Do you remember that line from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink?” Well, even if you missed that day in English Lit class it’s okay! This time of year with Halloween just around the corner I always think of the line from that poem. Only I change it a bit to say, “Candy, candy, everywhere how not to eat too much?!”
I u sed to love Halloween. Not for the holiday itself, but rather for the abundance of candy! Other times of the year I might have felt a bit conspicuous buying bags of M&M’s and Hershey Miniatures, but not in October. All throughout the whole month of October I’d “stock up” on candy every time I went to the grocery store. I’d think, “ The cashier’s won’t even suspect that I’m going to eat 90% of this candy myself because all the candy bags are in fall colors!!” I’d pay for the candy and even before I turned the key to start the engine of my car, I’d be ripping open a candy bag and tasting the forbidden fruit. Because that’s how I thought of candy – forbidden fruit.
But is it really?
I know that none of us needs candy to survive. As Vickie so aptly terms it – it’s non-food. And she is 100% right. It’s not really a food to sustain life but rather a “just for fun food!” But should it be off limits this time of year?
If you’d read my blog more than a couple of times you know that I do like candy. I wish I didn’t, but I do. And when I was 300 pounds, candy and I were the best of friends. Back then, I’d much rather have eaten candy than spend time feeling uncomfortable at a social outing.
So what did I do about candy when I finally started to turn things around? Did I just say no to candy for the entire 14 months it took me to lose weight? Did I avoid grocery shopping so I wouldn’t be tempted by the brightly colored packages which seemed to call my name? No to both. I didn’t say no to candy altogether and I did still shop in the grocery store.
The way I handled candy temptations was much the way I handled other temptations. I did give myself a moratorium on chocolate for several weeks when I first began my journey. I needed a timeout from chocolate. But after those weeks passed I really did want to have a piece of candy every now and then. So I occasionally did.
But then October came around and with it came temptation. I wish I could tell you that a orange and brown colored bag never made its way into my grocery cart because that wouldn’t be true. But I can tell you that I never bought one. That’s right – I’d put it in my cart and before I got up to the cashier, I’d take it out. No big huge bags of candy allowed at my house. Not right then. Lest you feel sorry for me, I had plenty of little opportunities to practice portion control that fall. There were the inevitable bowls of candy on people’s desks, in the doctor’s office, and even John occasionally brought some home. But I never ate too much. And I didn’t feel guilty for the occasional piece of chocolate.
Instead, I just planned for my little indulgence and moved on. I didn’t feel guilty. I didn’t hide what I was eating. And I got through those last 10 days of October with a decent loss.
I can’t tell you how good it made me feel to lose weight throughout a holiday that I normally would have picked up 4 – 6 pounds. Instead I handled candy and didn’t let candy handle me.
So what’s your plan this coming week? Are you a candy lover? If so, what will you do when those bowls of candy begin appearing of co-workers desks and when the clearance candy after Halloween seems to be calling your name? What’s your plan? Diane