Craving Chocolate isn’t a Personality Flaw

As  my “New Year, New You” class began one morning, I placed a single Dove Dark Chocolate piece in front of each attendee. I never said anything, just watched.

Dove ChocolateWell, it didn’t take long. Some opened it and ate immediately. Another placed it in her pocketbook. One man gave it to his wife. Most kept it in front of them, awaiting instruction.

Then I asked the question, “Why did you act as you did?”  Almost all of them shrugged subconsciously. Then someone broke the ice. “Well, I thought you were going to take it away from me, so I ate it before you could!” Laughter ensued, opening up the discussion. “Well, I know my wife loves these, so I gave it to her.” I was waiting for you to tell us what to do.” “I’m saving it for after lunch.” “I thought it was a test and I didn’t want to give in.”

“Well,”  I explained, “I suppose in a way it was a test but probably not in the way you expected. It wasn’t a test of willpower, it was a test of reaction. How we act around food tells us a great deal about ourselves. I was curious to observe how you would react to a seemingly ‘bad’ food. Decision-making and how peer pressure influences you. Until someone knows why they eat the way they do, they’ll never change our habits and reactions around food.”

So what would you do?

If you’d eat the candy right away,  you’re likely an independent thinker, sometimes rebellious, a ‘show me why that’s important’ type of personality.  You’re saying, “If it makes sense I’ll follow your direction, but if it doesn’t, forget it, I’m doing my own thing!”  These are the type of patients who need common sense instruction. Like what does this mean to me in dog years? This personality is trained like a great race horse. As they learn, let them take control of the reins.  They accept responsibility for their actions but need to understand diet truths.

  Timothy 1:7 states, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Those who waited for instruction, indicated they were strict ‘rules and regulations’ types. They follow instructions but won’t show initiative unless they know their actions are approved. They don’t want to look foolish or make mistakes. They are people pleasers but expect perfection from themselves. These tend to lean on a counselor as a crutch. If they begin to get too close to their  goal, they’ll gain weight, afraid to break the bond and be on their own.  They need confidence and belief in themselves.      

2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show yourselves approved by God . . .”

The husband who gave away his candy to his wife, thought his actions were kind. In actuality, he became a saboteur.  His wife, a people pleaser, couldn’t hurt his feelings, so she ate it, sabotaging her efforts. This couple, I would urge to be each other’s support system for good not evil. Giving in or enabling another’s bad habits is never a good thing. Strive to build each other by being a support partner.

Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Be aware of how you act around food, pressing on toward the goal of becoming your own New Creation, pleasing God in all things.

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4 thoughts on “Craving Chocolate isn’t a Personality Flaw

  1. I think my husband and I mess each other up all the time…and we thought we were being nice to each other!!! Just this week we started working together to exercise and start eating healthier. Just how to you encourage your spouse without being a nag?

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    • Great question and comment storyad. I’ve had other patients who have experienced this very challenge.

      For one, praise him when he does little things to support you: “Honey I am so grateful and love you for supporting me like this, thank you!” or if he doesn’t and tries to saborage you, express your feelings in this way, “Honey, I’m feeling so good about my self control right now and you want me to continue feeling good about myself don’t you? (what is he going to say, ‘no’?) Can we take a walk together instead of eating cake?” (You can always freeze the cake and take bits of it over the next month and not hurt his feelings.)

      Love your questions and insightfulness my friend. Perhaps I’ll write an entire blog about this soon. Blessings,

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  2. Great thoughts as it surely is important how we act around food. You have given very good perspectives on the topic. I learned a lot from this post as to how to judge people by the food choices they make, and how they react to the situation according to their unique personalities. Great post.

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    • Thanks Sam. It’s so true that most people know the basics of how to get healthy but they fail to do so. Therefore they self-destruct due to either psychological or physiological reasons. As you know because I’m sure you are very well trained in this as well, the first step in overcoming personal challenges is awareness. Sometimes I feel like ‘John the Baptist of health care’ crying out in the wilderness . . . 🙂

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