The scariest thing about Halloween and losing weight for me didn’t happen on Halloween night. It happened the next day and wrecked the days that follow.
“This dedication will surely pay off,” I thought. “I’m going to keep losing weight, no candy is going to blow it for me!”
I got through October. On November first I felt strong and ready to take on the next big challenge looming on the calendar – the fourth Thursday in the month. The kids went to school, my husband went to work leaving me home alone and that’s when I got frightened.
It starts with making beds. In each girl’s room lay a wide-open bag of Halloween candy beside the bed. There are the uninteresting candy corn and rolls of Smartees, and then there are the peanut butter cups and the Kisses and the fun-sized Snickers and Milky Ways. I make the bed and escape the first room without giving into the temptation and head for the next room. “Ooooh! I’m so good!”
Another bag awaits me in the next room and it’s also full of chocolate and totally unattended. It’s more frightening than the first. I tell myself I am strong and can continue with my perfect ways and so I do…
By the third room and the third bag I’m telling myself, ” I can’t hold out anymore. I deserve one little fun-sized bar, and besides, this daughter won’t even care. She still has most of her Halloween candy left at Christmastime!”
Feeling justified and ignoring the guilt and shame that’s already building up I decide that I really must have a piece of candy. Just one and I won’t get caught so I go for my favorite, a Milky Way! I ate it a little too quickly because I’ve been too good and so perfect for a long time. I need to eat another one slowly to get the full pleasure effect.
It goes down kind of quickly too and now I’m feeling a little scared and very out-of-control. I never should have started. I shouldn’t have even let the kids bring that bad stuff into the house! I shovel several more into my mouth because it’s not my fault. Candy is evil! I don’t really know how many, but the bag seems to be much less full.
“What did I do? I just blew everything!”
I left the room quickly and decided not to enter the fourth daughter’s room and face her bag of candy. I needed to get downstairs where there’s no candy. On second thought, I needed to get out of the house! I’ll go to the supermarket and I’ll buy good food, things people on diets need to stop them from getting into the candy. I’m going to buy rice cakes and chicken breasts, baby carrots and broccoli and may a few frozen diet entrees. I want to get back to being good and being perfect.
That’s not what happened.
“Whoa! What’s this? All the Halloween candy is front and center and drastically reduced!”
I filled my carriage with candy because it’s over now. I’ve already blown my diet. I’m convinced if a candy addiction is a real thing, then I must have it. Plus, buying more candy would allow me to replace their candy without them ever knowing about my thievery. It seemed like a good plan.
It was a bad plan. It was a plan based on limiting beliefs. It was a plan that reversed the progress I’d made up to that point and prevented me from getting back on track until after New Year’s Day. It was a plan built on stinking thinking.
It took me a while to learn that Halloween candy or any food or holiday for that matter, should not scare me about my chance for weight loss success. The evil was in my own mind.
Candy holds no threats and no devilish power over me. I learned what I really need to fear. The threat to success comes from limiting beliefs such as believing that what I eat makes me good or bad and that successful weight loss demands perfection.