Candy Candy Everywhere

Do you remember that line from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink?” Well, even if you missed that day in English Lit class it’s okay! This time of year with Halloween just around the corner  I always think of the line from that poem. Only I change it a bit to say, “Candy, candy, everywhere how not to eat too much?!”

I’ve always loved Christmas. Both for the holiday and its abundance of candy. Other times of the year I might have felt a bit conspicuous buying bags of M&M’s and Hershey Miniatures, but not in November and December. All throughout the months preceding Christmas I’d “stock up” on candy every time I went to the grocery store.  I’d think, “The cashier’s won’t even suspect that I’m going to eat 90% of this candy myself because all the candy bags are in Christmas colors!!” I’d pay for the candy and even before I turned the key to start the engine of my car, I’d be ripping open a candy bag and tasting the forbidden fruit. Because that’s how I thought of candy – forbidden fruit.

But is it really?

I know that none of us needs candy to survive. I’ve heard candy and other such treats as “non-food.”  Candy is not really a food to sustain life but rather a “just for fun food!” But should it be off limits this time of year?

The truth of the matter is that I still like eating candy. I wish I didn’t, but I do. When I was 300 pounds, candy and I were the best of friends. Back then, I’d much rather have eaten candy than spend time feeling uncomfortable at a social outing.

So what did I do about candy when I finally started to turn things around? Did I just say no to candy for the entire 14 months it took me to lose weight? Did I avoid grocery shopping so I wouldn’t be tempted by the brightly colored packages which seemed to call my name? No to both. I didn’t say no to candy altogether and I did still shop in the grocery store.

The way I handled Christmas candy temptations was much the way I handled other temptations. I decided whether or not eating the Christmas candy was worth the inevitable weight-gain. Not due to the fact that one piece of candy causes weight gain, but due to the fact that one piece of interestingly shaped chocolate candy often led to two, then three, then twenty.

When I was losing weight and the Christmas candy started appearing, I struggled internally with myself. Buy a bag or not. I wish I could tell you that a red and green colored bag never made its way into my grocery cart, but that wouldn’t be true. But I can tell you that I never bought a whole bag. That’s right – I’d put it in my cart and before I got up to the cashier, I’d take it out. No big huge bags of candy were allowed at my house. Not right then. Lest you feel sorry for me, I had plenty of little opportunities to practice portion control that and subsequent winters. There were the inevitable bowls of candy on people’s desks, in the doctor’s office, and even John occasionally brought some home. But I never ate too much. And I didn’t feel guilty for the occasional piece of chocolate.

Instead, I just planned for my little indulgence and moved on. I didn’t feel guilty. I didn’t hide what I was eating. And I got through those last days of the year with a decent weight loss.

I can’t tell you how good it made me feel to lose weight throughout a holiday that I normally would have picked up 4 – 6 pounds. Instead I handled candy and didn’t let candy handle me.

So what’s your plan for these coming weeks? Are you a candy lover? If so, what will you do when those bowls of candy begin appearing on co-workers desks and when the clearance candy after Christmas seems to be calling your name? I’d encourage you to have a plan ahead of time, and follow through on learning to handle the abundance of candy. You’ll be glad you did.  Diane

53 thoughts on “Candy Candy Everywhere

  1. vickie says:

    My mom LOVES chocolate, but can’t have the caffeine. So she has a bar of 90% dark and she has a small square of that bar every Thursday afternoon. The youngest is like this – because of her IBS (irritable bowel) – can have a tiny bit or none at all – because she doesn’t want to have pain.

    I buy the same size, also 90%, bar for the middle child and using a knife, I cut each square into fourths. This yields over 30 tiny bites. And she has a tiny bite each day. Otherwise she is totally capable of eating the whole bar – ‘I think I’ll have just another square’ style – in a couple days. If it is chopped up in a bag – and she knows she doesn’t get another bag for a month – she makes it last. This also works for her with Lite Chocolate Soy milk. I buy one carton for each girl every 2 weeks – and they can make their carton last for 2 weeks easily – because they know if they drink it all in the first couple days – they will be OUT for the rest of the two weeks.

    I get migraines occassionally and if I have a bad one – I will have one square of the 90% to get rid of the migraine (whether this actually works or is ‘all in my head’ – see I can be cute too – I don’t know but it is effective). If I ate the chocolate with NO migraine – it would give me a migraine, but it also appears to end one. I personally eat NO other candy. Because I am in check out lanes constantly and the habit would get out of control EASILY. (And it would reinforce shopping/spending. And it would give me migraines – as chocolate is the only form of candy that I really love that would make it worth the empty calories.)

    And NON-FOOD is such a totally accurate way of looking at it. I don’t know if I made that up or saw it somewhere – but it is dead on true.

    WHen I first started – I played the shopping cart game with myself – I would do my shopping and then pull my cart out of the way and go back through it looking for any non-food. And if I found any – I would put the item back. I still think of this every time I shop. And I do notice – often – other people’s carts that ONLY have non-food in them. And when one of my kids is with me and sees one of these carts loaded with NON-food and it is a mom shopping with her kids – my kids get very upset – especially if they all have obvious weight problems. . .
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..Sandrelle’s Compass of Mystery =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Vickie – Great points about portioning out chocolate and really saving and enjoying it. I don’t buy chocolate very much, but when I do it tends to be in small amounts. I do something very similiar with the shopping cart – I review what I have, and make sure what I am buying is the best I can do with the funds I have available that moment!

  2. Gigi says:

    You’re so right about October being the month when you can buy candy and pretend it’s all about the kids. Luckily, the neighborhood we’re in now has practically no kids so I’m safe in that regard but there were years before…..
    .-= Gigi´s last blog ..Booster Club =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Yum Yucky – Aren’t you lucky that you don’t like candy!! I’m unfortunate in that I like Doritos and candy!!

      @Gigi – We didn’t have many trick or treaters either, but I still bought the candy!!

  3. Sandy says:

    This is a real pitfall for me and it starts in September as they put out all of those displays. Again this year I bought candy and was going through bags of it. More than a week ago I put it all away at the top of the pantry to give to the church for their fall program. Now I have to remember to get that down today and take it over to the church, thank you for the reminder. I love your idea of going through your cart and taking out all of the non-food items. Would that include animal crackers my other downfall? 🙂

    • Diane says:

      @Sandy – They do put out those bags so early. Pretty soon they will have huge candy aisles all year long won’t they? I think animal crackers are okay if you can eat just one portion at a time. They are low in fat and may help you satisfy your sweet tooth!

  4. Diane says:

    Halloween is a totally different thing for us , and the only pitfall is the candy we buy for the trick or treaters. This year I decided we are handing out 100 calorie packs of cookies and chocolate covered pretzels. They are no temptation to us and will not pose a problem when we have leftovers.
    For this holiday my challenge is not candy, but how to calculate the calories in all the foods that are included in dinner that night to honor our ancestors. Traditional Irish, polish, Scottish and Italian peasant foods are NOT figure friendly ! I am reminding myself that it is not a problem what you consume on those special occasions, but rather those things that you consume every day that do the harm.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Day two on the road to joy =-.

  5. Joanna Sutter says:

    I love your comment about how you don’t let candy handle you.

    I make sure I am armed with healthy snacks (at the office at home, etc), I make sure I don’t do my candy shopping when I’m hungry), I leave my candy locked in the trunk of my car from the grocery store and don’t take it out until just before the trick or treaters show up. And, I brush my teeth a lot on Halloween so the thought of a piece or 10 of candy doesn’t sound so tempting.

    Oh, and I think about how long that crazy candy has been sitting in a warehouse before it’s even shipped to a store!
    .-= Joanna Sutter´s last blog ..This one takes guts! =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Diane – I think 100 calorie packs are a great solution to Halloween visitors. Calculating calories for special occasion meals can be tricky, but I applaud you for taking the time to figure it out.

      @Joanna – Planning is a great way to combat the temptation and the trunk trick works too! Oh – now you’ve ruined it for me with your last sentence. You mean they didn’t just make that candy last week?

  6. South Beach Steve says:

    I am very fortunate because candy does not really tempt me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, but there is no temptation there. Does that even make sense? Anyhow, I keep a bowl of candy on my desk at all times just to remind me that I can say no.
    .-= South Beach Steve´s last blog ..Still on the Mend =-.

  7. Marisa (Trim The Fat) says:

    Halloween has been a difficult time for me. Every year I come up with a plan where I will either not eat any candy or set a side a few to eat. Neither plan has worked. I usually end up eating tons of it and going into diabetic shock – just kidding. Seriously, it’s a tough holiday for me because it’s the anniversary of my brother’s death and although, it’s been many years, it’s still very hard on that day. I know the temptation of candy is just an excuse to eat all of my emotions about that day. I’m always relieved when it’s over, but I have been known to continue eating the candy in response to feeling bad about overeating it in the first place! What a crazy circle of destruction, huh?! Anyway, I’m hoping to recognize my feelings this year, allow myself to feel them and move on. I want to realize that the candy is just the candy and it will be there anytime I want it, but it is not a way to deal with emotions.

    • Diane says:

      @Marisa – I’m so sorry about your brother. I can totally understand eating emotionally, especially with what you have been through. I’ll be thinking of you this weekend.

  8. Sara N. says:

    I used to buy a lot of candy under the guise of handing it out to kids and giving it away as treats but I, like you, ate most of it myself. This year I’m just going to buy one bag of asstd candy. That will be plenty for trick ‘n treaters and then I’m going to throw it away.

  9. Amy H. says:

    I buy candy that I don’t care for all that much, like SweetTarts and Laffy Taffy and Nerds. I bought a big bag at Sam’s last week and gave it to my husband to take to work (just in case I forgot I don’t like that candy very much…likely) until this weekend when he’ll bring it home to hand out to the kids. For some reason it’s easy for me to not put extra bags of chocolate candy in my cart at the store. Mainly because I know if I have a bag of Snickers, I’m still at a point where I’d eat them all. I’d love to get to where you are, Diane, but I’m not sure I will anytime soon.
    .-= Amy H.´s last blog ..Climbing Flattop Mountain =-.

  10. Lara (Thinspired) says:

    Sounds like you achieved balance with a food that you truly adore! For me it’s not candy, but I defintiely have those foods that I struggle to eliminate completely. That just can’t be the answer!

    • Diane says:

      @Sara – Great job on planning what to buy and what to do with it once the holiday is over! Very wise.

      @Amy H. – That’s what I do too. I’m not a big fan of Skittles, etc so if I need to have candy for an occasion I’ll buy those. You will get there Amy. It didn’t come for me overnight. I promise you – it did NOT come overnight!!

      @Lara – Elimination is one way, and I do know people who choose to do that. For me though, there were certain foods I really did enjoy so much that if I didn’t eat them I’d start to feel deprived. And then I may go completely crazy eating them.

  11. Ness says:

    Hi,

    I love candy, but sometimes it is so hard to say NOOO.
    Good thing here in Europe Candy is not like in the US during Halloween but this time of the year where it is cold outside, you come back from work and you want to eat winter food which means more bread and more carbs.
    this time of the year as well, stores have some special candies and chocolate until December, it is so hard to avoid it… so recently i haven’t been able to say NO, so i am eating and working out twice more in order not to gain…
    WHY GOOD AND YUMMY FOOD IS FATTENING?????

  12. Marcelle says:

    In South Africa while growing up and my kids they didnt celebrate halloween, they have started now…so we never experiences the abundance of candy in October…here in Germany its a big celebration…I’m going to buy candy for those kids who come knocking on my door, but sure to have a bit or two…I trust myself to handle it at this stage of my journey.
    .-= Marcelle´s last blog ..Finally…Me & My New Boots =-.

  13. Jody - Fit at 51 says:

    I am also a candy liker! Luckily now, it is not the chocolate type ones that grab me like when I was a kid and DID EAT THEM ALL! Now I am more a candy corn, smarties type of gal & you don’t see that as much as the chocolate stuff.

    I just do not bring in the house the candy I really really like BUT I don’t avoid it out & about. I plan for things & if a want a couple pieces, I have it & move on. I don’t eat handfuls of the stuff because it is just not worth it to me.

    Once again, I think thru what I really would want as a treat & don’t waste unwanted calories on things that are just not as enjoyable to me & I prefer my cookies over the candy! 🙂

    Like you said Diane, & me too, I just get back to business if I eat a bit too much.

    • Diane says:

      @Marcelle – I love that you trust yourself to handle the candy (or other foods) that come your way! Awesome job.

      @Jody – I like the way you really think through what you will and won’t eat and what you will and won’t buy. I love how you do that. I like cookies too – especially chocolate ones!

      @GeorgiaMist – Great plan! We all have things we really love. What is yours?

  14. Sunny says:

    Frankly, it’s just not worth it. Not any more. Not for me. I have 3 100-piece bags of Hershey’s candy here…and I haven’t been tempted at all to open them. What’s left over, if anything; Mr. Sunny will get to forage through, then the rest goes to work for MY candy dish, which I have no problem having at my desk. I allow myself one 45 calories Nestles Dark Chocolate with Almonds Nugget per day. It fulfills the need for chocolate/candy, and it’s as healthy as candy gets.
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..Better… =-.

  15. Janet says:

    I love chocolate… especially any chocolate with nuts or peanut butter. Hard candy, toffees, licorice, gummy bears etc – meh – I can live without those. I use to buy the stuff that I love best to hand out at the door (and I’d buy enough for 300 trick or treaters, when I knew we’d probably only get 200), and then I’d get to eat the leftovers. This year, I bought stuff that wouldn’t tempt me, and I tried to buy the right amount. The stuff my kids get at other people’s house’s? That’s off limits – besides they don’t share very well… LOL.
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..Day 162 – What I am doing differently this time =-.

  16. Rebecca @ Durch Dick und Duenn says:

    I have yet to buy any and have been doing great avoiding the chocolate

    however….

    my MIL did give me a bag to take home on Sunday(she can’t have it in her house) and I have had a piece every day since then!

    i’m not upset or angry over it, I track it and move on, but it is a tad disappointing to me that I am eating it because it’s there, and well I enjoy it but if it weren’t there, i know I wouldn’t be eating it.

    The original plan was to have a few pieces I truly enjoyed on Saturday. Then getting rid of the rest!
    .-= Rebecca @ Durch Dick und Duenn´s last blog ..Weigh-In #16 =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Sunny – It’s not worth the feelings I get when I overeat candy either. I immediately feel a little bit guilty, and then translate how much I ate into how many extra minutes of exercise I would have to do to burn it off! I like how you plan what to do with the extra!

      @Janet – My kids don’t share their candy very well either. We put their Christmas candy in bags with their names on it and they know exactly how much they have! Kudos to you on planning for success!

      @Rebecca – If I don’t have it around I won’t go out and buy it. That would be a little difficult to have a bag sitting around for me too. I’d probably indulge a bit here and there too. At least you aren’t eating the entire thing!

  17. Leah says:

    I also love candy, and mostly chocolate. I have a bag of dark chocolate kisses that I keep in my pantry. When I really want something sweet I can take out one or two of those and they really satisfy my sweet tooth.

    I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t eaten a few pieces of Hallowe’en candy already. Not more than 3 or 4 over a few days, but I do need to be careful. I wanted them, enjoyed them and went on with the day.

    I am planning on just being careful, allowing a treat and then stopping. This is definitely a time of year for me to be more on my toes.
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..I Will Not Fail =-.

  18. Mia says:

    I have finally learned not to buy the candy ahead of time. There have been many years where I have bought it a few days early feeling strong (strong enough to say no to temptation) only to succumb its lure later! 🙂 Why do we have to buy candy early?? There is plenty in the stores now a days. Buy it the afternoon of Halloween and then you won’t be buying it again and again! LOL!

    • Diane says:

      @Melissa – Great idea to calculate ahead of time the points for the candies you may eat over the weekend. That way you can make an informed choice!

      @Leah – Me too. Really, from here through Valentine’s Day I have to be mindful of the candy that comes into the house. It’s just so easy to buy and buy and eat and eat!!

      @Mia – Great point about not buying it ahead of time. I bought it ahead of time justifying the fact that it was “on sale.” The .50 cents I saved I ended up having to spend 5 times over buying new bags after I ate the intial ones!

  19. Lori (Finding Radiance) says:

    I’m not a huge candy eater (with the exception of candy corn and reeses mini pb cups), so it’s not that much of a problem. I am more of a baked goods eater. We do try to get healthier snack for kids trick or treating, like goldfish or pretzel or raisinettes. That way if there are leftovers, it’s not a bad snack. Candy corn is in the house now, but I have to portion control it as a sweet. I am fairly okay with that, although there are those times when I just want to eat it without being bothered to have to count it, know what I mean?
    .-= Lori (Finding Radiance)´s last blog ..NROLW and busy, busy! =-.

  20. suzanne says:

    I was raised in England so i had no experience with Halloween until i moved to Canada! Wow who knew you could get so much free candy 🙂
    This year we are waiting until the night before to buy one box of things and whatever is leftover is going to be taken to work the next day and anyone (else) can help themselves.
    .-= suzanne´s last blog ..On my walk… =-.

  21. Staci says:

    I am like you… I love candy, but I do not buy it for the house. I will have it for special occasions like the movie theatre, but that is it. Also, if I am having a craving I will take a small amount and share it with somebody. If I get the small amount to adhere my craving, then I know that I can have successful weight maintenance in the future.
    .-= Staci´s last blog ..Results.. =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Lori – I saw the picture of candy corn on your blog this week! I know exactly what you mean about sometimes wanting to eat it without counting it! That’s when we have to be extra careful isn’t it?

      @Suzanne – Free candy is everywhere this time of year. Really from now until Valentine’s Day! It’s just crazy! Sounds like you have a great plan for handling the extras.

      @Staci – That’s great that you already know how you will handle candy in the future. It’s so important to have what you want and not go overboard with it!

  22. Robin says:

    We don’t get many kids to our house, our neighborhood is very quiet and we are at the end of a culdesac but last year I gave out little packs of playdoh instead.
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..In The Funk =-.

  23. Dr. J says:

    I really love your posts, Diane! I wanted to say, I eat every bit of candy I can find and then exercise it off, but I don’t. I am careful with useless calories. Love the costumes however!

  24. Mary :: A Merry Life says:

    CANDY!! This year is unusual for me as I’m at Green Mountain, so there won’t be any candy just sitting around. So my plan is to go buy some! I love some halloween candy so I’m going to make sure I eat it! Saying no completely is cuh-razy cause candy is the best!
    .-= Mary :: A Merry Life´s last blog ..Am I Still Hungry? =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Robin – Playdoh is a great idea. I saw that in a Target ad and I thought it would make a great stocking stuffer at Christmas time too.

      @Dr. J – I wish you would post a picture of yourself in your Halloween costume. You could go as a doctor or a pilot!

      @Mary – What? They don’t have candy bowls there to tempt the staffers and participants? I hope you enjoy your weekend.

  25. Josie says:

    My plan, for me, right now? Not buy any. We’re not handing candy out this year, so really there is no need for it to even be in our home. I know my girls will bring goodie bags home from school and I’ve instructed them to keep it out of my view, LOL. I’m really nervous between that and Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. Baking this year will be hard for me…I know if I can make it through the holidays I can make through ANYTIME. I just need to stay focused and definitely say no to the candy.
    .-= Josie´s last blog ..Week 4 – Weigh-In and Hot 100 Update =-.

  26. Pam says:

    I always buy things like Teddy Grahams, Animal Crackers and Goldfish to give out, that way my toddler can eat the leftovers!

    I remember several years ago thinking about how great it would be when I had a child to go trick or treating with so I could eat half of their candy! How horrible is THAT??? Its not even tempting now, so Daniel will have candy until Christmas, most likely!
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Unflattering Flabbiness =-.

  27. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    When I was little, I didn’t like candy at all. But well into my 30s I developed a sweet tooth, and it got me into trouble for a while. Now I eat a little bit of dark chocolate a few times a week. It satisfies my sweet tooth, and I don’t feel the need to go overboard anymore.

  28. MamaBearJune says:

    Dark chocolate is a MUFA, the healthy fat our body needs and actually BURNS belly fat. So I have two small pieces every day. I never took my kids trick or treating due to religious beliefs. As adults, they enjoy dressing up and handing out candy to the few kids who stop by our house. I usually will buy candy that I don’t much care for so the temptation isn’t as strong. 🙂

    A friend of mine combined candy corn and cocktail peanuts for a snack at Bible study one year. That stuff is TOTALLY evil! 😉
    .-= MamaBearJune´s last blog ..Great info =-.

  29. erin says:

    “I handled candy and didn’t let candy handle me.”

    I LOVE that line. Halloween has never been a real struggle for me. It’s Christmas season that always brings the greatest temptation for me!
    .-= erin´s last blog ..Birthday Blessings =-.

  30. Diane says:

    @Josie – If you are not handing any out then there really is no need to buy any! We don’t hand it out either because we live in the country! Baking is hard for me too. I have to be very careful not to go overboard just because it’s the holiday!

    @Pam – Yes – great ideas on buying things that you little one can enjoy after the holiday is over. And I completely understand your last statement. That was ME!

    @Andrea – Dark chocolate is good for you in small amounts so you are doing a good thing by having a bit!

    @MamaBear – We don’t trick or treat either, but even so, oftentimes our church would have a fall festival where the admittance “ticket” was a bag of candy! So I had to buy some. It sounds like you have an awesome plan this year. Candy corn and peanuts? That is evil!

    @erin – Christmas will be here before we know it! Then we’ll talk!

  31. Tammy says:

    I love chocolate. Love it. But I have to say that I’ve never bought bags and bags of the stuff at Halloween. I’ve always been very lucky in that everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve never had a huge onslaught of trick-or-treaters, so I’ve always just bought one bag. My roommate Shane and my bf Dwayne are more than happy to devour the bag by the next day. I usually eat 2 or 3 pieces of it. This year (last weekend) I bought 1 bag of Reese’s cups. It’s still in my cabinet….one I rarely use…so I don’t see it every day. And I’ve already checked….44 calories in a Reese’s miniature…so if I have 2 or 3 pieces next wknd…I’ll just count it in my calories. No biggie. 🙂
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..A Treasured Award =-.

  32. Jules says:

    I know what you mean about buying something and before you even start the car, the bag is open and you’re eating it. For me it’s not candy though… It’s french bread. Can’t buy it without finishing it off before bed.
    As for halloween, I’m not a huge candy fan (more a carbs baked goods fan, thank god it’s not back in the day when that’s what used to be handed out. :)LOL). Although I do have my favorites. Right now, we don’t buy candy to hand out because both my husband and I are still in the we’re new parents stage of trick or treating and both want to go. So we’re not home to hand it out. So candy is restricted to only what she gets when she goes out that night. Once we get it home. I take 1/2 my favorites and freeze them. I (try to) limit myself to 1-2 peices a day until it’s all gone and ONLY after meals. I then make hubby take the other 1/2 of my favorites and hide them or take them to work for himself so that all that is left is the stuff that the 2 of them will enjoy and I won’t touch. Usually it lasts thru xmas in our house and then there’s a whole new batch to deal with. This year we are going to try and curb the candy train from our relatives. The good thing is… You know I’m deserpate if I do eat the candy I don’t like and that just doens’t happen often enough. When we do start handing candy out.. I’ll buy only what i won’t eat and be sure it’s ALL gone before the night is over. 🙂
    .-= Jules´s last blog ..I did it anyways =-.

  33. Amos the Lion heart says:

    i bought items this year that i didn’t like.. and then a few of what i would like.. but ones that I know how to count. Mini tootsie rolls for instance. I allow myself just a couple, then I wash the taste out of my mouth.. cause otherwise I’ll want more and more!! Then I count the points, and move on. 🙂
    .-= Amos the Lion heart´s last blog ..an interesting walk =-.

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