Source: Birmingham Post
Date: 12 April 2004

Chocolate - the secret to a healthy life

chocolate: health benefits
By Jessica Shepherd, Birmingham Post

A petite Midland mother who claims she has survived on almost nothing but chocolate for 49 years says the sweet stuff has kept her as fit and healthy as a teenager.

Chocoholic Cathy Creegan, who works as a library assistant at Solihull College, says she never eats a normal meal, opting instead for bars of chocolate.

The seven-and-a-half stone mother-of-two confessed to spending up to £200 a month on chocolate and admitted she had already eaten 15 Easter eggs.

Mrs Creegan said: "I love everything about chocolate. The look of it, the sound of it when I unwrap it, the feel of it melting in my mouth and obviously the taste of it.

"It's the way I live my life. I'm hardly ever ill. I feel like a teenager.

"The very thought of pasta, rice, beef, bacon, fish or cheese just makes me gag. It's not just the taste of it, it's the feel of it and the thought of it."

Mrs Creegan's husband Trevor, an aircraft engineer, and her son Stephen, aged 28, and Jessie, aged 26, have learnt never to pinch their mother's chocolate, hidden in cupboards and tins all over the house.

She said: "I buy big boxes of it from the cash and carry, and the sight of bar after bar of perfect chocolate makes me so excited. Then I take all the bars out of the box and I put them in my secret hiding places.

"I get so angry if anyone eats my chocolate. I always know if my husband has been near my chocolate because he leaves the cupboards open. He knows now that if he eats my chocolate he has to buy me some to replace it. I know it sounds mean, but chocolate is my staple.

"The only other thing I eat apart from chocolate is potato. I can manage the odd bowl of mash or a couple of roast potatoes. I've always been like this, ever since I was a baby. My parents thought I would grow out of it, but I never did."

Mr Creegan said: "The rest of the family eat well. Whenever we go to a friend's house for dinner, they just cook her a bowl of mash and give her some chocolate. No-one minds - it's just the way she is."

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