When I tell people I don’t eat chocolate, they immediately think that I’m on some strange diet or that I just don’t like it. However, little do they know that I absolutely adore chocolate (honestly, why be friends with someone who doesn’t?) 

This love turned into a problem though, when at Thanksgiving dinner my family joked that I love chocolate so much, I could never give it up for a year. 11 months later, I’m here to share with you how this cursed challenge has affected my life.


brownie, dough, butter, chocolate, peanut, cookie, peanut butter, cream, cake
Olivia Benjamin

Studies have shown that dark chocolate is actually good for you. Chocolate in moderation lowers blood pressure, decreases the risk of heart disease, protects your skin from sun damage, and improves brain function. Essentially, I’m physically killing myself by avoiding chocolate. 


chocolate, cannoli, sweet, cake, cream, cookie, pastry
Olivia Benjamin

Eating chocolate releases hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and phenylethylamine. This is basically a fancy way of saying that chocolate makes you happy, and so this challenge has literally and physically made me sad. Thanks, mom.


chocolate, cream, peanut butter, peanut, doughnut, butter
Olivia Benjamin

Chocolate also helps you focus and decreases anxiety, both of which are really useful benefits for stressed out college students. Honestly, why on earth am I making my sophomore year harder than it needs to be?


chocolate, cream, ice, chocolate ice cream, waffle, goody, sweet, milk, dairy product, ice cream, wafer, sundae
Olivia Benjamin

Another unexpected side effect is that I actually have dreams about eating chocolate. This happens about two to three times a week. I just wake up disappointed, thinking I caved and failed the challenge. Why am I complicating my life through unnecessary extra disappointment? We’re all wondering.

Social Life

chocolate, cookie, dough, cake
Olivia Benjamin

Imagine your vegetarian friend who constantly brings up their life choices, even when you’ve discussed it 23 times. That’s me, but with chocolate. I’ll find any way to bring it up so others can know more about my misery. It’s even worse though because, unlike vegetarians who are at least doing the planet and animals a favor, I don’t even have a good reason for doing it. I’m just preaching to people for no reason.


peanut butter, chocolate, peanut, butter, cookie, dough, brownie
Olivia Benjamin

Other than the fact that my family is cruel, what else have I learned from this experience? I’ve learned that chocolate is in more foods than you think, that proving a point is sometimes just not worth it, and that your happiness and health are dependent on chocolate.

So go buy yourself some chocolate and look forward to Thanksgiving, when I can finally end this madness.