Today at work I had a nice old lady give me a chocolate. It was, I am sure, a very delicious chocolate, bought from the very fancy chocolate store just down the hall from where I work in the shopping mall. She was grateful for how helpful I had been with her problems and she had just purchased a whole bag of these fancy chocolates. So she got one out of her bag and handed it to me.
I very graciously thanked her for it and wrapped it carefully in paper and then put it in my desk. And then I went on with my day. A few hours later, I went to lunch. While I was at lunch I remembered that I had that chocolate sitting in my desk. I had pretty much forgotten about it, and I figured I’d just give it to my coworker when I got back from lunch.
But then a couple of hours later he went home from work. And I remembered that I’d forgotten to give it to him, and it was still sitting in my desk. I kept on doing my job, not really thinking of it, until I was locking up at the end of the night. I was cleaning out my work area and I saw the chocolate, carefully wrapped, sitting in my desk drawer. And I wasn’t really sure what to do.
I wasn’t tempted to eat it. I don’t really eat that sort of thing much anymore. But it was fancy, and expensive, so I felt strange just throwing it away. This is part of my personality that comes from growing up poor. It’s hard for me to throw away things that represent resources. But just looking at it, there in my desk drawer, I couldn’t think of any way it represented value to me.
So I just turned and tossed it in the trash.
It was a little thing. A tiny little chocolate, wrapped in paper, sitting in my desk drawer all day. No threat to anyone. I mean, come on, one tiny fancy chocolate isn’t gonna be the reason anybody’s toes fall off. But there was a time I would have gobbled it right there in front of the old lady who gave it to me. She certainly wouldn’t have thought that strange. Then there was a time that I would at least have had the decency to wait until I was alone to gobble it. But today, it just didn’t appeal to me at all. It was just trash in my desk. That stuff isn’t food to me anymore.
I don’t proselytize about Paleo to people, because people tend to react badly to proselytizing. But when I do discuss it with people, I tend to hear the same things every time. Chief among them, “That sounds impossible, I could never do that.” It does seem impossible from the outside looking in. I remember that feeling. When I thought, “Every food I eat is served on bread, I couldn’t possibly not eat bread.” It really does seem like an insurmountable mountain to climb.
But then you do it. You break the addiction, and the cravings go away, and it’s not just possible, it’s easy. It’s normal. You can’t really imagine doing it any other way.