So far, in an unprecedented show of amazing willpower and strength of character, I have not had to buy a second set of Easter Eggs yet for my children.
Yes, I will put my hand up and shamefully admit that by the time Easter hops around, waking us to a chocolate fest on that bright and glorious Sunday morning my children are generally on their second or third egg. They don’t know that, of course, because they’ve never ever realised that mammy has made more than one panicked phonecall to the Easter bunny (aka run out to the nearest supermarket) to replenish the stock which she happens to have just... well.... consumed... in a fit of chocolate needing madness at some stage in the preceding weeks.
I am deeply, completely and utterly ashamed of this fact, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that if chocolate exists in my house every sense in my body will be heightened until I hunt it out and dispose of it. Sadly, disposing of it generally involved eating it - perhaps surreptitiously - once the younger members of my family had retired for the evening.
Yes, I am the walking cliche. I’m the chick lit author who loves chocolate. And it’s an addiction I don’t think I can break.
I have tried. For the entire month of January I ate but one chocolate bar. February was much the same and I dared to hope I had it beaten. But March, and the arrival of chocolate eggs aplenty lining the shelves, stocked at the check outs, staring at me, taunting the life out of me. Well, I am but human.
I have tried substituting that which I love most for other treats. For a while bananas were my saviour. And grapes. And even blueberries.
But try as I may to tell myself that fruit is as sweet and lovely a treat as a Galaxy Caramel I had to face the facts. They are not half as sweet, or melt in the mouth lovely, as a Galaxy Caramel. They don’t come close.
I have rarely bitten into a piece of fruit and made an audible yummy sound or found myself having a mad craving for a punnet of strawberries. Chocolate covered strawberries, maybe. At a push. But chocolate in its purest form is one of my major vices, a distinctly guilty pleasure which makes me exceptionally happy.
Still I am big enough (figuratively and literally) to accept the scientifically proven fact that tasting better sadly does not mean they are better for your health. (That said, I inwardly whooped with joy when a report revealed that eating a certain amount of chocolate could actually reduce your chance of developing diabetes and or suffering a stroke.)
It is however particularly hard for someone like me - who craves chocolate in the similar way that a toddler craves Mickey Mouse and his Clubhouse friends - to try and maintain any semblance of self control at times such as these when the world goes chocolate mad.
Now before we go any further, I do, of course know that Easter is not just about chocolate or even primarily about chocolate. I felt it important to just assume we are all more than aware of that fact before anyone gets annoyed that I’m not spreading the Easter message. This does not denote a lack of respect for our Lord.
Back to the matter in hand - when you are trying to substitute your love affair with chocolate with a new found fling with fruit - there is nothing more disheartening than the rows and rows of shiny papered chocolate eggs on special offer staring at you. A trip to M&S is almost enough to send me over the edge - even their ads on the TV (This is not just any chocolate....) having me craving a fix like someone from a deleted scene from ‘Trainspotting’.
For those of suffering from chocolate addiction - and it can be akin to suffering when you are desperately trying to lose a bit of weight - this time of year is slow torture. You can almost smell the creamy chocolatey goodness in the air and you are almost duty bound to stock up for the sake of your children.
This year however, the eggs (so far... I’m aware we are still on a countdown and am reluctant to there ‘put the bla’ on it) have remained untouched. I have avoided the bold M&S and their reams and reams of chocolate ducks, tractors, sweets and cakes. I have put my proverbial blinkers on when walking through the supermarket steadfastly avoiding, what I have now dubbed ‘the aisle of temptation’.
I hope by the time next week lands I will have maintained my restraint - and hopefully will be boasting that I managed to loose weight even over the hell of Easter and all that entails. You may wish me well - it isn’t going to be easy and it isn’t going to be pretty. See you on the other side.