Saturday, October 24, 2009

Holiday Trap

It's one week until Halloween, and for *some* of us, that means a constant binge on candy for days on end. It used to be that as soon as those huge bags of orange-and-brown wrapped candies hit the supermarket shelves, I was buying up bags "on sale" so I could "give them to the trick-or-treaters." Problem was, none of those bags ever lasted long enough to make it to Halloween night, and I was forever running back to the grocery store for *more* bags to replace the ones I'd eaten. I just couldn't stay out of them. They're so FUN, those Fun Size candies. I spent many a day surrounded by teeny wrappers, because, after all, each one was just a bite or two so it was easy to justify shoving a few more into my mouth. How bad could they be? They're so little! So fun!

That wasn't enough, though. You'd think that by Halloween I'd be sick to death of candy but NOOOO. I'd take my little kids all over town trick-or-treating, then come home and hover over them, salivating, as they dumped their loot onto the living room floor to evaluate their haul. Each kid would have a pillowcase full. They'd do some trading, they'd smile and offer Mommy some peanut butter cups and Hershey bars, because I raised thoughtful, generous children. Mommy would eat everything she was offered and then say, "Did you get any Heath bars?" Mommy would tell them they had TOO MUCH candy in their bags, so they should pick out half to save for later. Mommy would bag up the "later" candy for the cupboard, and then eat all the good stuff out of it the next day. And then when the kiddies went to school, Mommy would sneak into their rooms and pick out a little chocolate bar here and there from their stashes.

Actually, October 1 through January 2 was one big fiesta for me for many years. Halloween candy, Thanksgiving treats, pumpkin pies and cakes and cookies, Christmas candy and cakes and cookies. It all ran together into one big sugar binge. And I didn't care if I was gaining weight. It didn't matter because on January 1 I would make my changes and "do it this time." Because that's just what everyone does, right? You can't expect me to eat healthy during the HOLIDAYS, right? So I'd change on January 1st. Until Valentines Day candy started coming out, and then Easter of course, so maybe I'd start again in May...

The funny thing is, this year, Halloween snuck up on me. It's in a WEEK?!? How'd that happen? My daughter doesn't even have a costume yet. It snuck up on me because I don't care about the candy. I don't think about it. When I go shopping, my eyes just skip right over the huge candy displays; I pay them no mind. Yes, I get a lot of trick-or-treaters every year. No, I do not need to buy ten bags of my favorite chocolate candy for them three weeks in advance. I go grocery shopping about twice a week, so when I go later this week I will pick up some of those hideous candies that little boys seem to adore like Sour Warheads or Nerds or fireballs or some other non-chocolate, icky concoction that they'll enjoy. Yeah, I've done pencils. Yeah, I've done tattoos. I am not going to embarrass my children with that nonsense anymore. Kids come for CANDY. So candy they will get. Disagree if you must, but don't be a hater! :)

In essence, I'm saying that Halloween doesn't affect me anymore. I say no thanks to my kids' treats, and they VOLUNTARILY hand off about half their stash to me on Halloween night because they don't like half the crap they get (like granola bars, sugar free butterscotches, and packets of raisins). I don't eat it. I stick it in the cabinet, use some of it later and throw the rest away. What a nice change from years past, when I used my body as a garbage can for all the unwanted candy.

Don't fall into the holiday trap of buying tons of Halloween candy for weeks ahead of time and then buying up bags of candy afterwards because they are 70% off. Just leave it alone. And remember, yes, Thanksgiving is coming up, but it is ONE DAY. It is not a license to overeat for the next MONTH in anticipation. And the same goes for Christmas; it is ONE DAY, people, not a month long festival of indulgence. Even if you want to stretch it to TWO days (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day), it is still just TWO days. You wanna indulge? Fine. ON those days. Not the entire month of December or the twelve days of Christmas. Make your plan NOW for how you will handle the goodies. Plan what is important to you. Plan for the life you want. Don't just let stuff "happen" to you like a victim and then bemoan all the weight you gained "because of the holidays." Take control now and don't wait until January 1st for another weak effort at changing your life. If it's important to you, do it now. Today. It's worth it.

22 comments:

kelly said...

Excellent post, as always! Yay for staying away from the little candies. Keep up the great work.

Sharon said...

you perfectly described my house for the past 10 years. LOL But things are changing! Thanks for this post!

Kristin said...

Hear hear! I've stopped buying the chocolatey Halloween candies that I love (too many to list) because, really, the trick or treaters don't love them as much as I do. They are more thrilled by the kiddy candies like all the Willy Wonka stuff or even those boring little suckers, DumDums. PERFECT!

MissyM said...

I agree. I avoid the candy, chips and cookie aisles at the grocery. And the holidays are not an excuse to over indulge for the entire month!

dani31608 said...

We seem to have shared the same Halloween - New Year's ritual! I, too, have pretty much let Halloween sneak up on me this year.

Sorry, neighborhood brats ... but I've decided to take the kids to a church fall festival this Halloween so I plan to not be home to hand out all that crap. Muhahaha!

Last year, the first Halloween of my "new lifestyle", I handed up individual packets of Teddy Grahams and PB Ritz Bitz crackers. Man, those were some pissed kids on our doorsteps. Definitely not doing the "sorry ... no candy!" bit this year, even if we do somehow decide to stay home.

Best of luck staying on plan this Halloween. I know you're going to rock it. =)

F. McButter Pants said...

I am a Halloween Scrooge. I never buy candy. I don't stay home on Halloween, so I don't have to give it out.

This year I am going to go door to door with the Gkids. something I really couldn't do last year.

I am glad that candy is not really one of my faves.

great postfrund

F. McButter Pants said...

frund was my word verification. Funny...I didn't want to to think I was nuts, making up my own words...lol

teebopop said...

I bought Halloween decorated pencils to hand out.

No candy.

And if I still have them come Nov 1, well, I can use them too!

Betsey C. said...

Great post, Lyn! I love the idea of your body being a "garbage can" for the candy. That's a great analogy. I also buy sour, weird candy to hand out, stuff that doesn't tempt me. And I wait until the day before Halloween to buy it so I don't have it laying around.

Good luck to all of us getting through the holiday season. I'm usually good to gain 8 to 10 lbs. between Halloween and New Year's Eve, but this year I am going to lose weight instead. Yippee!

Nicole said...

Ahhhh...feels good to be free doesn't it! YAY!!

Vickie said...

We have done different things different years.

Some years I have shopped at 4pm on the DAY OF HALLOWEEN so that I am literally coming home and the doorbell starts to ring.

some years my husband bought the stuff and then put it away - when he puts it away - it is really put away - he is not tempted and no one else knows where it is.

we have bought things that were 'good' but none of US happened to like.

And I have done all kinds of non-candy things that actually were popular - small stuffed animals for the very small children, glow in the dark things for the older children (it is dark when you hand them out - very cool). It was a small neighborhood and we knew all the kids.

One thing that I often do now is take a lawn chair and sit at the end of the driveway so I can enjoy the action/costumes. I run extension cords and put a whole bunch of 'lit fake pumpkins' with me - creates a good atmosphere. I don't dress up - because we have had neighbors do that and scare the kids. So I just look like a 'mom' sitting in a lawn chair with a big bowl of candy.

With my 'in the street location' - I can see when the numbers are dwindling and I start giving away larger volumes so that I am OUT by the last child.

Several years - when the numbers got down - I left the bowl out there and then it was emptied automatically.

screwdestiny said...

Haha, I totally hand out boxes of raisins. Maybe I'm mean, but it's better for them, and it makes it so I don't have any candy to tempt me.

Anonymous said...

How about instead of throwing the granola and raisins out, you give them away to homeless people on the street? I don't want to be preachy, but it's just an unnecessary waste.

Jenn said...

Not only have you made sure to teach your children to be thoughtful and generous, now you are teaching them wonderful healthy eating habits. Priceless gifts that cannot be bought.

Good job dealing with Halloween this year. That is my strategy of choice as well. I always get candy that I don't so I'm not tempted by them. Then my husband takes all the extra candy to work. Voila! Candy gone, but I got to enjoy some as well.

What a Splurge said...

I did that once with Easter candy. I ate it all and had to go buy more. This year I pledged to myself I wouldn't eat any candy this Halloween. It's not because I have great self-control; it's because I don't.

Karen in Tennessee said...

Oh Lyn, I could totally identify with every word of this post!!!! I am going to make this year the one year I don't start a binge two weeks before Halloween and not coming up for air till the week after Easter. I am going to eat healthy, take my meds, and exercise so that 2010 is my healthiest year ever.

PS: I gave out glow in the dark wristbands two years ago and I don't think the neighborhood kids have forgiven me yet...so this year I will buy candy...on Halloween DAY!!!

Karyn said...

You are so a different person than the one you describe in this post! Yay for you! I'm proud of you!

Hanlie said...

I love your attitude on this! While we don't have Halloween or Thanksgiving, Christmas can turn into a month-long food and wine festival, but I have also adopted the Two-Day Strategy and it works!

Stiney said...

We're going to my sister's for her Halloween party. There may be food there that I shouldn't eat but it's one night. I made the decision to not make it worse by getting candy beforehand. We're getting bag and putting a bowl out for the kids as we're leaving for the night. That way even if I do overeat at my sister's there won't be candy added to it.
Thankfully this year all of the holiday celebrations are away from home so one meal each month is what I'll be running no so good.

Jen in MN said...

My "epiphany" this year was simple: buy the kid-candy that to me, is gross. Nerds, sour stuff, etc. Why I didn't think of that years ago, who know?!? But it's working. I bought a big bag of that weird crap weeks ago, set it up on the shelf in the closet by the front door....and there it sits. I'll make sure it to give it ALL out on Saturday night, because my hubby & I sure don't like it!

2tberrys said...

Thank you - I needed to read this today!

Camille said...

The best part about Halloween this year for me is that I have 0 dollars. When there's no money there is no inclination to buy candy. I'll just have to go to my mom's house and hand out treats from there, but then when I go home I wont have any extra candy! Woot!