COLUMN: Facing down the Halloween candy bowl

Giving away sweets for the greater good is no easy task for Peace Arch News reporter Nick Greenizan

If it were possible to somehow travel back in time to the early ’90s – quick, somebody find me a DeLorean and a flux capacitor – my 10-year-old self would be pretty upset with me this week.

You see, contrary to the unofficial rules of childhood, which states pretty unequivocally that thou shall not give away candy, I did exactly that Wednesday morning, when I stared at the bowl of mini chocolate bars leftover from Halloween and could not dare unwrap another.

So I suggested my girlfriend take them to her office, where a pregnant co-worker has a serious chocolate craving. By 9 a.m. they were gone from my life.

And though I have a tooth just as sweet as the next person – sweeter, probably – and it pained me to give up the sugary treats, it had to be done.

It had to be done because I have no willpower. Like, zero. If there’s chocolate there, I’m going to take it and eat it. Simple as that.

This isn’t a new phenomenon for me, either.

When I was a kid, there was a house on my street that – rather than answer the door hundreds of times every Halloween night – simply left out a big bowl of candy with a sign that said “take one only, please.”

And God bless ’em, they thought that would work. After a few years, I learned to go there first.

But while it’s always been a weakness of mine, it has never really bothered me much – I’ve come to grips with being out of shape, though I have at times over the years tried to fix the problem, with limited results.

Sure, once I lost 50 pounds, but that weight-loss was spurred onward purely out of horror and shock; I hadn’t realized how much weight I’d gained until, shortly after starting my job here at the Peace Arch News, I saw my headshot appear in the paper and freaked out a little bit at the size of my face.

Turns out that spending more than a year as a bachelor, consisting on a strict diet of beer, nachos and poutine isn’t good for one’s figure.

After seeing that, I was determined to have a slimmer photo  appear in these pages in as short a time as possible, and later that year – after some awfully hard work – I accomplished said goal.

Lack of willpower aside, I reached my goal because I had something specific to shoot for. (Aside from, you know, general good health, which come to think of it, should be motivation enough, but I digress…)

Which brings me back to Wednesday’s Great Chocolate Eviction.

I have something to shoot for again – I’m getting married in a year, and I’d like to be able to fit comfortably into a suit.  Because wedding pictures last forever – even if some marriages don’t – and I’ll be damned if I’m going to stare at my pudgy face on the mantle for the rest of my life.

I’ve been working on my plan for a month or two already, and there has certainly been progress made – I had to go out and buy what my girlfriend calls cheap “transition” clothes, because my old clothes are too big but I’m not yet ready to spend a fortune on new ones, and the kitchen is chock-full of healthy options. But it’s been hard work and – gulp – taken a fair bit of willpower I don’t necessarily possess.

And there’s plenty of work yet to be done.

It means going for daily (OK, semi-daily) early-morning jogs and long evening walks with the dog, and it means eating healthy food rather than making fast-food runs.

And, sadly, it means saying sayonara to the Halloween leftovers.

My 10-year-old self would be so unimpressed.

Nick Greenizan is a reporter at the Peace Arch News.

 

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