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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Life with Candy


Now that we are thoroughly depressed and coming down from our sugar high from last night, I thought I would share my insights on my "Life with Candy". As I mentioned to you in a previous blog, My mom was notorious for hiding sweets...well she also always had Butterfingers in the freezer, her favorite candy. Needless to say, I depleted her supply of Butterfingers regularly and over many years. It was a great game. I also loved the "candy holidays" like Christmas, Valentine's Day and Halloween...especially Halloween. I loved all the chocolate candies, particularly the Pumpkin shaped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. When the kids were little and still Trick or Treated I would relish the moment of going through their leftover candy to find my favorite candies before throwing the rest away.  I also had the horrible habit of buying the candies I loved most for the Trick or Treaters that came to our door. I would always sneak a few for myself, of course!

Some how over the years I got in the habit of having seasonal candies, like Reese's miniature cups in Fall colored foils, in bowls about the house. My excuse was that it was festive, welcoming, and something to offer the guests we would have over during those seasons. The reality was that I was the one who ate most of them. Fortunately, my children never developed the need for these candies.  Then overtime one season melded into another and I seemed to have candies out all the time, refilling the bowls regularly.

It wasn't until a friend mentioned to me that she noticed how I always had candy around and she wondered how I could do that and still be focused on watching my weight. Well, my loving friend really knew the answer-- I couldn't! That next week I got rid of the candy and filled the bowls with shelled pistachio nuts! Not surprisingly, those nuts are still sitting in the same bowls, about at the same level. It has made a world of difference in my candy grazing.

This year I wondered a lot about what I should do about getting candy for Halloween. We haven't had Trick or Treaters once since we moved to our condo. There really was no need for me to buy any. I had to wrestle with my weak desires a couple of times. How to not have candies around and yet avoid my feeling deprived. I really wanted to avoid an excuse to binge. Well I went to the grocery store yesterday and spent a few minutes in the candy isle thinking about it; touching, holding and looking at a variety of bags of candy. Even put a couple in my grocery cart. Ultimately I decided I wanted "one" of something not a bag of something....a good step, I thought, so I put the bags of candy back. There were no single candies at the grocery store....but I didn't really want to go to another store to look for candy. So I landed in the ice cream isle. I got pretzel and caramel flavored Klondike bars. I figured my daughter and husband could also enjoy one after dinner, there would only be a couple bars leftover and they would be in the freezer, frozen and out of sight! Really glad to not have any leftover candy to eat or hide!

It was a fun treat. I enjoyed it. The good news is-- I didn't gain weight, I didn't binge, nor suffer from a sugar high. I also didn't feel sick or get depressed because I had failed myself again. Most importantly, I didn't deprive myself and yet I managed to morph a bad, debilitating, unhealthy tradition into something memorable and satisfying.  Only 270 calories compared to the thousands I know I have eaten in the past! Phew!