I have been just a little bit depressed today. And it has everything to do with Halloween. I am a HUGE fan of Halloween. In fact, it is one of my favorite times of the year. I just love the fun of it. I love the dressing up, running around, being silly part of it. I love the haunted houses and scary part of it. To me, it’s just plain fun. There’s just not enough of just plain fun out there these days.
On my street I was the Halloween Party starter. I loved getting everyone together, organizing the food and even got all of the adults in on the costume thing. It was so fun to watch the children in our neighborhood have such a fun night each year. It was also fun to watch them grow and change through the years. Until that wasn’t really fun anymore because everyone started getting so big. How does that happen so quickly? Which brings me to my depressed state. My boys have basically outgrown Halloween. There’s not that constant talk about what to be for Halloween. One year, the Third Son decided in July that he wanted to be Elvis. He talked about that costume for four months, and since I did find a pretty cool costume, I sighed a huge sigh of relief that he never wavered from this decision! Now, there isn’t the constant switching at the last minute, the scramble to get all the accessories together, the search for treat bags, flashlights, the whole Trick-or-Treating plan to get to the best houses first. There isn’t the wild dumping of buckets of candy after the Trick-or-Treating, including the counting out what to keep and what to donate, and what to hide in each cubby to keep the other brothers away. For me, there aren’t those candy stashes to snitch from while those boys were in school. This year I might have one son left who will dress up for Halloween. However, you can bet that he won’t need me or want me to help him find that perfect costume . . . Sigh.
So, in my depressed state I decided to dig the knife in deeper and go through old Halloween photos. I know, I know. I like to torture myself sometimes. And in so doing, I’ll torture you a little if you are still so inclined to continue reading . . . .
Okay, enough of the stroll down memory lane. Thanks for the indulgence! There were many other photos I could have shown, but to save my boys and myself the embarrassment, that is enough! Although I should have included one of my favorite years – when I dressed up as Cher. Complete in a fabulous outfit that had belonged to my mother. However, when I came downstairs and told the boys who I was, they had NO clue. Shows my age.
Anyway, on to more relevant stuff. Halloween means the beginning of the Holidays. Sadly, you have likely already seen the Christmas decorations up in stores, so you know the world is wanting you to start feeling the Holiday spirit. Also, sadly, at Halloween is when the dreaded Holiday weight gain begins. And for some it doesn’t slow down until he New Year.
I had a gal tell me this morning before teaching a class that it had taken her until now, a full year later, to lose the weight she gained at the Holidays last year – and here it was that time again . . . I’m here to say Don’t Do It. Do Not start that ball rolling just because it is a fun Holiday celebration and one night of the year. Do Not get in the mindset to start the Holiday celebration now and let it continue throughout the next two months.
I am going to likely sound like a broken record, but here are a few things to think about, tuck back and bring out when you need some tips to keep you off of that weight gain train.
AVOID HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN
- It is only one night/day/celebration. Enjoy it, eat, drink and be merry and then get over it and on to your next day. One day isn’t going to kill your healthy plans or healthy diet. Two months of constant celebration likely will.
- Use your willpower. Willpower is like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it gets. So, that leftover Halloween candy? You absolutely CAN resist! I know you (and I) can keep from digging in!
- Drink and Eat your fluids. Drink, drink, drink water and then drink more! And eat it, too! Eat foods with high water content like salads, fruits and vegetables. They will make you full and hydrate you to keep you energized and going.
- Forget the leftovers. This goes for the leftover Halloween candy. Get rid of the excess as quickly as possible. Have your kids hide it from you so you can’t find it, if necessary. If it’s another Holiday or celebration meal, same thing. Get rid of leftovers. They are there just to tempt you and you don’t need them. They won’t be nearly as good later, anyway . . .So, also think of it as Out of Sight, Out of Mind. If it is not around, you can’t think about it and find your way back to indulge.
- 10 minutes can go a long way. If you don’t have time to get to the gym or to do your normal exercise routine, set aside 10 minutes to get some movement it. For those 10 minutes do some moves that are really challenging: Pushups, Squats, Air Squats, Burpees, Jump Rope, Run your stairs, anything to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving.
- Don’t Bank your Calories. If you know you are going to a dinner, a party or whatever, don’t decide to skip meals all day in order to enjoy your party food. Eat three small, healthy meals and snack if you need. The last thing you want to do is go to a party with a buffet or food table starving. You know you will make the worst food choices if you are hungry!
- Don’t set yourself up. This means do not buy your favorite Halloween candy. You know what I mean! If you know you cannot say no to Almond Joys, then you best not buy them! Get one or two to enjoy from your kids’ stash, love it and consider it all good. Also, as the other celebrations approach, make a plan and stick to it. If you know having those sugar cookies in your pantry will do you in, then bake them, enjoy a couple and give the rest away! You enjoyed the making and the bonding over the cookie decorating with your children, then enjoy sharing with a neighbor, grandmother, class or hairdresser.
I’m trying to encourage you to Just Don’t Do It this year. There is no fun in beginning the Season feeling great and ending it feeling heavy, sluggish and not your best.
How do you feel about Halloween? If your children are older, how do you celebrate? Do you have a plan to fight the Holiday Weight Gain? Have any tips to share?
Enjoy Your Day and Happy Halloween!