My First Love is Chocolate
Chocolate has been my first love, as long as I can remember. I knew I was a born chocoholic because it was in the depths of my DNA to love it with all my heart, all the way back to my first mother, Eve. But, it was not until I woke up from my gastric bypass surgery in November of 1999, that I began to realize how deeply the after effects of eating refined chocolate would aversely affect my body. Chocolate, my first love, now made me absolutely sick and tired. But, I ate it anyway. I had to. I finally realized that I was in fact, addicted to it.
In order to gain the remaining five pounds necessary to qualify for a gastric bypass surgery, my husband brought me four one pound Hershey’s chocolate almond bars, which I ate without guilt, knowing that this would be my last binge, in bed the preceding nights before my surgery.
The doctors had told me that I would no longer be eating chocolate, sugar, rice, pasta, breads, and other favorites of mine, after my surgery. Yes, I was well informed, intellectually, that after surgery, these things would prove more than harmful to a new delicate system. I was eager to receive the surgery; tired of lugging 120 extra pounds up stairs, or out in public.
I was depressed, lifeless, passionless, lethargic and miserable. But, my love of refined processed chocolate (usually in the form of brownies!) had made my weight increase to a nice round 237 pounds. Each time I looked into the mirror, I barely could recognize myself. I missed the old me that seemed hidden somewhere deep within. Who was I? More importantly, WHERE was I? All I knew was that I was deeply depressed.
I was ready to agree with anything just to receive the surgery. But, how would I come up with $15,000.00 for it? One day, my husband, called me to his side. He had misplaced some money, years before, hiding it some “special place” before taking it to the bank. It was exactly the amount of the surgery. He had told me about the money, but had written it off as “Lost”.
Now, my husband, OK, (that’s his name) stood beaming before me! “Open this!” He said, motioning me to open a large box on our bed. I obeyed, not knowing why. Inside the box, I found many neck ties of all designs and colors. I was puzzled. “Look underneath them”…he said smiling. I again, obeyed. Under the ties, was a large manilla envelope bulging at the seams. “Open it…” I followed his instructions. Inside the envelope were 150 crisp new one hundred dollar bills. “You can have your surgery! Count it! It’s all there!” he said with a grin on his face. “It’s all yours!”
I was elated. But, in my jubilant ignorance, I didn’t take the time to study out my surgery, or it’s after-effects. I simply made the appointment and the date was scheduled for November 5, 1999. I remember that “First Thanksgiving” after my surgery. There I sat, watching my “favorite things” passing me by. I held a one ounce cup of pumpkin pie in my hand. Nothing, no nothing could stop me from celebrating Thanksgiving!
I ate my thimble full of mashed potatoes and felt stuffed. That was when I realized, that I had had a stomach surgery, not a frontal lobotomy! I still craved everything before me, but had no room to put it. That was the thanksgiving I cried myself to sleep in sheer depression. I had ruined my love of food!
Four years have passed since my surgery. Because I did not learn to overcome my cravings for sweets, namely chocolate, I endured a lot of gastrointestinal pain. I still ordered desserts when I went out to eat, always rich and gooey chocolate things. But, now, I generously ordered five or six spoons to go along with my dish. I learned to take a bite or two and share the rest with my friends or family. Everyone loved eating out with me, because they knew that I would order dessert and pay for it, while everyone with me would sample it…
I felt like Snow White eating a poisonous apple; as every time I took “just one little bite”, I would drop off into a drugged sleep. Often, my head would be on my neighbor’s shoulder before I even left the table at the resteraunt!
At family gatherings, after eating pasta or rice, I was in a silent stupor. I never felt good. And I came to understand the term “Dumping Syndrome”, which hits you unexpectedly any time I ate sugar in any form. Needless to say, I felt like I was dieing a slow death. The term referring to one of my favorite desserts, “Death By Chocolate” held new meaning for me! I continually asking God to help me to overcome my addiction for chocolate; actually fearing that it would be the death of me!
Being an aromatherapist and massage therapist, I knew that He alone could give me a delightful sweet-smelling substitute to assist me in my desire to give up chocolate once and for all, (and all of it’s sugary traveling companions). I began to study about the use of essential oils in weight loss and the power they have to send messages to the brain that you are full…all very interesting to me. I developed a new essential oil blend, called “Brea-THIN”. This blend contained oils that assisted with clearing the amagdyla with the emotional reasons I ate sweets.
Then one night, God had mercy on my prayers to be redeemed from my slow self-induced destructive patterns of neglecting the doctor’s orders. I met XOCAI one night, in the hands of Dr. Terri Armstrong and Annette Mann. They found me, coming out of a chocolate hangover, at the Health Food Store, looking for almonds. I had fallen off the band wagon just that afternoon, and had overdosed on just three little See’s Chocolates with my dear friend, Judy. Judy drove, as I was out like a light, curled up in my usual druggy stupor. How I wished someone would tell me exactly why that happened so often!
Now, I jumped up and down, like a little girl, as Terri poured me a spoonful of XOCAI right in the middle of that health food store! I loved it! And I especially loved that it was going to make me feel better. When I got home, I felt a bit skeptical about the MLM part of it, so I prayed to know if this was just another gimmick.
An interesting thing happened. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself as a baby with some candy in my dimpled little fingers. I realized that, as a baby, my addiction to sugar had begun. Then I saw the Savior taking the candy from my hand and handing me a little bit of this new treat. “I would not leave you comfortless! I have given you a substitution…”
Suddenly, I remember all those lessons He had tried to teach me about substituting some good thing for something harmful whenever you are coming out of addictions. I knew that XOCAI was His way of expressing His love for me. I went on XOCAI for two days without any other food, to test the results on my very delicate system. The results were astonishing. I felt nothing but love, kindness and bliss for those two days. I was cheerful, energetic, optimistic and happily content. Best of all, it woke me up instead of putting me to sleep. For the first time, I had more energy in four years of dragging my new 138 pound body up and down the stairs. I had no stomach upset. The “dumping syndrome” never hit. The chronic colon pain diminished abruptly.
When I ran out of my bottles, I thought, “Well, maybe XOCAI was here for me just to wean me off refined processed chocolate. Maybe, I’ll go without it.” During that time, I read everything I could about dark, unsweetened, raw, unadulterated, chocolate! I marveled! I was amazed! I thought of God’s creation with newfound respect. I loved Him all the more for bringing the truth to me!
I realized, that in the beginning, God had created cacao to be a perfect food, one of his finest creations! But, His original intention had been tampered with…by unknowing mortals who did not realize the worth of the plant in it’s original, unadulterated form!
What happened? For the following two weeks, I noticed that my usual sugar cravings were starting to come back. I reached for a snicker bar. But stopped short. I knew it would make me sick. Still, I began eating more…and I began to gain weight because I was turning to food to solace my feeling of low grade melancholy (which was all too familiar.) Then just in the midst of this melancholy, my shipment arrived! I had decided to make a treat using the XOCAI that I could carry with me, as I am supposed to eat very small meals, six to seven times per day…
Now, I asked the Lord for a miracle of my own. I asked Him for a recipe using the XOCAI that I could eat all throughout the day. I wrote down the ingredients that I knew my body could handle. It must not have grains; too hard for my body to digest. It could not be a granola bar. But, it needed protein! I remembered what God told Adam and Eve in the garden…”The fruit of this tree shall be for thy meat…” I must use nuts and seeds! I thought to myself, “Almonds are the most alkaline and two tablespoons of raw sunflower seeds is like eating two eggs without the cholestoral.” I read about gogi berries and ordered those for my creation.
The Chinese say that “He who eats gogi in the morning is happy all day!” How would I hold them together? Almond butter….and to keep the glycemic levels down, a bit of dark unfiltered agave nectar. No salt. No sugar. Not even any honey. Some raisins. I added raw coconut for some essential fatty acids. A whole meal in a little ball! And don’t forget, the main ingredient, two cups of XOCAI!
I spent one Sunday afternoon, mixing my ingredients together like an angel was whispering them into my ear! The results? Something that gives me energy, sustains a feeling of bliss, is easy to digest, and ready to use when you are away from the fridge. Bliss Balls, as I call them! It’s my form of “Chocolate Therapy”!
Thank heaven’s there is a God above who hears and answers prayers. He knows our hearts and our addictions. He knows how far back they go! He offers substitutions that will make us happy! After all, He told Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, “Man is that He might have JOY” At last, I truly believe, because of the amazing effects that I have seen in so short a time, that the same goes for women. Now, I can have my chocolate…and eat it too!
Bring me all the gastric bypass “victims” as I once called myself, and I will introduce them to a new world of chocolate. I truly want those kindred spirits out there to discover the answer God has given me! XOCAI is more than an answer to my prayers, it’s a new lease on Life! The following is a true story of how I came to understand the beauty…of Chocolate and of how I am becoming an expert on the subject. Thus, “CHOCOLATE THERAPY”.