Saturday, October 25, 2014

4th year of not eating Halloween Candy, yeah, I abstain from sugar, works for me...

Trigger Warning: I do write about sugar and Halloween Candy in this post. There are no candy photos, no specifics. You are welcome! ;)  Thinking for yourself warning: If moderation works for you and you can maintain a large weight loss, do it. You may even want to skip this post if abstaining triggers you. You probably want to skip my whole blog. Boom. There, I said it.  Abstaining doesn't work for everyone, and that's okay with me. Do what works.

 If you are struggling or on the fence thinking about using abstaining eating strategies, keep an open mind to abstaining. I used to buy into the Moderation Myth. Glad I can think for myself. It's sweet.

This will be my 4th Halloween that I haven't had even a bite of candy. Once I realized what life was like without a binge urge every second , hour, several times a day, once a week, once and a while, life became sweeter in a non-sugar way.

I started living life fully. Candy was a  false sugar fix. Moderating Halloween Candy was one of the worst choices I could make. Moderating mini- candy bars always triggered a binge.

No matter how well I counted WW points, planned for just one piece, sugar really effects my thought processes. Sugar really effected  my health. Scary how close I was to pre-diabetes. How much inflammation I had.

All the sugar effects have poor outcomes to my emotional and physical health. I was born this way. It's not a matter of being "weak" "disordered" or "ill" (people like to name call, funny, almost more than when I was obese!! Whatever....) It's just the way my molecular biology presents, combined with my past and present food environment  That's okay.  It's okay not to eat sugar if it works for me. It's not like I have a "sugar deficiency". Halloween Candy is not special.  I'm an adult. My choice.

Rather than fighting something I feel I cannot change, I abstained from Halloween Candy in 2011, 2012,  and 2013. ( My Halloween Post from 2013) . I now plan to abstain in 2014. If you return in 2015,I plan to abstain. My choice.

I'm still maintaining my 68-70 pound weight loss over 2+ years.  I get the choice:
A. Abstain and not re-gain, clear thinking
B. Moderate candy, binge eat, gain weight, binge eat.

One choice is much, much to me sweeter than the other.

If you are abstaining from Halloween Candy this year, please know you are not alone! If you moderate candy and are still reading this post- yayyyy you. High five! Respect. If you are on the fence,  try think for yourself, your choices, your outcomes. There's no one right way. Experimenting takes a lot of courage, self-efficacy, strength.  N=1.

What works for me
1. Abstain from all Halloween Candy, again, 2014 for the WIN!
2. Any candy brought into the house gets placed out of sight
3. Extra candy after a few weeks is tossed into the trash
4. I enjoy taking Halloween photos of non candy items
5. I get outside and walk a lot and take a lot of photos (low tides this weekend)

What didn't work in the past
1. I would attempt to moderate, memorize those WW mini-candy bar charts. 
2.  I would attempt to moderate mini-candy bars EVERY day, then buy candy at the 1/2 price sales!
3. What extra candy? I ate it up pretty fast
4. I could only think about what types of candy I liked the best. 
5. I was only concerned with how many houses I could (or that I could take my kid)

Candy Abstaining Island


  1. We have gone dark at our house (turn off all the front lights, pretend we are not home) since our middle child went to college the fall of 2012. Yes, not having candy in house was part of the reason, but a bigger reason was the jarring of the doorbell. I am sensative to sound. Do not like the constant disruption. Some years we would sit at the end of the driveway, but can't always do that with weather, so we made the dark decision.

    One of the biggest issues (in favor of dropping candy) in my opinion, is the fact that it is at pretty much every checkout counter or reception desk in town. If the reflex is to reach for it or have one piece, that is a lot of one pieces.

    And one thing I find myself mentioning more often is, I think, chain reactions are not always apparent. Sugar does not necessarily set off the desire for more sugar. Sometimes, often, sugar sets off the desire for salt, which in turn can set off the desire for non healthy fats. And once those desires get started, they continue to loop. So the person can THINK they do okay with sugar because they can eat one piece or serving. But do not see the chain reaction.

    The moderation crowd is vocal, but I am never quite sure what their status actually is. There are just a couple where they are where they want to be and are maintaining. I suspect a lot are kidding themselves.

    1. Vickie- so true. Many are not triggered by sugar, but having the bars around set me up later in the week or early November. The chain reactions, indeed.

      WW drills moderation into you. It took a lot of reading (Barbara Berkeley, MD- Refuse to Regain, food addiction principles) I still weigh in at the WW scales once a month- free and I want to see what my doc is going to see and where my bench mark for my health insurance discount is going to read for the year.

      I used to participate in the discussions until my favorite leader threw her member under the bus when she said she ate chocolate cake and got poor results "You aren't tracking, measuring, you aren't counting your points right, you are.".... blame game , bus throwing. The lady responded she was tracking like a champ! Like she had never measured before...

      I spoke up and told the group that I also got poor outcomes when I moderate cake- especially frosted cake and I could not lose weight or I would stay stuck overweight or fall out of maintenance. Because frosting is a binge food of mine. I now accept that and I don't eat frosted cake, or any cake for that matter. The leader repeated to the group that we could eat annnnnnny thing we want and gave me the biggest stink eye. Since she appeared processed by Darth Vader, I slowwwwly backed out of the room never to stay for another meeting. At least the lady who was being blamed for shoddy point counting gave me a thank you look before I got the heck out of there... poor lady. Kidding yourself indeed. What a crock. The hours I wasted jotting down point values for a mini- Snickers.... Oh well. Live and learn and do better.

  2. I live in Canada, so I give out loonies to the kids, but then I am in the country and I might get 0 to 15 kids. No sugar involved.

    1. Curious what loonies might be - ?

    2. Vickie, I'm not Fred T, but a Loonie is a $1 gold coin with a loon on it. I vacationed a lot in Canada as a kid. Fred T, That is a good idea. Our $1 coins might be a hit if we are not home long enough to hand out more than $15-20 (typically kids we know).

  3. Abstaining from all candy for sure! Not just for Halloween either; chocolate is just a complete NO. As Vickie says, it loops....not just for more chocolate, but for other 'indulgences' as well.

    MUCH prefer the control I maintain when I'm chocolate/sugar free. :)

    p.s. soon, I won't be commenting anywhere that requires Google....if you could add the 'name/url' option, I can keep commenting. Thanks! :)

    1. Gwen, my comment choices are set to OpenID.
      You could probably post as Wordpress, LiveJournal, Typepad, AIM, OpenID.

      Try the drop down toggle in the "Reply as" to change to commenting via the above named accounts. With Blogspot, I think this is the most "open" commenting that I can choose. I won't allow anonymous comments, so I won't be using that setting.

    2. Nope, the Open ID doesn't work, nor does wordpress; it gives error messages. every.time.I. try.

      Odd, everyone else I've asked in blogger has been able to add the name/url option. I've tried the others (well, I don't have Typepad or AIM or LiveJournal), and none of them work. :(

    3. I'll consult dr Google and get back to u soon

    4. Gwen, go to the bottom and see the OpenID instructions.
      I think you can use your blog URL as the "open ID"

      Crossing fingers!!!

  4. I don't abstain but still love reading your blog for inspiration (because I know there are still a lot of areas in my food choices that I could improve upon!!).

    1. Jeanette, when I was younger, I could eat some sweets and get away with it. Add in auto-immune thyroid disease, menopause, and late 40's and every thing changed. Not all at once, but I do think the auto-immune disease pushed me into the land of food sensitives. In a way, it forces me to eat for top health and I can get my "entertainment" from nature, the tide pools, traveling, etc. Different dopamine sources. :)

  5. I saw your comments over on Lyn's blog re: her ED counselor's advice. Your comment was so spot on, I added a comment saying so. :) Despite my agreement, do you know what happened?

    The discussion reminded me of the fact that, despite my lifetime of being overweight (I weighed 207 in high school), I did not binge until, due to health issues, I began abstaining from gluten and restricting carbs in 2010. At that point, I lost weight, but also began intermittent bingeing complete with that horrible "need to feed" emotional aspect. I had never had that before.

    Let me be clear, although I know the restricting/abstaining is a predisposing factor to the binge for me, I do not binge unless I first give into "just a bit" of the restricted food. Yeah.

    You'da thought I would have remembered that before I gave into the restricted food in the name of moderation, wouldn't you? Alas, no. The logic of moderation has a very strong pull to it. I reasoned myself into what became two frantic, calorie-laden days before I returned to sanity--carrying four extra pounds, blemishes, and mood swings with me. Yes, that went well....

    I stopped over here for a sip of food sanity. Thanks for providing it.


    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog, Deb. I'll tell you- my binge urges and my trigger foods (wheat, most sugar) go hand in hand with my most sensitive foods for my auto-immune disease. Everything that makes me sick also triggers binge urges.

      There's no mistake there. My Trigger foods= binge= inflammation = emotional and physical pain. Like Dallas and Melissa Hartwig like to say (The Whole 30/ The Whole 9 ) there is no food Switzerland. Melissa is a recovered drug addict (she blogged about it in 2012- very bravely. )I feel that I'm a recovered food addict. A whole world of "specialists" would say I'm wrong. I know me. So did my licensed counselor in 2002. I can't say food addiction is the same thing- I don't drink, never did drugs, but for me, something lights up my brain pretty bad. One bite. Rush to the head. Born this way since age six- but if effected me different at different ages. Sometimes I feel guilty, that I made it through and others are left behind. All I can do is tell my story so people know they are not alone.

      Stop by any time.

  6. Halloween is a relatively now thing in New Zealand - more and more kids are getting into it each year and I too "hide"... I either go out or pretend I'm out. I hate the constant "no we don't have sweets" or the years I did, I found the kids to be often quite rude. I'm happier to not take part.

    1. Lynda, I remember arriving at our Bed and Breakfast in New Zealand very late on Halloween night in 1999. Our host told us, "Well, we might get 5 or so trick-or-treaters, but we put candy out for our American guests".

      If I'm home, it will be the coins.. :)

  7. For the past few years, I've been giving the kids spare change. Everybody's happy with it.

    1. Lori- I'm with you and Fred T. Stopping by the bank today for dollar coins. For the few trick or treaters I'm likely to have, the coins are a better fit!

  8. I have been abstaining from any work Halloween candy this year. It is everywhere in the office. And if I start, I don't stop. So while I may indulge on Halloween itself, I'm not participating in the weeks'-long candyfest prior to the day. It's just easier this way for me.

    1. Hils, I'm very glad you are taking that step. Choosing not to eat any candy ( for me any food I didn't bring) at work is probably the #1 thing I did to reverse a very close pre-diabetes diagnosis. One more year eating the work candy ( so much of it!!) and I would have been very sick.

      Glad you are choosing the easier route.