Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Chocolate - friend or foe?

There’s nothing like a festivity to give you an excuse to have a good old party. Valentines, Easter, Halloween, Christmas and New Years… But what do all of these holidays have in common? Many of you will be thinking family, friends and a good old get together but the number one common factor that all these festivities share is: Overindulgence… and its right hand man – Chocolate. 
I am far from advocating the presentation of a platter full of carrot sticks, humus and delicious air to disappointed, salivating family members on Christmas Day, or throwing away the remainder of your Easter egg stash (we all have some lingering in the fridge), but when you are determined to eat that last spoonful of ‘Death by Chocolate’ even though you may well be the first victim of ‘exactly what it says on the tin’, there’s a problem. The zealous and crazed overconsumption of chocolate that occurs every quarter would suggest that it was going out of fashion. Not to be the Chocolate Scrooge, I am in agreement that the holidays should spell a break from the healthy and strict diets that we live from day to day but put it into perspective:
Valentines- The Good: Your few of your favourite chocolates that your other half bought you. Bless…
The Bad: The ten boxes of chocolates you have stashed under your bed that you bought yourself from the local garage.
Easter – The Good: A dark chocolate Easter egg that you nibble from the fridge over some days – just the right size for one.
The Bad: Going on an Easter egg hunt- in the supermarket. Pretending that you are buying those seven Easter eggs for your children/nieces/dog is fooling no-one.
Halloween- The Good: Saving the sweets for the trick-or-treaters.
The Bad: Chasing four year olds down the street after you had second thoughts about giving them your giant Toblerone.
Christmas- The Good: Passing on the after-dinner chocolates and choosing a nice glass of white wine spritzer instead.
The Bad: Your lower body becoming completely hidden under a blanket of shiny, metallic sweet wrappers. 
 By New Years the guilt of the year’s overindulgence has set in and as new workout clothes, diet books, exercise videos and detox plans pour off the shelves, we vow to make this year different- a new you. But by Valentine’s, with its velvet lined chocolate boxes and expensive candlelit dinners, the resolution is out the window… and the chocolate cycle continues.   
So here’s a thought. If we can recognise that we pander to the same routine year in, year out, then why not try something different. How many of you have sworn off chocolate until the evil Easter bunny comes a-hopping next year only to crumble at the sight of a caramel square? Don't wait till Monday, or after your holiday or even Christmas, start now! Don't live your life for holidays, live your life day by day, eat a balanced diet and get moving three times a week so you can be who you want to be and have the body that you want, all year round.  

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