ignore the facts, I definitely remember learning in junior high about the need for vitamins and minerals in order to promote healthy living.
· What would I do about feeding my kids? While I’m sure that they would love to eat chocolate right along side of me, I wouldn’t dare think of feeding only chocolate to them. I’m their mother and I’m supposed to be looking out for them.

Basically, I don’t eat only chocolate because the fact is, it’s not good for me. Agghh! I hate that fact! But yet that’s the plain and simple truth. Everyday, I make a choice to eat the foods that I know are healthy so that I can live a healthy life. That’s not to say that I don’t throw a bit of chocolate in their every now and then, but my diet is mostly dictated by our good friend, the food pyramid. Every day I make a choice about what I eat based on the type of life I want to life. I want to live a healthy life so I eat healthy foods.

The daily choices I make aren’t reserved exclusively for the type of food I eat, though. I make a multitude of choices every day that have to do with a lot more than just food. I make choices in how I speak to my children. I make choices about what kind of friend I am. I make choices about either holding a grudge or forgiving. I make a choice whether or not I kiss my husband when he leaves for work in the morning. Choices are before me every second of everyday. I make a choice about whether to buy the name brand purse. I make a choice about whether to watch TV or play a game with my kids. I make a choice about returning the five dollar bill someone dropped or slipping it into my pocket.

When I know that I want to live a healthy life, I make the choice to eat primarily healthy foods. When I know that I want to be a patient loving mother, I make the choice to speak to my children in a patient, loving way. When I know that I want to be an honest person, I speak and do the honest thing, even when no one is watching. The choices we make must support the life we want to live, for it is the choices we make that give us the life we live. Now granted, we can’t always make the perfect choices all of the time. We lose our temper and speak to our kids in a harsh tone. We want to be a little frivolous and splurge on the expensive dress. We’re grouchy with our husband, so we don’t kiss him when he heads out the door. I want to indulge in my biggest weakness so I eat some chocolate.

The beautiful thing about choices is that there is always another one waiting to be made. When I indulge in chocolate, I make the choice to not get frustrated with myself and condemn my life to one of being unhealthy. I know that the next thing I eat will be a healthy choice. After all, I say that I want to live a healthy life, so after an unhealthy choice, I need to make a healthy choice. Perhaps in addition to eating a healthy choice, I’ll increase my exercise.

Let’s say that I was grouchy with my husband and didn’t kiss him as he headed out the door. The next second holds a new choice for me. I can call him and apologize for being grouchy and kiss him twice when he returns home. Every second is an opportunity to make a new choice. And the choices you make should reflect the life you want to live. Make the choices to give you the life you want to live. As for me, I’m off to eat a bit of chocolate followed by a nice long walk!

Sonya May
President, Choose Joy, Inc

1 comment:

Farnooshyoga said...

Sonya, really enjoyed reading this article. I am crazy about dark chocolate, and I have found tons of proof that it is VERY good for me ;)! Seriously though, the concept of making the right choice is a powerful one, and you articulate it so well here. Also enjoyed visiting your website. Keep up the fabulous work. Bill told me all about this and I am very excited for you guys.