If you don’t like the road you’re walking,
I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. During my trick or treat years, in the early 60s, the city celebrated Halloween eve and Halloween night. Oh yeah! A dream come true for this little food addict…at least back then.
And now…Halloween is one night and it’s come and gone. Can you believe it? Where has the time gone?
Halloween as a Kid
When I was a kid, I lived for Halloween. To me, it meant candy heaven. Back in the day, we trick or treated on the eve and the day of Halloween, which meant two overloaded pillow cases filled with candy.
I was sugar addicted as a wee child but I didn’t know it, yet.
After I inhaled my candies within hours, I was snooping and stealing from my siblings, who often forgot they had candy. And the sad part is they didn’t notice I gobbled much of it. Yet, I noticed if one piece of my candy was missing. They were not sugar addicted.
I recall filling two pillow cases’ worth of candies, one for each night, and going into a total sugar coma with no monitoring. My sister Debbie and I were roommates and bedmates, so after the big event each night we’d sit on the floor and trade goods. I wanted chocolate or anything sugary and she wanted the gums, pretzels, apples and dark licorice. I gobbled my stash within hours where Debbie’s lasted to the point it became stale unless I snuck into hers when mine was gone desperate for a little “fix”.
Ahhh…. such memories….
It was a long time ago, but memories still lingered. And now with twin grandbaby girls, I can relive the event through them.
A Mother Thief
When my son Benjamin went out trick or treating, I was the mom (the only mom!) who took a troop of kids out and kindly held their too heavy bags, sneaking a bite at every stop with no one catching me.
I stole then too. Yes, I stole from an innocent children and later in the evening a little child — my child—after he was fast asleep. I recall sitting on the floor with him sorting his stash into a good pile and a bad pile. Bad meant it looked harmful or wasn’t appropriate for him to eat.
Okay…I hold my head low … I put the “bad” pile neatly in a bag, only to retrieve later for me. Hey… addicts do stuff like that.
Halloween in Recovery
These days, I look forward to Halloween with a totally different outlook. I’m clean of sugar, flour, and wheat for nearly two and a half decades. Relieved I will not get into the candies the costumed kidlets collect when they come knocking on our door. Not interested. Once I stopped eating the candy/flour drug, ALL the cravings went away and my weight returned to normal.
Okay, I didn’t just quit eating the stuff. No. I went from binge eating to a course of difficulties …on and off… trial and error, just like any other addict. I treat all addictions in my practice and I have to tell you we are all the same. When I’m listening to a cocaine addict, I think just replace it with sugar and we are the same. Now it’s hard for the drug addict to believe me when I say that. Their thought is, Oh come on…you mean to tell me your can’t handle a twinkie while they’re fighting the white line. Yep…all the same. One can not judge the suffering of the other. It hurts no matter what side of the addiction you’re on.
All addicts need to abstain. Stop. But how do you do that? It’s a process for sure. First, get to a twelve-step meeting or join a community of like-minded addicts. Next, find a Divine Source to your understanding and cling tight. Now, seek a psychotherapist or psychologist but make sure they are addiction specialized. And then get ready for the roller coaster of emotions, starting with the honeymoon stage.
Honeymoon stage is when you are so giddy happy. Weight is coming off if needed or its correcting or stabilizing or increasing, depending on your case.
The correction of the addiction is a high of another source; hence, the honeymoon. But after the high wears off, you ‘re dealing with emotions at the gut level… maybe even depressed or anxious or both.
Once you power through the cycle of emotions, and this can take months or even years depending on you and your core character, then comes the acceptance, the connecting with that higher energy before your world is right. This doesn’t mean you won’t have down days or little snippets of temptations, because you will but it won’t take you down. To avoid the relapse plug into HALTS as a gauge to where you’re emotions and hunger levels reside. Ask yourself the questions below.
• Are you hungry? When was the last time you ate, and what was it? To avoid over eating, or under eating, eat every four to five hours. Refueling is necessary to keep from low blood sugar, actual hunger, or crazy food jonesing.
• Are you angry? What are you feeling and thinking? Are you annoyed? Dig deep to ferret out your mood? Are you mad at something or someone but don’t know how to address it so you stuff your feelings down with food?
• Are you lonely? Perhaps you’re feeling alone. Did you know you can be in a room full of people and be alone or be alone and feel fabulously filled with good energy.
• Are you tired? How much sleep have you had. We need at least 6.5 hours of sleep and, of course, 7 to 8 is better.
• Are you stressed? Are you so wound up your teeth are clenched, body tense beyond recognition? Take a pause and go for a walk, stretch, call a friend, watch a comedy to redirect your stress.
Once you answer these questions you’ll know where you are with the HALTS meter making better choices as you acurately tap into what’s going on with your feelings.
On Halloween I no longer hand out candy. Some years I give money while others a bag of nuts or raisins. The kids usually look bummed, which most likely explains why our treaters are dwindling. They probably think like I did when I was a kid, I’m skipping that lady’s house…she doesn’t have any good stuff!
So, food addiction is real…and Halloween is too. What were your plans? Did you eat the candy intended for others? What did you do with the leftovers? Are you afraid of the ghosts in the night? Are you afraid of the candies you have in your home? Are you a food addict? Do you have Halloween memories?
Let me know what you’re thinking?
Check out my website at weightcontroltherapy.com and read my story and how I moved from obesity to a normal weight and quieted the food monster with in.
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Thank you for spending time with me and my thoughts throughout these pages. I hope my words lit your excitement to become your best self for you.
I look forward to sharing my newest book with you on how to Release Your obsession with Your PHONE. God bless you and your journey through this life and all that awaits beyond.
Thank you for being a part of the reading blog forum of this blog. If you have something you’d like to say, I’d love to hear it. YOU are important and your words need to be heard. I’m here for you.
Stay tuned. You never know where my mind will wander…