Two years ago I started a ‘tradition’ for myself to give up something every year starting January 1st. I put TRADITION in quotation marks because it’s a loose tradition. This is only the second year so I’ll call it a tradition 5 to 10 years from now if I am still doing it. I want to continue to give up something that I really like which mostly likely involves something to do with eating. Two years ago I started by giving up chocolate and cookies. Since 2012, I have not had an ounce of chocolate and let me just say it has not been easy staying away: from my family and friends torturing me with chocolate cake and waving Snicker bars in front of my face at every chance they can; every time I walked down the grocery store’s candy isle just to look at it; Halloween terrorizing me with mini-size chocolate bars; or just any day I stepped outside into the world.
Giving up chocolate was like a junkie giving up drugs cold turkey. I ate it almost every day because, let’s just say it, chocolate is probably like being in heaven. I haven’t been to heaven yet but I imagine it having fountains of chocolate with strawberries gardens, the benches made of Kit-Kat bars, and when it rains, little chocolate chips fall. For a few weeks I was having withdrawal symptoms. I was grumpy, moody, and wanted chocolate so badly that I would go to the corner of the office and rock back and forth, sweating profusely (Okay, so this last part didn’t happen but it sure felt that way). I had dreams and still do of eating chocolate and they feel so real. And when I wake up, I can taste it – the smooth, creamy chocolate melting in my mouth… Worse, I wake up feeling guilty because I really think I have been eating chocolate, and I felt bad I had given up so quickly. But I have been clean for 730 days now. And yes, I miss chocolate every day! It was like my best friend. It made me so happy, made me forget all my problems. And dear I say, it is better than sex. Okay, maybe not but it is darn close to it.
Last year I gave up potato chips. It wasn’t as hard as giving up chocolate and it was mostly done to try to lose some weight. This year I am stepping up the challenge by giving up cheese and beer. I have to admit that I love these two things. I love how on a hot, California summer day, a drink of a nice cold IPA beer is the perfect way to relax and cool off against the 98 degree heat. I am a social drinker so it’s not like I’m giving up beer because I have drinking problem. I like to go out and be social and have a beer as I socialize so I know this will be a challenge. I don’t like drinking hard liquor, and this isn’t me giving up one thing and picking up on another. I want this to be a real challenge just like chocolate has been. I want to have dreams of beer rivers and lakes and swimming in a beer ocean.
Cheese on the other hand is not a social activity. I like eating it at home whenever I can have it. I make quesadillas with my mom’s homemade flour tortillas with Tapatio hot sauce, melted brie on ciabatta bread, or gorgonzola cheese fries. I am a cheese fiene. I am already regretting giving up these two lovely things as I sit and write this blog. It’s been less than 24 hours and I am salivating just at the thought of eating cheese and can literally smell beer. And I only have 364 more days until I can taste them again! Will I make it? I sure hope so.