Saturday, October 31, 2009

Candy Craze

What a day! I am wiped out!

From the moment I ran out the door with my kids this morning, I've pretty much been on my feet. Haircuts, shoe shopping, last minute Halloween shopping. Then I took one of my boys to do some work for a friend, and while he was there the rest of us walked down to a little Cafe for lunch. I had heard that this place has great soup, so I was looking forward to a nice big bowl of something yummy: maybe some lentil soup, or bean soup, or vegetable soup. Alas, it was all cream. Cream of this, cream of that, Block-of-Cheese-Melted-with-Butter-and-Cream soups. Bah. I saw a nice veggie sandwich on the menu, though, and figured I could have that and a small cup of Reuben Soup and be fine. I've made Reuben soup at home before... loved it... full of sauerkraut and veggies. Well, this soup was a LOT thicker and creamier than mine, but it was only about 3/4 cup and it WAS tasty! The sandwich made me mad. I forgot to ask about BREAD TYPES and they brought it on plain ol' white bread. Not even homemade or crusty; just the cheapo fluffo tasteless white slice type. The fillings were good, though: avocado, mushrooms, spinach, sprouts, tomato, cucumbers. Live and learn.

After lunch we decided to walk to the park. Played there for awhile, then walked back to get my son. Then it was off for more errands, and by the time we got home there was no time to make the dinner I'd planned before leaving for the Halloween party. We changed and off we went again!

This is where it gets interesting. Now, usually, in the past, Halloween and any associated gatherings have been ALL ABOUT the candy. I mean, heck, even when it was NOT Halloween, it was all about the candy. Every time I walked into the vet's office and saw that darn dish of Hershey Kisses on the counter, I'd be trying to figure out just how to grab as many as possible without anyone seeing. Receptionist turned her head? Grab some candy. Went to make copies? Grab some candy. She saw me? Laugh, make a comment about it being "for the kids." Yeah. Life was ALL about the candy.

So here we are at this Halloween party, surrounded by candy being handed out left and right to kids and adults alike. My daughter was having the time of her life playing the little carnival games and every time they told her she could choose a candy as a prize, her eyes got bigger and bigger and she'd say, "WOW! THANK YOU!" She saw more candy tonight than she ever had in her LIFE! As her punkin bucket got fuller and fuller she was just amazed at all the candy. I looked around. Kids EVERYWHERE were shoving the stuff in their faces, eating it as fast as they could get it. Like my older kids used to. And I didn't mind. I was all about sneaking mini candy bars into my pockets and eating them on the sly back then.

We walked into the next room and there was a cupcake walk, a cookie decorating station, and a hot dog dinner. I already knew there'd be a hot dog dinner and figured it would do for my daughter for tonight. She LOVES hot dogs and they are a very rare treat. I walked up to the counter. There were bags of chips of every kind: potato chips, BBQ chips, Doritos in ten flavors, Cheetos, on and on. There were rows upon rows of soda cans: root beer, Coke, Sprite, Diet, fruity flavors. Your hot dog meal came with chips and a soda. Oh dear. I don't let my kid have soda. And although she really enjoys chips, we don't keep those in the house either. Well, I decided to get her the plain potato chips and ask for some juice, which they DID have behind the soda. I glanced over and saw bottled water and apples. That's what I bought for myself: an apple and water.

We sat down to eat. In prior years, I'd have eaten a hot dog and then sat eagle-eyed waiting for the split second when my daughter declared she was 'full' so I could wolf down the rest of her meal as well. I have a thing for hot dogs. I watched her eat and I decided right then: I am not going to eat any of that hot dog. No chips. No sweets. I enjoyed my apple, and when she was done I threw away the rest of her hot dog and saved her chips for tomorrow. Then I asked her (since it is a holiday and I wanted to let her be a kid), "do you want to do the cupcake walk? You get a cupcake at the end."

"No thanks," she said. "I don't really want a cupcake." (What?! Wow... my others kids never, NEVER in their LIVES turned down a cupcake. But then again, what example did they have from their mother who would eat three or four cupcakes given the chance?)

Later on she decided she wanted to decorate a cookie. She is a sweet little budding artist, always drawing and painting, so this was no surprise. She made a beautiful cookie with sprinkles and she sat down with me and ate it. I watched her. After about 2 bites she needed to drink half my water bottle. "Wow," she said, "That cookie makes me really thirsty." She is not used to so much sugar. Isn't that cool?

We came home and then, of course, we trick-or-treated our block. She had a lot of fun showing off her costume and talking to the neighbors. We came home with her bucket full of candy. And here is where it gets REALLY crazy.

Scene at my house, Halloween night, for most of the last decade:
Children racing in, dumping pillowcases full of candy onto the living room floor and eating as much as they could before they felt sick. Me hovering over them, asking for one of these or one of those. Them giving me anything I asked for PLUS anything in their bag that they didn't especially like. All of us bathing out innards with chocolate until 10pm. And all of the candy gone within 3 days flat.

Scene at my house, tonight:
Older kids gone having fun at sleepovers and playing games with their friends.
Little girl looking over her punkin full o' candy, asking if she may please have ONE, and then choosing her ONE candy, eating it, saying thank you, and going to bed.
Mommy taking a long hot bath, eating a string cheese, and going to bed (soon).

Big difference.

We had SO MUCH FUN *without* the stupid candy insanity! And tomorrow, I am going to have little paper "tickets" available for my daughter to trade her candy for. She can keep any candy she likes and have it on RARE occasion (I am betting she will keep less than 10 pieces) and all the rest, she can trade for tickets which she can use to "buy" a new little toy from the store.

I love the fun with my kids but I am glad Halloween is over. I am thrilled to go into November with a new, healthier outlook and *life.* So much better than going into November in a candy stupor.

What did you choose?

You can always choose better today.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like she's learning a great lesson. Candy isn't all love and wonderfullness. It's just a little treat.

My son gets candy about twice a week. No biggie in our house since we don't drink pop, eat sugary cereal, or too much junk in general, so why not have a treat every once in a while?

Halloween is different. You're only a kid once so he gets to eat as much as he wants after trick or treating is done. Today he sat with his bucket and had only two pieces. TWO! And he didn't even finish the second one.

In my mind it goes to show me that as adults we put way too much thought into food. How it makes us feel, how much we dream of it. It's just food. I hope I can use that lesson in the future.


rusty61 said...

Wow, what a fantastic Halloween you had, didn't you? You handled everything so well. You are changing your life!

John's Weight Loss Blog said...

My son is 12 and we thought he'd get in less trouble with his friends if they went out to the local amusement park rather than trick or treating in the neighborhood. With the added benefit that he didn't bring home a huge bag of candy to gorge on.

redballoon said...

You are doing so well lately! I am looking forward to the November weight posting! Best of luck!!

Vickie said...

loved everything about this posting! so glad that everything was diffferent for you. It sounds a bit like an 'out of body' experience - like you were seeing the current and the past at the same time - like time slowed down enough for you to really SEE.

and Lyn darling - you need to get out the crock pot and put something on for dinner (in the morning) on those crazy days . . .

Andra said...

Good for you on conquering Halloween! I bought NO Halloween candy, we went out for a lovely meal last night with dear friends. I had planned indulgence wine and really tasty meal, no dessert because I get full on so much less food now. With no kids, it's just another day really and while I had fun I'm happy it's a beautiful sunny new day.

Anonymous said...

I think we led a parallel life yesterday. My 3-year-old at the Halloween party sat in front of her cupcake for about 5 minutes trying to figure out how to pick it up without damaging her dainty fingers, couldn't figure it out, then declared, "my tummy says I'm full," and went back to playing with the other kids. Then, after trick-or-treating, she asked for one piece of candy, ate it and jumped up to go to bed.

What little sweethearts, eh?

Seren_Sighs said...

Most kids, before they learn bad habits, have a really good grasp on eating naturally. I remember being a kid and pushing food around on my plate to try to make it look like I ate more. It's not that I didn't like the food I was eating, I just didn't want anymore. I was satisfied. Now, sometimes, it seems like I'm not satisfied until I'm full. I crave that full feeling sometimes.

Not having any kids or friends in this area made Halloween a normal day for me. Admittedly I did consider eating that lower calorie Three Musketeers bar. I picked it up three times in the check out aisle. But then I thought "It's 150 calories. For 150 calories I could have a huge apple. Or some cottage cheese and string cheese. Not a tiny chocolate bar".

Congrats on your great Halloween!

spunkysuzi said...

What a great Halloween you and your family had :)

moonduster said...

Yay! I am so glad to read that you had a great Halloween and were able to say "no" to your former habits!

I was good enough about turning down the candy that I woke up a pound lighter today than I was yesterday. (Of course dh had a bunch of candy and woke up 2 pounds lighter today, but that's his kind of luck). :)

screwdestiny said...

Sounds like a great Halloween. It's awesome that you teach your kids healthy habits. :)

I had like, two caramel creme candies yesterday. And a lot of alcohol. But I didn't have much candy!

Steelers6 said...

Oh, Lyn, I am SO proud of you. You have very successfully nailed the first of several upcoming holidays that involve calories & challenges!

I practically felt like weeping over this post. It is SUCH a change and accomplishment for you. Wonderful. And our glimpse of life & it's changes involving your baby...Wow. Probably very eye opening and enlightening as you type about it. It must really speak to your heart as you tell us about your daughter and this wonderful ripple affect. :)

I am just so excited for you as I read that you don't really do soda at your house..debating the beverage choices at the party..Wow, you made a super choice! And told yourself you were not eating even any of your daughter's hot dog!! Go!!

Now I can't wait to read your next post...I saw something about ELEVEN POUNDS LOST!!

Tammy said...

I am proud to say that I had 1 mini Reese's cup....44 calories...woo hoo!!! :) (By the way, I gave the rest of the bag to my niece and nephew that live next door to me) :)

Jen in MN said...

Though my child isn't old enough to trick or treat or eat candy yet - I chose NO candy yesterday! NONE. And it felt so good to do that, consciously. My thing lately is to have ONE fabulous treat per weekend (like a decadent piece of truffle cake, for example), and that's it. And so far, it's doing the trick! I know it's a QUALITY indulgence so I can wait for it and savor it. (-:

Hanlie said...

Isn't it amazing how your changed behavior affects your children? Very good post!