Wednesday, November 14, 2012

15 Days of Post-Halloween Binge

Having the kids' leftover Halloween candy in the house is an absolute disaster for me.  I was doing really well watching my calorie intake in early October--and calorie counting is totally foreign to well as something I said I would never do.  I love food, I love eating, and I love having a treat after the kids go to bed when I've had a long day.  I don't want to let my weight dictate my enjoyment of life, which sometimes for me correlates directly with my enjoyment of food.  I want to learn how to be happy just the way I am, happy with how I look no matter what my weight, but then I feel like that might be a bad excuse to overeat?  I'm pretty fed up with my current weight plateau (and that's being generous--this current trend is only a plateau if it's a mirage of flat terrain masking a sizable hill), so I decided that I could stand to try the calorie counting thing.  I discovered that you can google "how many calories are in _____?" and get an answer--something I never thought to do before.  Most of my favorite restaurants have nutritional information on their websites, too, and I was able to tailor my usual meals when we ate out to cut back on the calories.  I was writing down everything I ate in a food log and constantly calculating what was going in my mouth for 10 straight days.

I record my daily food intake in Microsoft Word and do the calorie calculations myself, but there are a lot of apps out there that will do the work for you!  I'm not super app savvy, so doing it myself is the easiest for me.

I have a bit of an obsessive personality, and this calorie-counting thing was starting to overtake my thoughts--I wasn't necessarily opposed to that happening because I was seeing some results on the scale after even a short period of time, but I was trying to be aware and not let it become something dangerous.  Before danger could even become a possibility, I had a coupon for Halloween candy and bought some to pass out on Halloween.  Two nights after stashing it out of sight in a low cabinet in my kitchen, I ate an entire bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups because I just wanted one or two before the trick-or-treaters made off with the best candy life has to offer.  I have a major binging problem when it comes to sweets--my rationale (if you can even call it rational) hinges back and forth between wanting to eat none of it, and wanting to eat all of it in one sitting just to get it out of my house and be done with the temptation.  Eating all of it usually wins out, which is why I try really hard not to buy candy/chocolate/ice cream/anything else remotely tasty and bad for you...once it's in my house, I inhale it.  I opted not to write my calories in my log that day...or the next day, when I broke into the Kit Kats.  Urgh.

I wish this was an accurate representation of the amount I ate...sadly, I had the massive bags!

After the festivities on Halloween, the kids and I all partook of the booty (sadly for me, the kids didn't get many Reese's Cups, but they did get a decent number of Snickers!)--even Dan helped himself to all their non-cherry-flavored Twizzlers.  But now it's mid-November, and all the good candy is gone from their communal bucket.  I sat down and ate an apple at lunch today--I find that foods requiring multiple steps keep me busy and manage to keep me from overeating, as odd as that may sound.  I had to wash the apple, cut it into slices, and then eat each slice--multiple steps that sidetrack me from mindlessly eating and eating and eating whatever is in front of me.  Anyway, I was considering cracking the food log open again (for the first time since the unfortunate night of the peanut butter cup demise) because I had done well so far today--I ate a banana for breakfast, and was eating an apple for lunch (dinner tends to be our largest meal, so I try to conserve calories for that and have a daily intake total around 1200 calories)--when the communal candy bucket caught my eye.  I wandered over, rifled through it, and confirmed what I already knew...the good stuff is gone.  I did find a mini Snickers I had somehow missed on previous passes, so I snatched that up and was still feeling pretty good about myself--a little treat isn't something to punish yourself or feel bad about, right?  I deserved that little treat because I was being so good, and also because the MSN homepage that I was reading while eating my apple told me that eating a piece of chocolate could boost my mood.  My mood could always use some boosting.  A piece of chocolate...that reminded me of Hershey Kisses.  Some of those were still at the bottom of the bucket--I hadn't eaten them yet because we tend to keep Kisses in the house regularly (Abby likes them as a treat in her lunch on Fridays), so the temptation wasn't as great...but they are the definition of a piece of chocolate.  I found 3 regular Kisses and one Kiss with almonds (jackpot!), and ate those for good mood-boosting measure.  Still, not that bad--it could have been way worse.

Ugh...I don't want to see anything like this again...until next Halloween, of course.

That was my thinking when I went back to the bowl and found a 100 Grand bar--I'd never had one of those, and was curious, so I ate that (and hey, it was good!).  I found a few Starburst (I thought I had decimated those a few nights ago--they are small, so they obviously can't contain any calories...what are they even made out of??  Dan just freaked me out by saying colored tar...that can't possibly be true, but I'm going to have to google now to be sure...thanks, honey), and I stooped pretty low by stealing one of the Crunch bars I had been purposefully leaving for the kids, since they like them and Crunch bars aren't my favorite.  I don't really like Whoppers, but they have chocolate on them, so I went ahead and ate a package.  Finally, I saw a mini Butterfinger.  I know from previous Halloweens that I am not a fan of Butterfingers.  But I was swayed by the "crispy, peanut buttery" description (and of course, the chocolate), so I thought I would give it another try--one bite, and I remembered why I don't like them.  But perhaps the mini version wasn't giving it a fair shake--I should at least eat the snack size version also in the bucket...nope, not any better.  Five minutes after finishing my healthy apple, I had a disgusting pile of empty candy wrappers on the counter by the bowl, and I balled them all up in my hand to throw them away--how could I have eaten so much so quickly?  I was feeling sick about my caloric intake today (I can start the log again tomorrow...) as I hid the evidence in the trash can.  Then I turned around and saw the original 6 wrappers that started today's binge on the table by my apple slice plate...ooooh, that hurt.

Yeah...this has been the scene in my trash can the last 15 days...

Writing it all down, I can totally see how I reasoned my way into ingesting a crapload of candy.  It's clearly faulty logic, but I truly think there's nothing I love more than a good self-sabotage (and, quite possibly, candy).


  1. I can have this same issue with cookies, or brownies... UGH. I am impressed that you were writing everything down to begin with. I tried something along those lines on my phone. Didn't. Last. Long. Eventually I will figure it out, maybe. :)

  2. Give yourself a free day once a week. I do the same thing - banking my calories for dinner and starving and thus binging, guilt ensues, more bingeing. I am also obsessive about the counting. We are so alike. Let's get some cheesecake and pretend walking will burn it off.