Oh hey there! Welcome to Mel Runs. In case you’re new, I would like to welcome you to this wonderful blog where I write about my daily health and fitness antics, life occurrences, and also create crazy challenges that my readers partake in from time to time. The latest of said challenges was called the “Stronger Than Chocolate Challenge“, in which myself and nine readers gave up chocolatey goodness for as long as humanly possible.
It’s been a long and windy road, but I finally made it to the 30 day mark. That’s ONE WHOLE MONTH without chocolate!! Can you believe it?! I’m serious. I want to know if you can believe it.
Because I cannot.
And now this story takes a sad turn, as I will tell you how I broke my chocolate fast. Not sad because I broke it, but sad because of what I broke it with. So I’m telling you right now, this story will be anticlimactic. You can stop reading now, if you’d like.
Last night my friend texted me and asked if I wanted to come see her boyfriend’s band play at a bar called The Spider House in Austin. I was pretty tired, but she mentioned it was a singer/songwriter type vibe, and well, that got me. I love that kind of show because acoustic guitar melts me, and also because I daydream of having my own band (so I stare at the lead guitar player’s hands and wonder if he wrote all the songs by himself). Before I left to meet her, I looked up the bar online to get the address and saw that there was also a poetry slam going on that night. At that point I was jonesin’ to go. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a poetry slam, but spoken word poetry is much different than a reading you might attend at a bookstore. The poems are brought to life with powerful annunciation, punctuation, and so much heart it sends goosebumps up your arms.
When I got to there, I met my friends in the backyard and waited for them to finish their drinks. From there, I ushered them into the poetry slam room. It was packed with every seat full and people standing, crammed into whatever empty space they could wedge their bodies. I thought to myself, “Wow, I finally found the secret awesomeness of Austin.” As the show unfolded before us, it became clear this wasn’t a regular old slam night–it was a serious competition. The winner would represent the city of Austin in the 2012 Women Of The World Poetry Slam in Colorado next month. I took another look around the room and realized all of the competing poets were, in fact, women. As they got up to read, their words were full of feminist innuendos, lots of mention of “vagina,” (seriously, it was the topic of the night), and some un.real. talent. Here’s a clip of one woman.
After watching 10 different poets speak about our rights, and the glory of life, I had such a feeling of freedom and spontaneity–as if I stepped into a time machine back to the 70′s, and life was all about love and peace, man. I suddenly had an urge to go outside and look up at the stars, to spin around in circles until I got dizzy. That tattoo I never got because it would make my mom cry suddenly seemed doable–”THIS IS MY LIFE! OH THE POSSIBILITIES!” I thought. Jeez, maybe you shouldn’t let me around poetry slams too often, huh? I’ll end up buying a motorcycle.
From there we walked over to the concert portion of the night, and as promised, I stared at the lead singers fingers going up and down the guitar. “One day, that could be me,” I thought. Clearly I had entered into a danger zone in my mind. Liberal Mel was out in full force. But it wasn’t until after the show that I acted on my “this is my life” impulse. Once the guys got off stage, and I said my goodbyes, I started heading over to my car to go home. When I got up to the door, I noticed that I was parked next to a CVS. That’s when the bright idea hit me. It was day 30 of no chocolate, and it was time to BREAK FREE! Weeeee!
I strode into CVS, and left my motorcycle parked out front. I headed straight toward the candy aisle. I was on a mission. I arrived in aisle four*, and there it was. Rows and rows of chocolate waiting for me to eat it. “I do what I want!” I thought. I started staring down every option to make sure I made the absolute best decision. Reeses peanut butter cups? No. Mounds?! I love coconut! Nah… Maybe Rochers, my backup husband… “but I’ve done so well without him,” I thought.
Wait, what was that?
It was. Guilt reared it’s ugly head. I suddenly felt like I was drowning in sin and the devil on my shoulder was laughing that super evil laugh very loudly in my ear. I backed up. It was a very dramatic one man scene in this candy aisle. It’s a good thing no one else walked down it. I was probably sweating. I swiveled on my feet a quick 180 degrees and headed to the refrigerated drink section. “Okay, I’ll just grab a Diet Sprite and some Chex Mix maybe.” I opened the fridge, grabbed the soda, and proceeded down the chips and other assorted shelf-stable foods aisle (I cannot believe CVS still carries spam. Really?). On my way down the aisle, I caught something out of the corner of my eye and stopped. It was a chocolate flavored granola bar. “Well maybe this is a midway compromise,” I thought. I grabbed the box, along with a box of Kashi whole grain crackers to level out the guilt, paid, and ran out the door.
My motorcycle poofed into thin air once it saw my granola bar box, so i trudged over to my Honda Accord sedan. A bumper sticker that read “My child is on the honor roll!” poofed onto the back of it. I got in the car and hastily opened the box, ripping that little flap closure guy that you usually need to be very careful with if you ever want to close the cardboard box again. Out came a granola bar, the wrapper flew off onto the floor of my car, and I devoured it. If you’re thinking I bought some kind of chocolate chip cookie dough flavored bar, or double chocolate dream bar, you’re wrong. I lost my guts and glory. I went as safe as possible.
I drove home with this wrapper by my feet.
That’s right. A Fiber One bar. And not just any Fiber One bar. The lower calorie one. Did you hear that crashing sound? That was my motorcycle driving itself off a cliff. I had a stomach ache the rest of the night, too.
*I do not actually remember if the chocolate was in aisle four, but just humor me, please.