Late October is the opening ceremony to my favorite time of year. While living in L.A. we may not experience the changing color of leaves or the cool rustling breezes and slow introduction into a snowy winter, the evidence of what is to come is definitely in the air as the holiday season is upon us. And what does that mean for pretty much all the country? Well, one word certainly comes to mind: FOOD. The gluttony that’s to follow will surely send us all to hell. But, by now, I think we’ve all accepted our fate for the decadence of sweet pumpkin pie, basted turkey, and loads of chocolate and candy. Of course, it all starts with my beloved Halloween.
As a kid, I remember dressing up and going door-to-door aiming to find the best candy which might bring me even better candy as I was prone to the annual tradition of candy-trade. I’m sure everyone had that one house you would go back to once, twice, three, and even four times because they passed out the good stuff – full-size candy bars, freshly dipped and wrapped caramel apples with nuts, or a massive handful (maybe two) of the best candy mix ever. You’d never find this house passing out toothbrushes, caramelized apples, or mini-bibles. This was the place you often dreamt of living at, feeling the walls would be packed with Snickers bars. My favorite house gave out king-sized candy bars – Jackpot!
One year I had gone so far as wearing one costume, then changing into another to go back moments later. It was a lot of effort, but well worth it for a king-sized Snickers bar. Looking back, I can’t believe I did that but I also totally get it. As I was nearing the end of my trick or treating days, instead of eating the candy, I would donate all of it to the school donation bin for a homeless shelter.
Surprised? Well, the thought of having all that candy in my possession actually became emotionally difficult for me. That much candy would give me anxiety. Dumping that candy off gave me a sense of relief.
As we grow older so do our priorities change. I no longer go trick or treating. I go to halloween parties where I don’t have to be concerned that I am going to be eating a ton of candy. However, instead of candy, I now have to face adult food and confection. Full-sized candy bars have been replaced with cupcakes. Caramel apples have been replaced with pies. And must lust for candy has been replaced with a general lust for all food. Even recently, I remember eating 5 cupcakes at a halloween party – who does that!? Oh yeah, someone who has Binge Eating Disorder!
Going to a Halloween party, heck any party, is a preparation in eating avoidance. Before I go to halloween parties I try to eat dinner so I have a chance at facing a food-table without prodding and picking. From the pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin pies, candy corn, really anything flavored pumpkin Halloween is always, and will always be, a struggle. But this year, I will be prepared. Not only am I eating dinner beforehand but I am also going to be dressed as a hotdog. Laugh you may, but I think it’s pretty symbolic. I will control my eating but no one ever said I have to control what I wear. After all it is halloween!