Trick or Treat: A Weighty Question for Some
When Candy Triggers Cravings
I love candy. Always have. Though my ‘treat’ preferences have changed through the years, my ‘sweet tooth’ still remains. I noticed a strange difference in people’s cravings even as a kid. My sister seemed to be a freak of nature. We, my sister and I, would return home from a fun packed evening of trick or treating with buckets full of halloween candy. I would dive right in eating handfuls of treats. I usually went to bed with a belly ache from all the sugar. That usually would teach me to take it easy but every single day I would eat a treat or a few from my bucket. Once that was gone, I’d begin to sneak into my sister's room to check out her stash. That girl bewildered me!! Her treat bag would be brimming full. She ate a few pieces on halloween night then literally never touched the stuff. She just didn’t crave it or care about it! And this was at a mere age of 7 yo! I’m realizing as I move through the different seasons of my life, that Balance is not something that you find and then have. It is a constant evolving process. It is something to work towards daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Like in a dance, a balanced person learns to flow through the stresses, roadblocks, & changes of life, side stepping, swaying, ducking, and moving towards the direction of stability and peace. Circumstances and Emotions change and as they do, if a person stays stagnant and set in a path, the dance becomes off-balance and is disrupted.
Well trust me, I took FULL ADVANTAGE of this overflowing bucket just a few steps from my bedroom. I would take 1 or 2 pieces every single day until one day it was empty. And amazingly, she never complained or seemed to notice, at least not in my memory ( perhaps I should consult my mother on that fact. giggle).
My love for sugar and treats never distressed me, never worried me about weight gain, really it never affected my mind, body or thoughts….. Until it did!
A craving and enjoyment, coupled with a carefree attitude and impulsivity can lead right into the ‘just one more’ then to full on candy binge. Then the guilt. The Shame. The worry about ‘getting fat’. Next comes the deprivation decision.
You think, “ I.Must.Restrict.My.Food. to make up for this indulgence.”
Let me pause right here if this sounds familiar to you. Restricting to make up for an indulgence paves the way for more cravings, extreme hunger, and being vulnerable to another binge. It is a painful cycle that can be a segway into a pattern of disordered eating, fear of weight gain, and misery.
So, here’s my professional, personal and heartfelt advice.
1. Set up a plan before the candy arrives, you attend the party, you bake the goodies.
a. When do you want to enjoy them? How do you want to manage the quantity?
b. What safety parameters do you need to put into place to decrease the impulsive and excessive snacking?
2. Allow yourself to enjoy the treats without guilt or shame. If you overdo it, forgive yourself.
3. Accept that overdoing it on occasion isn’t going to sabotage your size for life. You don’t have to restrict all food and punish yourself. Maybe you downsize your treat servings for a few weeks or add extra veggies to your meals to help assure you are satiated after your meal and not set up for cravings.
4. Be Kind to your heart and soul. You are worth the T.L.C.
Happy Fall Y'all!
** If you are struggling and can’t do it alone, reach out to someone for help.
** check out my website if you want more info on my Nutrition and Eating Disorder Recovery Program.