Today's Weight 177 lbs
What would you do if you won a decade’s supply of chocolate?
I pose this question because towards the end of last summer my friend won first prize in a promotional competition run by one of the local stores, which specialises in making and selling its own luxury handmade chocolates. Boy, she was SO thrilled!
The prize is a weekly delivery of a luxury hamper, containing two 1kg boxes of handmade continental chocolates, a 1kg tin of bitter chocolate shavings for adding to hot milk, a 1kg slab of hand poured milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts, and a 1kg carton of chocolate dipped fruit (usually strawberries, cherries and orange slices).
This hamper has arrived like clockwork for the last 20 or so Wednesdays, and will continue to arrive every week until the year 2015.
Which brings me back to my question, what would you do with that much chocolate?
For my friend, the prize has become something of a poisoned chalice. She’s single and childless, so there’s no one at home to help her to eat it. She can’t feed it to the dog because it upsets his stomach. And since she works from home, she doesn’t even have an office-full of greedy colleagues who can rally round and help her get rid of it.
She’s given quite a lot of it away as gifts to family and friends (it came in very handy at Christmas!), but recently a lot of the beneficiaries have embarked on healthier lifestyles and are becoming reluctant to take it off her hands.
She tried offering it to the local care homes and to the children’s ward at the hospital, but received polite refusals from all parties.
The competition rules prohibit her from selling it because any income would be pure unadulterated profit.
So in a mere half year she’s built up her very own EU chocolate mountain. Only another 10 years of weekly deliveries to go…
So, as a last resort, because she feared being buried under the weight of the accumulating boxes, she’s started to eat it.
…And eat it….and eat it…..and eat it…..
Last night she came round for dinner, and I scrupulously avoided making anything chocolatey for dessert, figuring that she’d be sickened to the stomach by the mere thought of eating another bite of the damn stuff.
What a miscalculation! She said that since she started eating so much chocolate, averaging between a quarter and half a kilo a day (or 0.5lbs to 1.0lbs a day for you non-metric folks), her life has been made a misery by the unrelenting intensity of her chocolate cravings.
If she attempts to cut down on the amount of chocolate she’s eating she gets blinding migraines and feels physically sick. She’s started to sleep badly, and has to get up in the night for a chocolate fix to see her through until the morning. She’s started adding the chocolate shavings to her breakfast cereal, her coffee, her peanut butter sandwiches…she’s totally addicted to the evil brown stuff!
Before she won this prize, she was a totally normal mid-thirties gal. She exercised regularly, though not as much as she thought she ought to, and she ate reasonably healthily, though again not as well as she thought she should. She had the odd chocolate craving – usually when it was her time of the month – but most of the time she could either take chocolate or leave it.
Since she won the prize she’s gained a stone (14lbs). She’s still not fat, by any means, but given that she didn’t start tucking into the goodies until November, it’s a bit of a worrying development. What’s worrying her more, though, is that she’s noticed that her overall tastes are changing, and that she’s developing an increasingly sweet tooth. She never used to take sugar in tea or coffee – now she does. Most of her eating vices were previously on the savoury side – cheese, peanuts, cheese, crisps, cheese, pretzels, cheese, cheese straws etc. – now she’s more likely to eat (chocolate) biscuits, (chocolate) cake, (chocolate) ice-cream.
It’s taking over her entire life!
At this rate it will be truly a lifetime supply, and she’ll have died of chocolate poisoning long before the year 2015. In her case the old adage is definitely true - be careful what you wish for, because your dream-come-true prize might just turn out to be a bit of a nightmare…