I had been being so very good. I haven't baked anything in quite some time. Not anything! Do you know how rare that is? It's being struck by lightening rare. It's winning the big lottery rare. It's white tiger rare. Baking is almost like breathing to me. And I have been intentionally not doing it.
The problem is, unless we have guests or I'm taking baked goods to a party, if it's in the house, we eat it. There are just the two of us. We do not need an entire cake. We may WANT it, but we do not need it. Nor do we need a whole pie. Or a batch of cookies. Or a loaf of bread. Or a pan of cinnamon rolls. Or....well you get the idea. We just don't need it. My neighbors enjoy my baking, but they are starting to say, "Please no more!" too. I think we are all suffering the results of a very generous holiday season.
So I've been behaving myself. There has been, since the holidays, no goodies of any sort in this house. None. And surprisingly, other than experiencing "creation withdrawal", ( I really miss the actual process of making something), I have both been doing pretty darned well. If either of us gets the urge for something sweet or something "snacky", there is fruit, both fresh and dried. There are nuts. There is popcorn. And if someone gets really desperate, there are tictacs and gum in one of the kitchen drawers.
We were both hanging in there just fine. It's been over a month since Christmas now and I thought we were over that craving period of time. Wasn't even on my radar. Things were good. Until late last week.
I don't have any idea what triggered it by Friday night last week I was craving chocolate so strongly that I could smell it in the house. Which is crazy because there isn't any in the house. I know because I checked.
Still, I decided that I was going to be strong. I was going to ignore those cravings and get over this little bump in the road.
The cravings got stronger. But I made it through the weekend somehow. The chocolate cravings grew and by Monday night I was getting a little snarky. Tuesday after Joy and I hiked and had our veggie pizza lunch I almost succumbed. The pizza place also had brownies...BUT I was brave. I resisted and for about an hour I felt so noble, so virtuous, so invincible! Slap a cape on me, I felt like a superhero!
And then the feeling passed and the craving was back and then I was wondering, what is so damned noble about resisting a craving? Especially since what was happening instead, especially over the weekend, is that nothing sounded good to me...except the idea of chocolate. I fixed real normal actual food for Tim of course, but I couldn't seem to find anything that I wanted to eat. Nothing sounded right. Nothing smelled good. Nothing tasted good. I just wanted Chocolate dammit.
What exactly is a craving? Why do they occur? Is it physical or psychological? It' turns out it's partly caused by our bodies and partly by our brains. Sometimes there actually is something that the body actually needs that we crave. Other times it's must a brain based desire. Here is a quote, "Food cravings are caused by the regions of the brain that are responsible for memory, pleasure, and reward. An imbalance of hormones, such as leptin and serotonin, can also cause food cravings. ... This is the idea that the body craves certain foods because it lacks certain nutrients."
Well now, that is interesting. And brings up a legitimate question. How can I tell if something is a physical craving or a psychological one? Is this a craving based on need? Or want?
Tuesday night, after I cooked, served and cleaned up Tim's dinner, while listening to the siren call of chocolate in my head, I knew that I wouldn't be able to just sit and enjoy a TV show with Tim. Nope I needed to distract myself. I asked Tim to come with me to watch the sunset. Because he is a very nice man, he sighed, turned off the TV, put on his shoes and off we went.
We stood on the beach in silence watching another stunning sunset show and for a few moments, that was all I was doing. No other thoughts in my head. Just that gorgeous sunset, the sound of the water, Tim standing behind me. Ahhhh Peace.
We turned to leave and Tim said, "So what sort of chocolate do you need?" He knows me far too well.
"Don't toy with me, I am a desperate woman!" I warned.
He laughed and off we went to the store. We both bought some chocolate. We ate some of it. The craving was satisfied. The rest of the chocolate went back into the fridge for another chocolate emergency. Come on, we both know that there will be one.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.