Halloween marks the beginning of the Holiday Food Fest! Halloween candy of all kinds has been available at stores in the big bags since mid-August (as if a bag would keep that long if it were brought home). We always donate a jumbo sized bag to our church for the annual Trunk-or-Treat event. I buy a couple of small bags for the few trick-or-treaters that might come to the door. I try to buy candy I don’t like, but the kinds others would like.
You see, I have a chocolate addiction. Yes, I admit it and I’m very OK to say it out loud, “Hello, my name is Terri and I am a chocoholic.” Please do not be offended; I recognize that there are 12-step programs for food addictions and I am not making light of the situation.
That being said, the holiday food fest is very challenging for people with food addictions. Candy has SUGAR, corn syrup, red dye, sodium and other unpronounceable ingredients that are definitely suspicious. If I can get through Halloween without too much candy being ingested, I always feel like that battle has been victorious.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving! It is a great holiday to spend with friends and family, take a vacation, travel, etc. But, it is more days of potential overeating. When I did Weight Watchers, they gave us all kinds of tricks to fool ourselves into not over-indulging on the BIG day. I was always pretty good at not killing myself with food on THE day. The real problem with Thanksgiving for me is the LEFTOVERS that haunt my refrigerator and dining table for days on end.
Of course I am thankful for my life and my family and my good health, yada yada, but all this food is ridiculous. I know there are hundreds of charitable organizations that offer food drives and events like Thanksgiving Day “Run to Feed the Hungry,” and bravo to those who support these organizations. While most of us worry about how much food we might eat, there are thousands of legitimately hungry people within our own neighborhoods, who would LOVE to just have one-tenth of the food on our over-sized platters we now call dinner plates.
Ho ho ho…Merry Christmas (or Happy Hannukah, or Kwaanza, or _______ fill in the blank)! The next round is here with holiday parties and more food! Need I say more? You get it.
It seems that Western society also uses food as a catalyst for leisure activities. “Let’s get together for dinner,” let’s meet for drinks,” “come over to our house for dessert…” Most special events involve food and beverages of all kinds. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but it is very difficult for people who have food addictions, who are trying to lose weight, or during this time of year, who are trying to observe religious holidays where certain foods are restricted. Not to mention the growing number of food allergies that have surfaced!
Parents, please watch your children’s intake of sugar this season, as well as your own. Do I have an answer? Nope. Will I overeat this season? Yep. I will try, too, as I struggle with my weight and my chocolate addiction.