Friday, November 27, 2009

Addiction

Chocolate keyboardMy name is Stephen Blake and I am an addict.

I first became addicted when I was 6 or 7. It was my mother who got me onto the stuff. In her defence she probably didn’t realize the potency of the substance or my susceptibility to it. At the time “addiction” wasn’t a word that was particularly bandied around regularly at the nation’s breakfast tables so people thought little of my daily cravings.

Now though addiction is an all too common concept. In fact it is almost the norm. We are all addicted to something or so they say.

For me, ladies and gentleman, the vice of choice is chocolate.

Up until now I’ve always made light of it. It is even been a source of humour. When Karen and I go out for a meal (on the rare occasions that we have both the money and the energy) and order an after meal coffee it is always amusing to see the waiters mistakenly assuming that it is Karen who has ordered the hot chocolate and me the coffee. Why guys are deemed less likely to have a sweet-tooth is puzzling.

Anyway, I am sure I have mentioned in the past that I need to have “a chocolate bar every day”.

This is a lie. A falsehood that I have deliberately been bamboozling myself with.

If I was to assess the situation empirically I would have to admit that I must get through at least 4 chocolate bars a day. Sometimes even more.

Is this excessive?

I mean compared to say 25 or 50, 4 hardly seems like a health crisis. And yet a tiny sense of worry is beginning to flower on the herbaceous borders of my mind. Too much sugar. Too much sugar. Diabetes. Diabetes. It is like a mantra of impending doom.

Biologically the human body isn’t really engineered to process sugar. I know this. And yet my craving is such that I just don’t care.

My body shape also works against me. I am a “slim Jim”. Always have been. I can eat as much as I like and be as unhealthy as I like and I never put on any weight. I have the metabolism of an Olympic mouse. Hence there are no outward signs of the damage I might be doing to myself. My veins could be clogging themselves to death and I wouldn’t know a damned thing about it.

It’s a scary thought. But one that can easily be cancelled out by a Cadbury’s Boost or a Caramel Chunky Kit-Kat.

In my favour though, I went and had a blood test / weight ratio test thingie at my local doctors a few weeks ago. I was finally ready to bite the chocolate-free bullet if my health required it. But – gasp! – my blood pressure and weight relationship were on such good terms that the phrase “extended honeymoon” barely covered the depth of their mutual respect and contentment.

I am exceedingly fit. It seems I am not an obvious candidate for a heart attack.

Hence I rewarded myself with a Mars bar.

So where am I now on all of this? Well, my theory is that my natural paranoia and neuroses is counteracting any harmful effects that my chocolate excesses might be inflicting upon my body. My worry is eliminating the build up of sugar based toxins.

So provided I continue to feel guilty about it I can continue to munch my way through the sweet counter of my local newsagents on a daily basis.

Which changes the nature of my habit completely.

It is no longer an addiction. It is a form of Catholicism.

I am a holy man and my rod and my staff are Curly-Wurlys.

Please bring me some chocolate when you next come to confession.


33 comments:

Mark said...

Excellent - I like kids sweets too, especially jelly ones. There are some excellent miniature jelly babies you get in Haribo packs and in very obscure sweet shops you can buy them by the pound.

When Woolworths went bust I was devastated - no more pick and mix!

Joe Bloggs said...

Curly-Wurlys - arrggghhhh! I need one now, haven't had one for more than 5 years when last I set foot on British turf. Just goes to show how long these things stay with us. Why, Steve? Why did you have to mention Curly-Wurlys?

Oh well, off for a bite of cold turkey... shiver-shake-tremble-weep.

Steve said...

Mark: ah - pick 'n' mix. I think Sainsbury's still do a version of this but it's not the same. Haven't had a jelly baby for a long time - prefer Bassett's to Haribo... Haribo are a little too "junk" like.

Joe Bloggs: to be honest they don't make them like they used to. I'm sure they were much bigger when I was a kid. Of course, that might just be the change in perspective.

Joe Bloggs said...

Steve! A confession: Your Addiction post inspired my latest admission - will you be able to furgive me? Or should I just get stuffed?

ArtSparker said...

And that is a hymn to the bean...

Nota Bene said...

If the chocolate thing starts to go a bit pear-shaped, try taking up smoking, I'm sure that's fine for your sugar levels....

Tenon_Saw said...

I have never had a curly-wurly but believe it to be caramel coated in chocolate. [Say 'curly-wurly' and I think of Terry Scott]. Mars bars also contain caramel - so do you think you can delete these from your chocolate bar count? Hmm. maybe not.
Should it be the sugar or the fat which worries you?
Whilst I can eat chocolate with the next person, there are brands I find too bland. My more adukt taste hankers for a 70% dark chocolate, though I'm partial to marzipan covered in chocolate.

Steve said...

Nota Bene: cheers... I could take up gambling and booze too and go for the hat-trick!

ArtSparker: Amen to that!

Tenon_Saw: I go for the 70% stuff when I want to feel holier than thou... most of the time though I'm a Cadbury's man through and through!

Joe Bloggs: always good to be an inspiration to someone! I shall pop over and take a look at our chocolate child!

French Fancy said...

Oh you lucky lucky man. I've always said if I had to choose between winning the lottery or having a naturally slim body and the ability to eat masses and never put on weight, I would choose the latter.

I love kid's sweets, jelly beans, haribo stuff, curly wurlies - actually I have the sweetest sweet tooth. But I do put on weight very easily and consequently feel deprived all the time.

You eat and enjoy it.

(I hate you)

Steve said...

FF: I shall eat some in your honour if that makes you feel any better. (Probably not but I shall eat anyway)!

missbehaving said...

You'd get on great with my daughter who claims she cannot get through the day without a few bars.
I can take or leave it, prefering crisps and twiglets but the mention of a curly-wurly did stir a latent interest.
T.V is my 'vice of choice'.

Gypsy said...

Ah Steve you are a funny bugger and a lucky one too. My metabolism moves at the pace of a snail on anti depressants and I have the waist line to prove it.


I absolutely LOVE chocolate too ane eat it each and every day. My blood pressure and cholesterol are not so much on a honeymoon as heading like a speeding bullet to Reno for a quickie divorce.


Sigh....

Steve said...

MissBehaving: as vices go TV is pretty good and non fattening. Unless you spend hours in front of it eating crisps and twiglets (but having read your blog I know you hardly get any time to do that)!

Gypsy: if we could splice our metabolisms someway we could maybe strke a happy medium whereby we could both eat chocolate all day without being too thin or doing the Reno thing... being healthy should be enjoyable after all!

Gina said...

As you probably know I am one of those weird people who has no interest in chocolate or sweet things in general. I'll eat them if people give them to me and look like they would be hurt if I did not but generally I save them for the children. I don't dislike them as such.

Curly wurlys are very messy - or they are when my boys eat them. The chocolate tends to flake off when they bite them.

I wouldn't worry if I were you. If you're slim and can eat a 100 curly wurlys a day then I can't see the problem. Well, other than I guess your teeth might fall out which wouldn't be so sexy!!

Perhaps get your cholestrol checked as chocolate is pretty bad for that I think. Then if that is OK you can eat without feeling guilty at all. I think it is a very sad thing if we get bouts of guilt about our pleasures - I do too about my red wine drinking habit but I try not to let the guilt get the better of me!!

Steve said...

Gina: you don't like chocolate and I don't go a bundle on red wine - sounds like a perfect friendship to me! No reason for conflict at all! You're probably right about the cholesterol thing - I ought to get it checked just in case (now I'm no longer a spring chicken). Sometimes a little guilt adds to the pleasure... that sense of being naughty... but too much of it kills all enjoyment.

Selina Kingston said...

That's ridiculous. I think I may have to hate you! I can't even look at chocolate for fear of my bum swelling up so thanks for this post - thanks a lot !

Steve said...

Selina: it seems I am fast becoming a chocolate exile! A Mars Bar pariah...!

Oh well. All the more chocolate for me!

missbehaving said...

I have to pop back in and be honest Steve, I DO have days when I am swamped, lots of days in fact, but I have other days when I sit on my ( ever expanding) arse and watch waaay too much TV.
Between last Friday lunchtime and Monday lunchtime, I managed the kids, the chickens/cats/rats/elephants, my job, a get together with old friends and STILL managed to squeeze in an ENTIRE SEASON of Gray's Anatomy,and if that's not bad enough I spent most of Tuesday close to tears because it was a very sad finale, please don't be fooled, I am a hopeless addict, just TV isn't as much fun to write about as kids'antics. BTW we have that The Survivors programme now that you blogged about before....

Steve said...

MissBehaving: I reckon you deserve every minute single you grab in front of the TV... and TV or chocolate, there are far worse vices to have. I think we're pretty close to sainthood with ours. ;-)

Janete Cabral said...

eheh...Chocolate is one my vices too. I will remember to offer you some next time!

I will just let the doc in say one word: cholesterol.. even slim jim''s can get it... ok, enough of the doctor !

great comfort food, simply irresistible. I can never understand why anyone would not like it.

Steve said...

Janete: great minds... it is truly the food of the gods. But I will put some serious thought into getting my cholesterol levels checked out... thanks, doc! ;-)

Old Cheeser said...

Oh how I hate people like you Stevenage!!

Okay, I'll be more precise. I don't hate YOU but I hate people who are able to completely stuff their faces with nosh and never pile on the pounds -unlike moi! You're sooo lucky. It's nice to know that you can eat choc-loads of chocy and still have not much to show for it, but as others have suggested here perhaps check your cholestrol levels - though it's good to know that your blood pressure seems okay!

Oh and like you j'adore chocolate - it's one of my guilty pleasures too - though I don't consume as much as you! My personal choccy faves include Kit Kat Chunky, Wispa and Caramac.

And just one more thing - "I am a holy man and my rod and my staff are Curly-Wurlys"...erm - interesting!! Now that I would like to see - okay, will stop RIGHT there...

Owen said...

And what about Cadbury's Cream Eggs ??? I saw no mention of them... personally, I could eat truckloads of them... I think we must have alot in common... I too have this vice, but no fat to show for it. My dad is still going strong at 80 and consumes large amounts of sugar, but he seems to burn it off with intellectual activity, which I imagine is what you do also.

And Reeses Cups ? What about Reeses Cups ? And chocolate mousse ? La grenouille makes a wicked chocolate mousse, if you'd like to come over to try it sometime...
:-D

Steve said...

OC: I know, I know, it's so galling, ins't it? But seriously, I'd rather be able to sing than be able to eat loads of chocolate without ill effect... but I guess we can't choose our talents can we? I like Kit-Kat Chunky too though usually prefer to go for pure unadulterated chocolate - Dairy Milk, Galaxy or Yorkie all hit the spot for me. As for my rod and my staff... kindly keep your smut out of the church of chocolate, please! This is a respectable place!

Owen: now there's an invitation I'd be happy to accept. Cadbury's Creme Eggs are certainly up with there with the best though I find I can't eat too many without feeling nauseous...! Glad you're in the chocolate church club always great to have a like-minded congregation! And, by the way, when you say "Reeses Cups"... are you talking about Reese Witherspoon, by any chance? Now there's be an interesting and non-fattening desert...? Don't suppose you'll be serving those as well, will you?

A Write Blog said...

If I ate 4 choccie bars a day I'd feel clooged up.......and probably weigh 20 stones.

I'm lucky in that I don't have a sweet tooth............just a whole row of savoury ones.

For most things savoury I am a pig. Show me a curry and I'll whip out my trough.

I joined the TA when I was in my twenties and my nickname was the Gannet.

As a teenager I'd have my cornflakes not in a dessert bowl............but in the biggest mixing bowl I could find.

So you have your addiction to chocolate.

I have mine for all things savoury.

It is a cross I have to bear........now if the cross were mde of cheese I'd eat it.

Löst Jimmy said...

Choc it up Steve.

I like Mars Bars but have something of an obsession about those Pick n Mix fizzy cola bottles - that sweet/sour sensation....oh

Suburbia said...

Hee hee, that's SO funny! I too am addicted.

(ALso wanted to say thanks for all your support a mine recently, I really appreciate it.)

Steve said...

AWB: I think we'd get along fine - a case of Jack Spratt and co. We'd never argue and there'd never be any food wastage!

Löst Jimmy: I know what you mean... it tastes so wrong and yet so right...!

Suburbia: a pleasure - us choc-heads have got to rally together!

The Sagittarian said...

I just adore the squishy Milk Bottles, not the hard ones which almost remove your teeth, gotta be the squishy ones. And chocolate.

Steve said...

Amanda: plainly you are woman with discerning tastes... though this is the first time I've ever heard of squishy being preferable to hard...! ;-)

Annie said...

Chocolate is an aphrodisiac isn't it? Ooh you sexy thing LOL

(Maltesers and Revels for me any day - yummmmmeeeeeeeeee!!!!!)

Clippy Mat said...

didn't I leave a comment on this post? hmmph I meant to! to insult you for being able to eat as much chocolate as you like. which is really unfair.
;-)

Steve said...

Annie: it depends entirely where you spread it (and it needs to be pure chocolate - melted Snickers bars are not sexy at all)! I used to love Revels until they started sneaking raisins into their mix... yuck!

Clippy Matt: them's the breaks I'm afraid. Talking of breaks... it's time for my morning Kit-Kat. Toodle-pip! ;-)