I was inspired by this post to give up chocolate for a week, just to see if I could do it.  Even though Erika Nicole Kendall was motivated by clean eating to give up chocolate, and I’m not attempting 100% clean eating at the moment, I thought an exercise in self-control would do me good.

You have to understand; giving up chocolate for a week was a massive undertaking for me.  I have a co-worker a couple of offices down from me that always has the good stuff on his desk.  His candy dish could win a Nobel Prize, if candy dishes were eligible. I pass by his office to get to mine, and when I’m having a particularly stressful day, it’s nothing to walk about 10 steps and be at his desk with a hand in the dish before you can say “woosah”.

This week, though, I wanted to see if I could resist temptation.  The first couple of days were pretty easy.  I was pretty determined to prove myself capable  and that determination alone kept me away from his desk. Even on office bake sale day, when he not only had his prize-worthy candy dish, but goodies he had bought at the bake sale. Did I mention it was his birthday?  Yeah, I was doing really well, staying clear of his office, when I was informed that it was his birthday.  That meant I would have to visit him. (Luckily he came out of his office at just the right time, preventing me from having to go into the lion’s den.) My resolve threatened to weaken as the days progressed.

By Wednesday, I had to remind myself under my breath as I approached his office on the way to mine that I was not getting chocolate.  On Thursday, I was about 3 steps from his door when I did an about-face and returned to my desk. Yesterday, on the strength of the fact that I had gone 4 days without indulging and the close call I’d had the day before, I was vigilant about resisting the lure of the candy dish.

So here I am now at the end of my one-week no-chocolate challenge and I am happy to report that I was successful.  Will I be giving it up for an entire year, as my inspiration did? Probably not.  At least I know, though, that I can go 7 days without indulging and still come out smiling, even with delectable chocolate so close to me on a daily basis.

That’s not the end of the story, though.  I noticed something else during this week of no chocolate.  The self-control spilled out into other areas of my culinary life. Namely, this is the first week since I started with My Fitness Pal that I haven’t gone significantly over my calorie goal on any one day.  Even skipping two days of working out (which usually helps me stay within my net calorie goal), I only went over the goal one day, and that was only by 6 calories. By making the commitment to exercise self-control in one aspect of my diet, I managed to keep my whole diet in check.

I have some theories as to how that happened, but as of now I’m permitting myself to be proud of what I accomplished, both planned and unforeseen. I know what I’m capable of, and the satisfaction of that knowledge is much longer lasting than anything I could get from that candy dish.