Halloween Candy

     I eat Halloween candy. I also eat many other types of sweets and deserts in moderation, without it being a problem. I don’t think recovery requires me or anyone to eat sweets in moderation, or avoid them altogether. I think that is a personal choice, one that is not exclusive to eating disorders. Everyone has to decide whether to eat sweets or not and how much sweet food to eat; and every Halloween, we are all faced with the temptation of a few too many pieces of candy.  

      When I was a senior in college (and bulimic), I remember buying a large bag of peanut butter cups for trick-or-treaters. I lived alone in a duplex house at the time, so I knew it was a possibility for me to get some kids knocking on my door on Halloween night. Sweets were dangerous to me, and when I bought the peanut butter cups, I knew it was a risk that I’d eat them all before Halloween. Sure enough, I ate all the candy in one sitting during a binge the day before Halloween. So, on Halloween night, I turned off my outside light, and didn’t answer the door. 

     It’s amazing to me now that we can keep bags of candy or junk food in the house, and I don’t view it as “dangerous” at all. For example, with both my older kids, we used M&M’s as rewards for potty training, so we kept large bags of M&M’s in our pantry for well over a year. I had a few M&M’s here and there, maybe a couple times a week. It’s been the same with Halloween candy since my recovery. Today, my kids trick-or-treating containers are sitting on our kitchen table; I’ve had a few pieces in the past few days that I knew they wouldn’t like, but I don’t feel drawn to it.  

     Eating Halloween candy, or any other types of sweets for that matter, no longer triggers urges to binge. Sometimes eating something sweet triggers a desire for a little more of the sweet, but that is just natural.  When faced with an inkling for a little more candy, I have to make the same choice that normal eaters face every day – have a little extra or don’t, but no matter what choice I make, it never leads to binge eating.  

     Recovery doesn’t have to mean a life void of simple pleasures from food, like a few pieces of Halloween candy.

4 thoughts on “Halloween Candy

  1. This most recent Halloween, I didn’t have as many kids coming to my door as I thought. I even bought “bad” candy so I wouldn’t be as tempted to eat it. But sure enough, not that many kids came to my door and I was stuck with a big bowl of candy. And what did I do? I ate a TON of it… uncontrollably. I ended up having to throw the rest out just to stop myself. I started reading your book a couple days ago and I’m feeling optimistic that I won’t have to torment myself like that again next Halloween. Thanks!

  2. This past Halloween I didn’t buy any candy at all, even though we usually have lots of trick-r-treaters. I told my husband that we had to turn out all the lights and pretend we weren’t home, because candy was too dangerous for me to have in the house. And that’s what we did. We lay on our bed and listened to the shouts and screams as the trick-r-treaters ran up and down the sidewalk in front of our house. It was SO stupid, because it was the first Halloween I hadn’t had any candy for as long as I could remember. It made me crave candy like a house afire, a very painful craving that lasted for hours and hours. But I didn’t eat any candy. The following night I went out and bought two pies. I brought them home and ate one and half of them myself. Dumb. Really dumb. Now that I’ve read your book and I’m binge-free, I won’t do that next Halloween. I’ll buy candy for the trick-r-treaters and have a nice big bar of my favorite dark chocolate. I’m so glad I don’t have to go through that again!

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