When I checked into the Double Tree Hotel in San Diego, the clerk slid a suspiciouly familiar flat brown bag across the counter at me. Welcome, she said. Here's one of our award-winning chocolate chip cookies!
I didn't even hesitate, just said No thanks, I'm sugar-free. She wanted to insist but I repeated what I'd said and the cookie disappeared. Unfortunately, I then realized that the air was redolent with chocolate. They keep the cookies in a little warming drawer and the whole lobby reeked of the stuff each afternoon.
Those same cookies appeared each afternoon in the breaktimes along with big, fat iced brownies. Fortunately, there were grapes next to the chocolate fondue pot and I took a bunch and hid out in my room so I wouldn't have to smell it all.
Then yesterday, I went by our local best cake makers for a German chocolate cake for my sister. It's her favorite and I was driving up the Gorge to celebrate her birthday with her and wanted to surprise her with that favorite. So my house smelled faintly of chocolate as well as did the car on the drive up.
We had a wonderful gourmet dinner in town and then she and our friend Melanie ate pieces of the cake as we played cards. It was an interesting moment for me. I wanted a piece because I remembered how good it was--the soft, flavorful cake, the icing, the coconut. But I also didn't want it. I didn't want to go back to how I eat sugar, I didn't want the guilt and the shame again. It wasn't worth it. And I'm glad I didn't eat any and after their plates disappeared, I didn't give it another thought.