It happens every holiday, be they big or small. Sacks, baskets, buckets o’ sugar are heaped upon the children (and by proxy me, whose willpower shrinks in fear in the face of anything chocolate covered or filled) to “celebrate.” No sooner has the Halloween candy disappeared (some into the overjoyed bellies and more into the trash) than we have candy canes and Christmas cookies filling our countertops. There are the itty bitty candied hearts on Valentine’s day (along with the larger chocolates…*sigh* and *cringe*) and gold foil-covered chocolate coins on St. Patrick’s Day. And then Easter. Baskets overflowing with Reese’s, Skittles, and those frighteningly neon Peeps. A basket at home from the Bunny himself. And baskets at each house visited, plus candy in the pretty plastic eggs planted in bushes and drainpipes. My stomach heaves a little just looking at the mountains of peanut butter-filled, chocolate-covered, candy-coated poison. Of course, that doesn’t prohibit my greedy little hands from reaching out to sneak my fair share.
And it’s not just the candy. Nor is the candy the worst of it. At least for me, those holiday meals suck me in worse than any sweet nosh. The juicy ham, lumpy mashed potatoes, and homemade gravy. The buttered corn and buttered biscuits and buttered anything-else-my-butter-knife-can-find. The pies, cakes, and desserts of the no-bake variety with whipped cream and pudding-like substances! I cannot stop myself. It is as though my body moves of its own accord, racing away from all that hard work and discipline to shovel in mounds of starches, salts, and bad fats. I suppose it is like any addiction…You can kick the habit, but one slip up and you’re barrelling down the mountain at full speed. Luckily, I am better at putting on the brakes and getting back on track than I used to be. It just tends to happen one to two days later, after the initial food hangover has left and the second one has been worked through. That old saying about “the hair of the dog?” That, my friends, is CRAP.
Who wants to roll around in bed all day, clutching aching bellies and moaning when you could be jumping, moving, and enjoying the just-as-tasty and so-much-better-for-you fruits and veggies? We tell ourselves that the candy/ham/potatoes are a reward and that we deserve them. I don’t know about you, but feeling nauseous and exhausted doesn’t seem so rewarding to me. And I firmly believe that I (and my body that has been treating me so well) deserve much better. Of course, this realization hit me after I ate my weight in biscuits and cracker candy, only to follow it up the next day with peanut butter cups and Twizzlers. Turns out, healthy living has ruined binge eating for me. I may as well have willfully given myself the flu. I felt that awful.
Then I thought, I’m giving this stuff to my kids. Awful, awful Mommy! I wouldn’t hand my kids cartons of cigarettes or cases of beer. So why do I load baskets full of other toxins as a celebratory gift? Well, I won’t be anymore. I laid down the law and told Hubby that from here on out, that Bunny brings gifts, not candy. And we bring healthy fruit and veggie trays to graze on when we go elsewhere for dinners. No more binging. No more days of recovery for falling off the wagon.
…I just hope I retain this feeling of superiority over Hershey and Mars when I next stare down their progeny during a moment of craving…