Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Resiliency Vs. Chocolate On Valentine's Day


Have you ever wondered why some people eat chocolate instead of logging quality time with others?

Did you know that your consumption of dark chocolate verses milk chocolate is in direct proportion to how loved you feel; especially, on and around Valentine’s Day?

Wouldn’t that be a fabulous study to troll for why this is so?

If you’re a female, when you think about your monthly cycle, and where your emotions (and hormones) are at any given day due to what’s happening at work, in your love life, with friends, and your family; and how you never seem to have enough time to be everywhere and with everyone you want to be…It isn’t that far-fetched.

If you're a man, and you find yourself getting wound up, anxious, or irritated when you're not being listened to or asked for help in solving problems, unplugging and reaching for something to nibble on instead sounds like the easy way out to relax and forget about the moment, right?
Regardless if you’re a man or a woman—if you find yourself reaching for a cold one, chocolate, cheese, high fat foods when the going gets rough in your relationships. You may want to ask yourself why you’re reaching for these things instead of the solace of family, friends, or your Valentine.

Do you find yourself as a woman tied up with your body image and how often you feel sexy enough to shimmy around the bedroom with a significant other?

Do you just dive between the sheets to make love?

Or are you currently not in a relationship, because you dread getting undressed, being vulnerable, and the intimacy involved?

Our anxiety often begins to get the best of us right after the winter holidays. Some of us may berate ourselves that we ate too many fatty things. Others of us may say c’est la vie we were celebrating being with friends and family so that’s why are pants are a bit snug, or now we have back fat. Whatever our perspective, it’s not a far assumption that one of our top 5 New Year’s Resolutions are to lose the weight we just gained to fit BACK into our favorite jeans. The other four resolutions (if you’re curious) being: (1) find or keep my relationship, (2) get more massages to relax, (3) save money, and (4) spend more time with friends.

There are many reasons why our bodies are not where we’d like them to be, today. However, there is something called resiliency that can help determine whether or not you’ll do one of the following after a high stress day:

(a) the dark chocolate (because it has what are they called? Oh, antioxidants),
(b) over the milk chocolate (because it just tastes good, there’s more sugar for more of a sugar-high, and there’s milk to help with your minor opiate addiction), or
(c) none of the above.

Okay, yes milk products have casein which when digested breaks into tiny opiate particles and is part of the reason why we crave chocolate and cheese (I’m a BIG cheese fan when I’m not busy Breaking the Food Seduction and being vegan). But the other factor that may be at play is how well we handle setbacks and stress in our relationships. The more you’re able to dig deep to find inner strength to still be satisfied and in love with life determines how well you bounce back when you face a set-back.

The Mayo Clinic defines resilience as our ability to adapt to life’s misfortunes and setbacks by using inner strength to help us see past an issue, so that we can enjoy life, and handle stress better.

There may just be a correlation between our self-confidence and whether we roll with what’s happening in our life, or reach for the chocolates first. How often are you able to take relationship ups and downs, or lack thereof and see the present moment for what it is—a passing moment?

If we see our dissatisfaction as being momentary, then we are able to see and feel more clearly, and with perspective. If we feel entrenched, because we do not think or feel we are worthwhile, or hot enough, then we may very well think being alone on Valentine’s is the end of the world or we’re going to be lonely for the rest of our lives.

Our resiliency impacts how much we love and accept ourselves. You gain resiliency by learning social skills that help increase your emotional intelligence and gender intelligence. Then your focus shifts to being intimate with a beloved, not on how we look when we’re on top with the extra 10 holiday pounds, or the freshman 15, or the extra 20 post-pregnancy pounds, or the extra weight we gained as we dealt with unemployment (multiple miscarriages, a death of a loved one, a break-up)…okay, you get my point. And, if you do not have a Valentine just yet, then I hope you’re out with friends and family or on the phone connecting with others to let them know you love and value these relationships in your life right now.

If you’re celebrating Valentine’s, because you believe in love and the strength and the power of unconditional love…then enjoying chocolate (preferably dark cacao) with others is a great way to kick back and celebrate! Our family made these soy-free, dairy-free vegan chocolate macaroons, strawberries, and bananas for Valentine’s—and believe me one is more than enough!

Indulge your senses, and live with joy knowing that love is all around you and just around the corner—you just have to open your heart and seek to surround yourself with love. Including loving yourself for who you are right now.

To health, joy, and our relationship health!


Explore YourTango