(image from: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)
I don't mind being 42. In fact, in many ways it's really great. I feel emotionally and mentally stronger. I know what I want, what I need, and what I dislike. My boundaries are clearer and I'm not afraid to say no. In so many ways, being 40-something is magic.
Unfortunately, my body isn't keeping up with my spiritual growth.
On Monday, I visited my Chinese Medical doctor for another acupuncture treatment and we talked about the chronic pain and stomach trouble that has slowly gotten worse over the years. I've been to doctors and specialists and no one can find anything wrong, therefore the consensus is that my symptoms are stress induced. Really? Gee, I'm shocked.
Anyway, after being told to avoid stress and try to relax more (yeah, I'll get right on that), I started getting acupuncture treatments by a really good Chinese Medical doctor. Slowly some of my symptoms have improved, but not enough to make either of us happy. Time for drastic measures.
"You have to stop eating chocolate," he said.
I just stared at him.
"And you should avoid red wine, cheese and coffee."
I think I fainted.
He leaned across the table and folded his hands. "If you don't give up these things, I don't think I can help you."
"I don't drink coffee. Only decaf." My voice sounded breathless.
"It's not the caffeine. It's the tannins. Too drying. They create too much heat in your system which is causing the pain and acid reflux."
Then he reemphasized the point, as if telling me I had lost all my money and was bankrupt. "If you don't stop eating chocolate and drinking coffee, I can't help you."
I nodded and said, "Of course." But as I walked home from his office I knew I was in big trouble.
Chocolate is more than a treat to me: chocolate is way of life. I am a connoisseur of that delectable nectar. I can taste the difference between Ecuadorian chocolate and Peruvian chocolate. A Hershey bar is NOT chocolate, it contains chocolate. Same goes for Nestle. I love the smell, smoothness, bitterness, and flavor of good, strong, dark chocolate with just a touch of cream to even out the waxiness. It makes me shiver with delight and helps me smile when I doubt I will ever smile again.
And now, to save my health, I have to give it up.
To say I'm suffering from withdrawals is an understatement. But I have to ask myself, how badly do I want to be healthy? Is chocolate worth being sick all the time.
I mean, of course not.
Last night, I ate the last bit of chocolate in my stockpile of chocolate I keep in my bedroom for emergencies. There is no more chocolate in the house. None. At all. Not even chocolate chips. I am 100% chocolate free. Lord help me.
Once the withdrawals end, I'll eliminate coffee. One thing at a time please, or I might go into shock!