Yes, you read the title correctly.
I, Leona Tai, am giving up chocolate.
I feel like I'm saying goodbye to a part of myself. I have butterflies in my stomach and I think my hands are shaking a little.
I am ending a bad relationship.
Chocolate, I have loved you for so many years. I have picked you up off the shelf when others have walked by. I have taken you home every week - and often every day. I have given you my time and attention. I have given up so many other toxins and chemicals posing as food, but I have hung onto you.
But I realise now that you have been tricking me. Luring me in with your colourful packaging and your promises of fulfillment, your velvety soft texture and sweet taste. You go so well with feelings of excitement, happiness, loneliness and fear. I have always relied on you for instant gratification. You have made yourself available day or night. Whenever I needed you, you were there.
How I have loved you.
But not anymore. I can finally see through your clever disguises. You have used your wealth to trick me into thinking absurd things like; 'Have a break, have a kit kat,' and 'A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play.' I have always believed that Picnic bars are 'delightfully ugly' and Cadbury chocolate is really made from 'a glass and a half of fresh full cream milk.' In fact your latest adds have made me feel like moving to your wonderful land of 'Joyville' Your clever ways have distracted me from the fact that many people including children are exploited for your profit. That cocoa farmers are more often than not, paid unfair wages for their cocoa beans. You have helped me forget that your wealth has sometimes been built on the backs of poor families. I don't always buy fair trade or local organic chocolate - often I forget and fall for a disguise.
You should really be ashamed of yourself!
You often call for me in the evenings, but once I've spent some time with you, I cant sleep! I lay there, listening to my husband and children sleeping peacefully, while I start planning for the days or weeks ahead. Then I am battling to stay awake the next day when I am reading to the children. You really should be calling my name during reading time, and not bedtime. I know why you haven't though, you are possessive of me. You like me all to yourself. Even when I try and save some of you for my husband, you convince me not to. - in fact you just last week I had some chocolate peanuts in the cupboard to give away as a gift for our lovely neighbours but you convinced me that that I needed you more than they did! You told me to have just a little, but I bet you weren't suprised when there was nothing left at the end of the day!
I have also decided to avoid all of your relatives and friends, in the off chance that they may lead me back to you. I know you're in close alliance with Sugar, more correctly Fructose - Fructose, you have a lot to answer for!!!! You and your buddies have been making me grow - sideways. You have given me wobbly bits! You tell me my wobbly bits are cuddly. That is very kind of you.
I know that I will miss you terribly for three days. I will feel much better though by the fifth day. I also know that I will want to call your friends in place of you for a few weeks but I will resist, because I don't want any of you back in my life. I may miss you and even have some mood swings and headaches - but it will be worth it. I am so much better without you. I will be a better mother and wife.
My mum once said to me that you are the chink in my armour, to which I replied 'more like the gaping hole!' You have been the massive crater in my breastplate.
It is time for you to go.