Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat? The Two-Edged Sword of Halloween Candy

Last week I bought all my halloween candy. It was buy-one-get-one-free at Publix. I bought the good stuff....none of this tasteless sugary random crap for the little kids who ring my door bell, I bought bags of Reeses, Butterfinger, and KitKats.

On second thought, maybe I should have bought the tasteless crap so I wouldn't want to sneak my own candy every time I gave a chocolate to each fairy and superhero who comes to the door.

So anyway, I had a plan though. It worked all week. As soon as John got home from work the day I went to the store, I promptly handed him the bags of candy and told him to hide them. And, he would know if I'd snuck any because all the bags were still sealed. Now, we do have a fairly small house, and I know roughly were he hid it, but the point was, I would have to consciously make a choice to find it and open the bag, and eat the chocolate. There were multiple barriers so that I could rethink what I was doing at each point.

So, it worked great. There were several days that I really really wanted chocolate, but I knew that John would know if I opened the bag, and I knew I shouldn't, so I had yogurt or pomegranate instead.

Until today....... :(

John left right after work to go camping with some of our youth group, which left me all alone all evening long (and tomorrow morning). I would have gone out, but we share a car, and obviously, he has it.

There I was.
Just me......and the chocolate.
Dun dun DUN!

I ate dinner, cleaned the kitchen, checked email, looked at our finances, then sat down to watch a TV show. And then it hit me...the craving for sweets. mmmmm.

I rationalized that it was okay to find and open the yummy chocolates since it was only 2 days before halloween. Certainly I can use self-restraint for that long.

uuuuuh, yeah, evidently not.

I told myself that I would only have 2 pieces, so that I could prove to John that I made an okay decision to give myself a little treat. But then, as I watched my show, the bag was just sitting there. Right there next to me on the couch, like my little devil buddy.

So I had my two. and then another. and then another. I probably had like seven. Which is absolutely awful.

Even as I typed this I wanted to fudge on that number, but this blog will only be useful to me, and to you readers, if I am brutally honest. So there you go.

I was a little pig. I thought that since I haven't had hardly any sugar the entire summer, my gluttony with sugar would be under control. I was naive. It will take much longer than 5 months to cure that. I now remember how wise it is of me to not keep chocolate or ice cream in the house.

My very wise sister Angela pointed out a very noteworthy idea: With as much extra money as I'm spending to eat healthy, wouldn't it be worth it to forgo the B1G1 free deal and pay full price on Halloween day? Just another way to "eat healthy". I don't keep candy in my house other time of the year just because it's on sale. And the higher prices I buy to get whole foods and more produce is pretty much just going to waste if then I squander my nutrition on sale chocolate. So....lesson learned. Won't be doing that again.

Another good thing that I learned from this (again, the hard way). After about 4 pieces, my body was telling me I had enough. I had at that point had way more sugar than I've had in quite a while. My blood felt like syrup. I felt "bleh". But...I kept eating more, because my taste buds said it was yummy.

And then, I had a tummy ache. For which I'm very thankful. I'm so happy that even if I haven't retrained my taste buds (at least in reference to chocolate), that my body is healthy enough to respond when I give it trash like that. Six months ago, my body wouldn't have flinched if I would have eaten twice that much. Now, my system is functioning how it's intended to....telling me when I've had too much of something. Way to go body!

Body reaction: 1 Self-control: 0.

I'll work out that next time....I need to have the restraint to listen to my body. But until I cultivate that, I'm not going to tempt myself anymore than necessary.

Tonight, I definitely got the trick instead of the treat from that candy.

How about you? Do you struggle with the candy around this weekend? How do you handle the temptation?

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