The Halloween Trap

October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


One of my favorite times of year

I would venture to say

No holiday can come close


You walk in a store

And it is nothing but aisles of candy

From the floor to the ceiling


One of my routines for the past few years

Was to drop the kids off at school

And head to Walgreens


I would buy the large bags of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

And Β Snickers

And Twix


Not the individual candy bars

Oh no

I had far surpassed those trinkets long ago

Buying a single candy bar would only serve

To annoy me


My desire far exceeded the scope of a single candy bar

When I ate candy

I ate the large bags of it


And I loved Walgreens

Because at over 400 pounds getting in and out of the store was very difficult

But Walgreens is awesome

I can park very close to the door

It doesn’t take long to get inside

The carts are right there

The candy is near the front

And if I was having a really good day

Where I felt I could handle walking an extra two aisles

I would head for the ice cream


Two large gallons of mint chocolate chip

Then straight to the candy aisle

2 large bags of Reeses

2 large bags of Snickers

1 large bag of Twix

You know

For dessert πŸ™‚


At the register, I’d pick up a coke

Just for good measure

My feet and back were killing me

But it wasn’t far to the car


The worst part was loading it into the front seat

That took a lot of effort

To drag it from the little cart to the seat

Was almost too much


Sometimes I would have to get in the car and rest for a bit

Before standing back up to continue

Because two light bags

Felt like a mountain of groceries at the time



My favorite time of year

You know why?

Because it’s the only time of year

You can go into the store

And buy massive quantities of candy


And no one gives you a second glance


Do you know how tough it is

To prepare for a binge?

To go shopping for large quantities of candy

At over 400 pounds

Without feeling extremely embarrassed?


You need your fix

And it takes a LOT of effort

To even walk in the store

So you’re not leaving

Without enough to tide you over


2 gallons of ice cream and 5 bags of candy

Got me through 1 day

Maybe 2

So if I wanted to get through a week

I had to do some serious shopping


That is why I LOVED Halloween

You can go every day

And buy big giant bags of candy

And no one knows the difference


There is really no other time of year

That a super obese person

Can buy the large bags of candy

Without judgement

Or at least

The judgment I anticipate I will receive


I looked forward to Halloween

Like a kid looks forward to Christmas

I basked in it

An entire month of judgement free candy shopping


I would try to stock up

But that never worked

Because the more I bought

The more I ate

If it was in the house

I ate it


That hasn’t changed by the way

If something is in the house that I don’t need to eat

Then I have to get rid of it

Because I WILL eat it


It will call to me

Compel me

Hypnotize me

Until I’m on my knees begging for mercy


This was me last Halloween


And this is me today


What a difference

A year can make

I imagine an alcoholic

Feels the way about New Years Eve

That I feel

About Halloween


My most beloved holiday

Is now my nemesis

For everywhere I go

Candy follows me

Like the haunted house

Where demons and ghosts hide behind every corner

Waiting to attack


Today I went to Walmart

This is what I saw

Yesterday I went to HEB

This is what I saw


I could barely get my shopping cart into the store

Before I was met with this

If I turned to my left

There it was

To my right

Even more


Aisles and aisles of my sweet addiction

Calling to me

And it’s Halloween right?

I have to buy candy, don’t I?

What am I going to do?

Be that person with their light off

The one who hands out pencils?

Or puts a bowl of pennies out front?


What about my kids?

Is it really their fault that I can’t handle candy?

Should they suffer because I can’t control myself?

Should they miss out on the fun of Halloween

Because Mom has issues?


Oh come on

It’s Halloween

A little candy won’t hurt

I’ll just buy a few bags

And I won’t touch them



That’s what I tell myself

I mean everything in moderation, right?

But we all know how I handle “moderation” and “balance”

When it comes to candy


Here’s the thing

I’ve decided that sometimes in life

You have to make a choice

You have to accept the facts


And the facts are this

Candy played a MAJOR role in my demise

Not minor



I literally became good friends with the Walgreens clerk

Who works the morning shift

Because I went every single day to buy bags of candy

After I dropped the kids off at school


Now I go to Starbucks and get a coffee


But 15 months ago

I went to the candy aisle

Breaking free of that

Was nothing less

Than a long trip to hell and back

Is it worth the risk?


If you’d been to hell and felt the flames

Would you risk a return flight?

I was so close to the center of hell

That my hair is singed

My hands are covered with soot

And my clothes smell like smoke

That’s how close I was

To total destruction



Is it fair that my kids have an imperfect Mom?

That I have issues?

I’ve spent many years beating myself up

About my flaws

But I’ve realized something

No one is perfect

We all have flaws

This just happens to be

One of mine


My Halloween bowl is filled with popcorn, bags of nuts, and raisins


It’s full of things you can’t eat

Like little toys and stickers



Nothing I’m going to touch

Nothing I’m going to binge on

Nothing that will tempt me


Will I be THAT lady in the neighborhood?

The one handing out no candy?

The one handing out popcorn and toys and stickers?

And raisins?



Because last year this time

That lady didn’t want to offend anyone

By not buying candy

She didn’t want to admit

That she couldn’t handle having it in the house


And that lady

Used to take 30 minutes

Just to get 2 grocery bags in the car

Because she had to take 10 minute rest breaks in between


But this lady

Knows her limits

And she plans to

Never go back

Never fly into the sun

Straight into the flames

If she can help it


We’re almost out of this crisis

This month long nightmare

That Halloween is for a sugar junkie


And when it’s over

I will have survived

The scariest thing Halloween has to offer me

Never ending aisles of temptation

Aisles and aisles of candy


If you’re hurting right now

From the onslaught that Halloween brings

Then I’m right there with you!!

Because season is tough

For those struggling with obesity


But this too shall pass

And when it does

We will be one step closer

To facing our real fears


The scariest thing of all

Is not ghosts or goblins

It’s the candy aisle

The month long

Readily available

More than acceptable

Act of buying mountains of sugar laced poison


That is the fear we must stare in the face

The temptations we must face

And when we survive

We will have conquered our fears!!!

And we will emerge



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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Trish @I_am_Succeeding October 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I feel the same way about candy and Holly you are and look amazing!!
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Lady Amanda October 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Love the before and after picture comparison. You look great- and as usual, your house looks really pretty in the background. (I am jealous of your decorated house!) πŸ™‚ Another great blog by Holly The Great! Very true about the candy EVERYWHERE- and then having stuff that is healthy to hand out. I grew up in a neighborhood with a Wonder Bread Delivery man and he handed out TINY loaves of bread wrapped in tiny bags- specially made for the employees to hand out on Halloween. This is no lie, it is what we all looked forward to. It was our favorite treat. One year we went to his house and it was dark- we were all totally devistated. It was like our hearts just sank to our feet. Oh no….no tiny bread loaf this year… But then we went to the next-door neighbor’s house and they were handing out the bread in addition to their candy. One again we were happy as could be. So you might actually be making someone’s day by handing out a toy or a bag of popcorn. I think it is awesome! Happy Halloween my friend! Happy Halloween.


Staci October 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

We don’t celebrate Halloween at all, and I am the lady with her light off. Haha πŸ™‚ But I love your idea of popcorn bags and stuff!!! Even as a kid, I got so excited looking through my stash, but there’s only so much candy even a kid can eat before feeling sick and bored with the same old stuff. Funny you mention Walgreens. When I would binge, that’s where I would go, too. When I wanted to buy MYSELF a heart-shaped box of Russell Stover candy last February, I went to Walgreens because it’s more private. Then I would eat that while driving to Krystal or McD’s or where. So SAD!
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Pam October 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Oh Staci, I forgot about the yummy Russell Stover candy I used to buy at Walgreen’s. Boxes and boxes of the chocolates with nuts, I would keep it hidden away and not share with anyone else in the family. And I always treated myself to a heart-shaped box around Valentine’s Day, or maybe two or three. It was SAD. But it is HAPPY now, cause we stopped doing it!
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jennxaz October 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I totally get it..if it is in my house..I can tell myself all day long that I will stop at one but I know that will not happen. By the way I love the pic of you and your daughter in your old pants…how cool is that. You sure are pretty…love the new pic!


Tess October 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I LOVE your ideas for treats!!! It doesn’t have to be chocolatey garbage, it can be fun, yummy stuff too. Nice!!


Anele @ Success Along the Weigh October 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Um yeah, we turn the light off. *shrinking* But it’s not because we wouldn’t buy candy and give it out, it’s because we don’t get any kids here and after 16 years, we figure why bother. I want to live where you do because where I live there are those candy aisle 365 days a year. After Halloween the Christmas candy will live there for 2 months and Christmas Eve, yes, EVE, they will begin putting out Valentines candy, then Easter candy and just when you think the summer should bring a reprieve, nope…apparently children today need “fun size” versions of every candy bar for their snacks over the summer and when school starts. It’s truly insane and speaks to the childhood obesity problem that we’re keeping aisles full of candy marketed as snacks for kids. So good on ya raisin lady! πŸ™‚
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Lee October 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

way to go! And I love your treats for the kids. I know my kids LOVE the personal little trinkets and I dont let them have lots of the candy they bring home anyways. It simply isnt good for you. Period. End of story.
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Pam October 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Holly, you are so pretty today with your new slimmer figure and blonde hair! You can never go back and lose what you have gained, just as I can never go back to that old life. Yesterday I went through a bunch of pictures stored on my computer. I have lots of pictures of my adorable granddaughter who was born in August of 2009, about the time I started my journey to lose over 170 pounds. As she has grown these last three years, I have shrunk and it’s such a good feeling to see those pictures and compare. I will never get tired of comparing the old me with the new me!

This Halloween stuff will be over after tomorrow. Sure, there will be some candy still in the stores on clearance, but as you have been doing, just keep pushing your cart right past that stuff. It will be a relief when it’s over. However, it’s only the beginning, as Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming quickly and last year I gained weight over those holidays. I’m still struggling to lose it. A year ago on this day (10/30) I hit my all time adult low weight of 139.8! WOW–I hit the 130’s. I was amazed. But it just lasted an instant. Today I weight 157.8. Yes, I’m still below my 160 goal, (representing 170 lbs. lost–I’m still proud of that!), but still 10 pounds (at least) over where I’m more comfortable at. So, I’m still working on it. I think I will forever be a work in progress!

Candy was my nemesis too, as was full-sugared soda. When those 2-liter bottles of my favorite Pepsi would go on sale for 99 cents, I would stock up, buying 20 or 30 at a time. The clerk would say, “Are you having a party?” And my stock response was, “It’s always a party at our house.” Just giving up that soda helped me lose the first 20 pounds from July of 2009, to when my journey started in earnest on Dec. 14, 2009. Now when I go through the check-out I no longer have to lie about why I am buying all the junk. Today I am proud of my purchases, lots of fruits and veggies, low fat and low cal EVERYTHING, skim milk, diet soda. Yes I still indulge in my soda, but I never ever drink my calories!

You and I are getting there, one pound at a time, one day at a time, one holiday at time!
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Lisa October 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Holly… it was really eye opening to read your ‘take’ on Halloween. Wow, I see those bags and bags of candy in a whole new light! Now we know why some people think that Halloween is the ‘devils holiday’! Keep up the great work – you inspire more people than you know!


Elizabeth October 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

You look amazing!!!!!!!! love the pic of you and your daughter in your pants! So so awesome!!
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adorkbl October 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I am so very proud of you for being THAT mom. The one that hands out toys and popcorn and raisins. Because you know your limits and are keeping your triggers out of your house. And because it will not kill a kid to get raisins or popcorn or toys in their sack full of candy. πŸ˜‰
(It may just kill them to get all candy.)
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Christine October 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I don’t hand out candy because I can’t have it in the house. I will eat it. I do take my little kids trick or treating but I don’t eat their candy, it’s theirs. I will be glad when all of that junky candy is out of the stores.
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Anna October 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm

GOOD FOR YOU for not handing out candy! This Mom heartily approves of your choices, and I so wish that that was the norm! It is SO hard to teach my daughters about proper nutrition and making healthy choices when we are constantly bombarded with the opposite. All the time I hear “But why Mom? Why can’t we have this or that?” My daughter is in kindergarten, and already she is noticing that she doesn’t get cookies or candy in her lunchbox. I try to make it up to her in other ways (stickers or something else similar) and explain why it is important to make wise choices….but i still feel bad. Are your kids on the same page as you? Or do they rebel against healthy choices?


suzanne October 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I used to love “shopping” for candy after Halloween when it was cheap. Not this year.
I used to eat all of the candy before Halloween and have to go out to buy more.
Not this year.
I will give out treats. I will not eat any.
This year is my year! I will not worry about Halloween any more.
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Sarah October 31, 2012 at 1:24 am

As always Holly I am inspired. You are THAT blogger. The one who admits she isn’t perfect and may not be able to resist. The one who comes up with a plan and sticks to it. The one who will do anything she has to, to reach her goal. Well done Holly.
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Dagny October 31, 2012 at 2:19 am

I remember those tricks I used to avoid embarrassment! Yes, Halloween was candy-shopping time! Even today, I think of the damage I could have done if there’d been self-checkout at the grocery store through my “former life.”

Once you’ve lost weight, the game changes. You have to hang on to what you’ve earned! Bags of candy are an ultimate symbol of the indulgence that can take it all away from you.
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Karen P October 31, 2012 at 3:40 am

Awesome post, as always , Hollie. This will be my second Halloween abstaining from candy myself. It will be my first Halloween going dark, spending time at another place and drinking some nice black decaf coffee or tea sand visiting with friends.

I love your Halloween bowl. Great and smart. And you are not alone. Karen P
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16blessingsmom October 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Holly…I don’t really know you, but I love you! I love your honesty. The comfort in knowing I am not the only one who loves candy is priceless. I am taking the kids out trick-or-treating tonight, so real trials will begin when we get home and they dump their bags. I try to discourage them from offering me any, but can you tell a child, “Do not give me a piece, even if I beg for it!”? I have decided that I am going to have one piece tonight, just one…and leave their bags alone. I am not looking forward to the mental battle at all, but honestly…I feel strengthened reading your blog. Thank you, and you look fantastic!!!



tz October 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I so get that about the candy…I would buy it the day of Halloween and then the last person who came to the door, got a windfall of candy….I’ve also given out popcorn…it’s still a treat, better for the teeth too. This year we’re escaping it altogether and are in Italy πŸ˜€


Nikki Nicholas Mohamed October 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I am so proud of you. It never dawned on me how difficult this holiday must be for you and others with that sugar addiction. I guess where most of my weight issues comes from over-indulging on the carbohydrates and now living so many years in a country that doesn’t understand Halloween, it is a non-issue for me. Great idea on the toys and nuts and raisins. (Hope your house doesn’t get t.p.’d πŸ˜‰

Honestly, I think that this is the time of year that can probably trip anyone up. Keep on keepin’ on, Holly. You got this.
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Margene October 31, 2012 at 8:09 pm

YAY! I love your new Halloween treat bowl! What STRENGTH and COURAGE it takes to make those changes! It’s no small thing! I relate so well…. if it’s in my house, I will eat it! I cannot have it in my house. For me it’s chocolate. I understand going through lengths to support my sugar addiction, and the shame involved. It is like going through hell and back to overcome! You are STRONG! You can do HARD THINGS! You look so AMAZING too! YOU know what it took to get where you are today more than anyone else does. You know what it means. Thanks for sharing your courage and your weaknesses. You always blow me away, girl!

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Karen Sanders October 31, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Whenever I need to feel inspired, I come here. You’ve done it again. Bravo
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Jessica D. October 31, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I think you are doing amazing! πŸ™‚


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