My passion for chocolate was fostered by both grandmothers who loved sweet treats and always kept them on hand. I was close to all my grandparents and learned early on to associate food—especially dessert—with love. But it was during adolescence, when that “love” started to show up as extra filling in my already-tight Levis, that I embarked upon what would be a decades-long power struggle with chocolate. I began a quest for control at age 15, mostly by not eating. I simply didn’t eat much at all, until, at 5’6” and 90 pounds, my doctor insisted that I stop losing weight or enter the hospital to be force fed.
I gained 50 pounds fairly quickly. My eating went from being completely under my control to completely out of control.
From then on, my weight fluctuated in a 20-pound range, depending on how motivated I was to tame the chocolate beast within. I tried many things from individual therapy to group therapy to raw food diets to fasting to abstaining from sugar to Overeaters Anonymous, Food Addicts Anonymous, exploring my inner child, talking to empty chairs, emotional freedom technique, and on and on. I even enrolled in an outpatient substance abuse treatment program because I was consumed by chocolate!
It’s all I could think about, and it was near impossible to resist the continuous desire to eat it. No matter how strong my resolve after a day-long emotional eating binge, no matter how much I affirmed and visualized and journaled, no matter how many phone calls I made or promises I pledged, I’d inevitably awaken to chocolate thoughts first thing in the morning. Often, I’d just give in immediately, largely in an effort to get the chocolate off my mind so I could focus on something else. But as they say in OA, one brownie is too much and the whole pan isn’t enough. So I’d be back for more before lunch.
Well, I guess I was bound to come upon something that worked for me eventually, and, in fact, I did. It was two things, actually.
First, I began eating a high-nutrient diet. At first it was touch and go, but the more I stuck with it, the fewer cravings, and the emotional eating began to subside.
Second, I discovered cognitive therapy techniques for weight management. And those two form the basis of the Taste Bud Rehab Program for Permanent Weight Loss.
Today, I still love chocolate. But the difference is this: I consume chocolate; it no longer consumes me.
Caroline is the founder of the Taste Bud Rehab Program for Permanent Weight Loss and has been active in the field of health, nutrition, and psychology for over 25 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, a master’s degree in Marriage Family Therapy, and she is a whole-food plant-based diet coach, certified as a Nutrition Education Trainer through Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutrition Education Institute.