Chocolate Versus Pilates

Facebook has some interesting options for sharing lately. The last few days I’ve been seeing “Share something everybody else loves that you hate.” 

I sat and starred at the post for a good bit, but I was afraid to share. I was afraid I’d be the victim of a social media attack. I don’t want to be bullied. 


There, I said it. 

Not a fan. Never have been. Is it me or is chocolate harsh? I have actually looked this up and vanilla is way sweeter than chocolate. Chocolate’s the most famous sweetie of all, but it’s not that sweet. 

I admit vanilla is not sexy. 

I was on a date with a guy once and I’d already decided that he was dull as white toast and water, when the topic of spices came up. With great enthusiasm he said, “You know which one I love?” 

“Which one,” I asked?


Oh wow. But I really shouldn’t let that guy give vanilla a bad rap. 

Whether you like chocolate or vanilla or maybe even cinnamon, I’m sick and tired of Google telling me to substitute exercise for treats. 

Lately I’ve been looking for creative ways to get the post-quarantine weight off and I Google things like, “How can I not eat all weekend?” I ask Google for tips to cut back and tricks to abstain and I get these lists, like “10 Healthy Ways to Socialize.” 

And then they tell me to go work out. 

Dear Google, 

You can’t substitute chocolate and Pilates. 

Thanks much,

S. Quirky

A counselor once gave me great advice that I’ve repeated over and over. If, she said, on a scale of one to ten you’re a 10, try to shoot for seven and three quarters. Don’t go for one.

It makes so much sense. She gave me that advice to help me deal with my obsessive tendencies and list making. I was trying to live more in the moment, be flexible and spontaneous. In my attempt, I’d put my lists away and turned the clocks facedown and I was freaking out. 

Same situation here. You take an eater and instead of just not overindulging, you tell them to go work out? That’s one on a ten-point scale. 

If I’m completely honest, I’m not a big fan of chocolate or vanilla

I like potato chips. I have a salty tooth, or I think it’s called a preference for savory over sweet. Whatever, I just don’t love the sweeties. 

Either way you’re talking about being deprived, doing without, withdrawal, no reward. 

Isn’t temporarily substituting another indulgent, bad habit a better idea? What if, instead of Pilates, chocoholics bought jewelry? That seems way better – it just sounds better. 

“Hi Suzy, what did you do Friday night?”  Suzy answers, “Pilates.” 


“Hi Suzy, what did you do Friday night?” Suzy: “Bought a big ole’ chunky gold bracelet!” 


A couple weekends like this and Suzy will have to get a part-time job, so no more worrying about spending Friday night elbow deep in a box of chocolates. Who can afford chocolate now, Suzy? 

So maybe just coffee with a friend and then walking the mall to look at jewelry? While she’s there Suzy can get a mani-pedi. 

There’s costume jewelry too. And after that great mani-pedi wouldn’t a cheap n’ cheerful little ankle bracelet be cute? 

Still, it’s early. The mall closes by ten. 

Actually, chocoholics have it easy. Most diet food is sweet. You’ve got the protein bar, the protein drink, the smoothie. Suzy could have the coffee, get her toes done, bought an anklet and still stop for a chocolate smoothie for dinner. 

What is a potato chip, peanut, cheese lover supposed to do? Pilates? 

I’ll say this, we savory people get so sick of being offered pretzels. 

No. Just no. 

If I’m gonna’ do that I’ll just have the salt. I’ve seen deer looking very contented at a salt lick. 

Breaking habits is hard. Doing without is hard. 

Maybe Weight Watchers has the right answer: Don’t deprive yourself on Friday night. On Weight Watchers you can bank your points and use them all at once. You just eat a little less Monday through Thursday and on Friday, you’ve got the extra points for chocolate, potato chips or an appetizer. Maybe that’s why Weight Watchers has been around for nearly 60 years. 

“Bread!” says Oprah. She loves it. She loves Weight Watchers. According to Google, she is still very much involved with them, “despite reports.” 

Exercise is actually fun. It’s just not a substitute for Friday night’s bucket of corn. 

Then again…

Right now, I’m reading Glennon Doyle’s latest book, Untamed. I am such a fan – Oprah calls her a thought leader. 

Doyle says, “I can do hard things.” It’s simple, but powerful. And it makes me think: what if my reward on Friday night is a tremendous feeling of accomplishment? What if I substitute Pilates for potato chips and win? 

I write those words and there’s a ground swell of excitement building in me. Then I visualize walking in the house, sweaty, half-smiling, and guaranteed a great night’s sleep and a happy Saturday. 

This idea is starting to pick up steam and the more I sit with it, the more it starts to seem, not only feasible, but great. 

My sister says Google knows everything. She’s an SEO expert and website designer. She said Google was Google when I still Yahooed all over the internet. I defended my Yahooing ways once and she just paused, then said, “I feel sorry for you.” 

Google says if you need to break the Friday night indulgences you do Pilates. 

I am never going to be a chocoholic. Potato chips is my chocolate. 

Potato chips versus Pilates? 

I can Like hard things. 


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