So we’re a week into the challenge and still I have resisted the urge for #focus (codeword for chocolate for those of you who are new ). There are those out there who are possibly (probably) muttering that lack of focus is hardly new where I am concerned but that is beside the point.
I have been very good – in fact I am going to be nauseating here and polish my halo. I have even bought chocolate for The Man of The House and The Offspring and not indulged. Not even white chocolate – which yes does count. I did however polish off a bag of eskimos while watching a movie on Saturday – but this isn’t about health, it’s about proving I can go without #focus so it doesn’t count. On a side note – yummy as they were, they weren’t as nice as I remember. They were sweeter – which is saying something when you consider they really are only sugar and food colouring moulded into shape.
Having tried – and loved – Keely Watson’s idea of blueberries and yoghurt I’ve been on a bit of a fruit kick (bag of eskimos not withstanding)and the kitchen has seen more mango, strawberries and bananas than it has in a long time. Another side note – I recently heard a young mum say she didn’t want her toddler to have a lollipop because she didn’t want his hands to be sticky. If stickiness is a concern – that wee boy is likely to only ever consume a banana – I have yet to find a way to handle mango without the entire kitchen ending up sticky.
But I digress….
On Friday, Virin and I ventured out to Chinatown for a spot of lunch.
Having polished off my Teriyaki Salmon with steamed rice and miso soup – one of my fave dishes of all time – we wandered down to the end of the food court to Valentinos Gelato. There at the end of the freezer sat an enormous tub of chocolate ice-cream. Everything about that tub screamed “eat me”. So, when the lovely lady serving said I could taste some I asked for hokey pokey – which I slurped without taking my eyes off the tub of #focus. I don’t know where I thought it was going but I was keeping a close eye on it.
I didn’t especially like the hokey pokey so I tried the blueberry cheesecake instead. Nope that wasn’t really doing it for me either. Just as I was thinking this was not going to work – it had to be chocolate or nothing – I tried the raspberry sorbet.
I may never eat chocolate ice-cream again.
It was light, it was sweet, it was full of flavour . It was to die for – hey I’m not eating chocolate, I’m allowed to use hyperbole.
But wait there’s more. To be more specific – there was lemon sorbet.
My taste buds didn’t know what had hit them – so while they were still in shock I ordered a scoop of lemon and a scoop of raspberry in a cup. I don’t do cones – never have, never will, don’t like ‘em.
Which brings me to the second point of this post (the first being that I’ve made it through a whole week without chocolate – sheesh, pay attention please). If I had been allowed to eat chocolate (glares at the usual suspects – they know who they are)I would have simply gone for the chocolate ice-cream – but because I couldn’t eat any #focus, I had the most beautiful, delicious sorbets I’ve ever tasted. I may never eat ice-cream again (anybody caught betting will be forced to join the chocolate challenge).
I’m not too sure about the calorie, fat, health stats on fruit sorbet – and I’m a little too scared to check in case I have to give it up as well – but it’s got to be better than that of chocolate ice-cream. Right?
Twenty two hours in – the first hurdle down – and not even a shaving of chocolate has crossed my lips – although I did sniff my son’s soy hot chocolate this morning and looked longingly at the little chocolate fish on the side. But no! I was strong and stuck to my coffee.
Last night TMoTH greeted news of the challenge with an obviously sceptical ‘well it sounds like a good idea’. He didn’t actually say he didn’t think I’d last an hour – but it was written all over his face. Around 9.30 when we usually settle down with a pot of tea and a spot of…#focus….it occurred to him there may be other issues to consider.
“This, um, challenge – just what am I expected to do during it? What kind of support are you looking for precisely?”
Like most women, I’m adept at understanding what the real question is when TMoTH is talking and I knew his real fear was that he would have to join in and go for 22 days without chocolate.
Tempting as it was to suggest a total ban of the stuff in the house, I’m not convinced simply making chocolate unavailable is really the point of the exercise. After all if you’re stranded on a desert island and there is no Mars Bar in sight, can you really say you gave them up? It might be in line with the letter of the challenge, but it’s not exactly in the spirit of the thing is it?
By the way I’m going to blame my sudden passion for being pedantic on withdrawal symptoms.
Besides I have a sneaking suspicion there are some in the gallery who don’t believe I can do this – especially if I am surrounded by rich, chocolaty temptation.
So I let him - and The Offspring – off the proverbial hook and told them they didn’t have to give up anything - although if they wanted to that was an entirely different matter.
Ha! Today I took myself off to the supermarket in search of something for lunch and came away with: Puhoi yoghurt, a small punnet of blueberries, an orange for afternoon tea, and a bottle of Iced Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea. This is quite possibly the healthiest shopping basket I have ever invested in – and although I did gaze longingly at all the delights waiting at the checkout, I did not even consider cheating.
I can’t recall the last time I left a supermarket without some form of chocolate – if only in the form of a chocolate frog!
I also invested in a new drink bottle – a bright pink one to go with Pinky, my new pink laptop. I’ve decided withdrawal symptoms may be setting in, but if it gets me drinking more water I can live with it.
The most surprising thing – for me at any rate – was how much I enjoyed my lunch. I love Puhoi yoghurt so that was no hardship but I had forgotten how much I love blueberries – I’m not sure how one forgets something like that, but I had. As for the Iced Tea – if you haven’t tried POM, I suggest you run, not walk, to your nearest Countdown and get some. NOW.
Day One is all but down for the count – now all I have to do is get through the next 21….
There are, in my humble opinion, few foods as wonderful as chocolate. Ideally good quality dark chocolate slowly consumed with strong espresso. Or good quality milk chocolate with ice cold milk. Or rich dark chocolate with peppermint oozing out out of the center to nibble during a movie while sipping hot chocolate. Or…well you get the picture. I like chocolate.
About as much as I like coffee – and I like coffee. A lot.
Over the past few weeks chocolate has become known among a few twitter friends as #focus. (I will spare you the Social Media lesson – if you don’t know what the hash tag concept refers to drop me a line.) All you really need to know is that #focus is now codeword for chocolate. As in “I have the mid-afternoon munchies – I really need some #focus” or “gosh – I’m not very productive this morning – could use some #focus”. It’s the perfect substitute since anyone else intercepting the communiqué in question has no idea we are not being quite serious and …well…focussed.
I am more than happy to admit I may have a teensy problem with my chocolate consumption. But honestly, in the big scheme of things it’s not really that bad. So, I eat a bit (ok maybe a little more than a bit) of chocolate now and then (most days) but I don’t eat any other sweets, and I don’t do junk food. And as vices go it’s pretty innocuous really, right? Right? Right.
The only thing is that if there is one thing I find even harder to resist than #focus it’s a challenge. And a challenge has indeed been laid at my feet by my assistant, Virin. The question of the day is can I exchange #focus for real focus and go without chocolate until my last day of work – which is for anyone interested, 22 days from now.
In fact the speed with which his declaration of doubt as to my ability to achieve this feat was supported by others was, I have to say, somewhat alarming.
Never let it be said that I am a chicken or that I have turned my back on a good healthy (no pun intended) dare. So I have accepted the challenged – but you’d already figured that out hadn’t you?
Keely Watson has very helpfully suggested I replace my mid-afternoon chocolate with berries, low fat yoghurt and cinnamon. I’m not sure Keely realises just how much #focus I need mid-afternoon…I predict a sudden surge in the price of berry, yoghurt, and cinnamon shares.
I have no doubt there will be no shortage of skulduggery and underhandedness to try and get me to #focus so I shall try and keep you posted here of my progress and any impact this lack of #focus may have long term.
If anyone would like to join in, please let me know. Misery loves company after all. 22 days isn’t that long really.
It’s only 548 hours – of which there are only 547 and ten minutes left.
Not that I’m counting….