My simple steps to eat less chocolate

chocolate habits health vision Mar 21, 2024
Woman with curly auburn hair and a smirk, wearing a brown hat and standing next to a oversized smiling Hershey's bar character, advertising Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD (the podcast) episode #111,

We're going to jump in to a real-life scenario today: my love of chocolate. And I'm going to share with you the step-by-step process to understanding and making change.

1) Identify what we're talking about (Focus in 1-2 sentences)

I've found myself eating a whole lot of chocolate lately.

1a) Oh, you've gotta keep going. While that sounds like the problem, now is your chance to really describe it. (Focus further to get the specifics)

OK, I've been buying peanut butter M&Ms again, as a splurge, not on my shopping list. While I found that they are great for travel, when I am working at home, I just eat them when I get hangry. They are there and then they are gone. I'm also working a whole lot at my desk and it is exhausting.

1b) Bottom-line it: What is the actual problem? (Which perspective to take?)

I don't like the way I feel when I eat this much sweets. I feel super-full, but sweets always taste like more. I also feel slow and sluggish and get more tired more easily. I don't like the way I feel.

2) Imagine what it would be like to feel differently. What needs to change? (Future visioning)

I imagine feeling strong, productive and agile. I want to be productive and then get away from my desk.

3) Take a step back: What patterns are you noticing in what you've described? (Big picture)

OK, this isn't just about chocolate at my desk. I'm noticing that I've been focusing on a whole lot of computer-related tasks recently: writing, preparing for a research submission, email management, researching for the research (!). I am hyper-focusing and getting things done and then... I crash. I crash into the sweets.

I also notice that a number of sweets have come into the house through "alternative" entry points: gifts left here by friends, the cookies that I couldn't bear to see tossed at the end of a community meeting this week (Captain Conservation shouted, "Save the Cookies!" WTF?).

4) Bring on the love & compassion (Um, love & compassion)

Of course this is coming up. "Of course" - two magical words. I notice how I want to beat myself up and just say, "No more sweets," but that doesn't get to the heart of what's going on: I'm doing the best I can amidst a long-term love of not tossing things (thank you Pennsylvania Dutch heritage of saving everything, aka a generational belief), a love of maximizing (my strength is maximizing and here I see it as having what I need at my desk, which includes things I really don't "need" within my reach), and a love of being productive. I thrive on seeing myself doing things, "GSD" as we call it in our family (Getting Shit Done!).

Of course. In each of these factors I see things that are working for me. Things that I love and that sometimes just aren't working.

I notice the judgment and my inner Drill Sergeant speaking, "CAPT Schofer, you know MUCH better than to be doing this, you are a disgrace and this will not be tolerated! Clear it all out!" And yet I know that doesn't get to the heart of the issue: I'm human. And there are reasons WHY I've done this recently.

With love & compassion, I realize that I've been super-using my focus network (yes, that's a thing) and then come crashing back to the relationship (feeling or Default Mode Network) and feel exhausted. I grab what will help me quickly and what is readily available. It just makes sense what I've been doing.

I also notice that I've been diving into this work right away in the mornings when I'm not hungry. So I don't eat beforehand. But when my focus period is up, I'm both tired AND hungry. It is not a good combination for me.

5) Little experiment (Crazy-Simple Action)

Pick one. This is the hard part - because if you're like me, you've potentially found a number of items you could change. What's the smallest, easiest, most loving little experiment you could try for yourself?

To be honest, for me, it's actually not about the sweets. It's not about the beliefs, it's not about the amount of work that i'm doing.

It's eating something before I start.

(Get really clear about what this means.)

I'm going to slice an apple and some of my favorite Mixed Nut Butter and take it with me to my desk for writing and research time. 

6) More love

Remember, life is all a series of experiments - and we have to keep experimenting. I was just celebrating the way I felt 2 weeks ago when I was eating so many good veggies. And then the sweets snuck back in. That doesn't mean that I've failed. It means I'm human. AND, we get to practice making the changes that work for us. I understand that my focus on work, maximization, not throwing a sweet away also works for me in longstanding ways. So it makes sense that those things come back. But so does my love and knowing how amazing I feel when I'm taking care of myself in the way I want. That's where feeling strong and agile are a good reminder to keep going. It takes practice to bring that to life.


What's your example? Take me through your self-exploration journey. I'd love to hear what you're discovering for yourself.

And when you're ready to dive in with a facilitated journey, I can help. The next Family in Focus group program is about to start, and I also work privately with clients to explore, understand and bring the health they want to live to their own lives. Go to for current program offerings.



YouTube version of Episode #111.

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I ask a favor of you: if you liked this episode, please subscribe, rate and review on your favorite podcast service, and share with your friends so they know that there is a different way to stop struggling with worries about weight. It's easy and fun!

And when you're ready to start applying this in your own home, check out for more information about how the Family in Focus program can help you and your family create lifelong healthy relationships with food and body, now and at every weight.

Disclaimer: While Wendy Schofer, MD discusses health and wellness, this is not medical advice and she is not your doctor. Optimal health is achieved in combination with your physician, who collaborates with you for your individual health. Talk to your doctor. And tell them about Family in Focus. Mwah!

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