Goblins and Ghoals

October is the month we traditional associate with fright.  Goblins and ghouls and ghosts and … yes… the dreaded Halloween candy.  For me, this October is particularly scary – my calendar is unusually filled with travel and social eating events, much scarier to me than rattling skeleton bones or witches.  Much scarier than mere candy.

First up, a road trip.  A short one.  One that I am looking forward to eagerly because it will be fun!  Not the driving part, of course, but the time spent at my destination and the people I’ll be spending it with.  But my last road trip did me in.  Not only did I eat horribly while away from home, but before and after as well.  So, my goal for this upcoming adventure is to stay on plan with my eating during the drive and any meals that I pack and bring to eat alone.  For the few meals out with others, I’ll be careful but allow myself some leeway.  Moderation.  Eek.

Then after I’m home for barely long enough to catch up with my google reader and unpack, bam – book club.  I’ve shared in the past that book club for me is never actually about the book.  We talk about everything else and sometimes don’t even read the book!  And, there will be food.  Likely lots of food.  Surely tempting, “off plan” food.   So there will undoubtedly be debates in my mind as I think about what to eat and what not to eat.  But I think I’ll be okay this time (fingers and toes and eyes crossed) because just a few days later I have to fit into a pair of pants that will not allow for over-indulgence.

Which leads to a “creative cocktail” event with open bar and catering provided by someone who makes the most fabulous food.  The drinking part is not an issue for me; I’d much rather eat my calories.  The eating part… I’m just gonna say it now… I plan to enjoy the food and can only hope to do that with some modicum of moderation.  (There’s that scary “M” word again.)  I will not make a mad dash to the buffet table; I will not body slam the waitress to get to her serving tray; I will not run over other party goers to beat them to dessert.  I WILL keep a glass of water in one hand as much as possible.  I will enjoy myself.  I will remember that my cholesterol is high and that overdoing fatty foods will not help and that my doctor will make me get my numbers rechecked soon.

Then it’s off to LA to visit my son for Parent’s Weekend.  This time hubby and I are flying.  The good news:  less travel time means no long hours in the car to fill with nibbling.  The bad news:  no cooler filled with my healthy breakfast and snacks, and, several meals with menus that are out of my control.  (Yes, I’ll be tailgating with a taco truck and frat boys.)  I didn’t do well the last time I was in LA.  My goal is to not let history repeat itself.  I am going to college and college equals knowledge and knowledge equals power.  I am going to apply what I learned on my last trip west.  There will be no candy purchased.  There will be no visits to the fro-yo store that lies in wait on the walk between my hotel and campus.  There will be healthy, “on plan” packable snacks with me at all times.  There will be hope and optimism.

And then, home again, Halloween hits.  Which, ironically, I’m the least worried about!  We had no trick or treaters last year.  I bought candy just in case and so my teen could have the leftovers.  This year, no teen.  So, other than the care packages I will send off to both boys in college, no candy.  Last year I didn’t eat ANY.  This year I won’t either.  That’s my least scary goal:)  Now if I can just keep my husband from buying any (more).

So there you have it.  My frightful October.  My goals.

Do you have plans for Halloween?  What’s your favorite costume from years past?  Are you dressing up this year?



Filed under goals, holidays/seasons/weather, restaurant/social eating, vacation

71 responses to “Goblins and Ghoals

  1. Hi Karen! With all that you’ve explained in this post, it’s a wonder that you, or any of us, keep on top of it at all. I do think that it is all about planning and being fine with doing something entirely different for food than everyone else.

    I am petrified about the Halloween candy! My husband always buys about 10 pounds too much. Last year, I DID gain weight from it. So avoidance of Halloween candy is a top priority for me this month. But the trips that you’re talking about–more subtle, but *you* won’t be caught by surprise.

    🙂 Marion

    • Karen

      What is it about men and Halloween candy! And mine came home from the warehouse club with a big bag the other day, for himself, not even Halloween! Fortunately it is one I can easily resist.

  2. ahhh halloween
    this may be the year we get egged 🙂 as I ALWAYS give away candy BUT bought a TON of minibags of pirate booty this year to giveaway!!

    Id never seen em before —- and figured its something we can eat after and, well, the husband wont think Im sabotaging his efforts 🙂

    • Karen

      I remember when my boys got braces and could not eat popcorn. The orthodontist gave them bags of stuff they could eat instead and it included pirate’s booty. They were not impressed and I ate it myself:) You also probably get your first school Halloween party and parade!

  3. I’m thinking I’m the only one in this realm of the blogosphere who’s looking forward to Halloween. 🙂 My goals are to not eat an entire bag of candy in a week and to spend as much time outdoors as possible. With leaves beginning to fall, I don’t think the latter will be much of a problem. If the candy causes trouble, I’ll just take care of the neighbors’ leaves, too. 🙂

    P.S. If you’d like me to go to LA in your place, just let me know. I’ll already be packed.

    • Karen

      Wonder how my teen would feel about you showing up in my place! LOL.

      I admit that I avoid raking when I can. Mold allergies:( So… if you buy candy… I’m curious if you choose one you really like or not. Hmmm.

  4. My goodness, I just realized I no longer even associate October with Halloween. Hadn’t even thought about it. We’ve not had kids in our neighborhood for years, so no candy is purchased and no harm done. Thankfully, it’s one of those days associated with eating that passes me by with no thought whatsoever.

    Man,that first road trip sounds like a blast. Wonder where you are going and what delightful people you will be seeing?

    • Karen

      LOL. As for the Halloween…you must not shop much because it is sooo in my face in every store right now! Eek. I am going to put off buying the candy for my boys’ packages until I am ready to send them. I’m learning:)

  5. Karen

    Wow! You have so much on, but… it does sound as if you’ve got it in hand – or you at least know what the red flags are and where the danger zones lie… (action-packed metaphors there!).

    We don’t really celebrate Halloween here in Oz, though it is becoming more popular I guess.

    Good luck with all of your socialising for the month! You’ll do fine, I’m sure. And if you slip… hang in there and keep going.


    • Karen

      That Oz thing throws me every time since I live in what the US folks consider Oz… Dorothy’s Oz! We were supposed to have one more thing on there but I am hoping to bow out gracefully to give myself one weekend off from eating. Fingers crossed.

  6. Karen, all you have to do is tell yourself you CAN do this versus thinking about how you might not, like that friggin book club! 😉 Sounds like you have a plan now it is time to put it into action & stick with it!

    Honestly, screw the book club & let them eat away.. say with out & about. I had to go to my hubby’s high school reunion & I ate something before hand to be safe & sure enough, I did not want anything there & I really don’t care anymore if I am not eating when others are.. I just tell them that my stomach can’t handle that type of food or a white lie like allergies or something…

    I know this is hard for you but I think when you choose what you will splurge on – easier to learn to say NO to all the others.

    Me, on HAlloween – I don’t buy candy I like! 😉

    • Karen

      So far, I feel optimistic. And determined. So I’m hoping I stay that way! I did really well at our neighbor’s gathering the other night. Pizza, drinks, dessert, nibbles. The only things I ate were a small amount of peanuts and raisins from the trail mix, none of the mixed in M&Ms. But, it was rather awkward. “Aren’t you going to have any pizza?”

      • Just getting back to read your comments. Karen, I think the biggest thing for you since you do socialize is to just start saying that you are not going to have any OR I really am not hungry OR I don’t feel like it or whatever line you want to come up with OR just tell them the truth like I started doing years ago. I just tell people that I like to eat the way I like to eat and eventually they let me be but prior to that, I still did not let their questions deter me…

    • Julie

      I agree Jody – I go to a book club and they just accept now that I don’t eat there. Mine is always in the evening after dinner. When I went this week the hostess bought out almost as many plates of cookies and cake as there were people there! I always say I can’t eat after dinner or I can’t sleep well. Which is true. When we go out for dinner people now know I don’t eat a lot and usually order a starter to be served when the main courses come out. If you are consistant then people just forget about it and it stops being a big deal. I also have pulled the allergy card – and it’s true in that certain foods bring me out in big lumps of FAT all over my body, hehehe. You know you can do this, you just need to remind yourself about that 🙂

  7. You will kick those gremlins this trip, you know what is ahead so forewarned is forearmed!
    We never get any trick or treaters, they would shave to walk a VERY loooooong unlit road and come down our looooong unlit drive …… too much for any kid to be honest 😉

    • Karen

      Ours is because some neighbors get together and sit on a driveway at the start of our cul-de-sac. So the kids don’t think it’s worth their time to come on down further. Can’t say I blame them. I COULD go sit with the neighbors, but I’m a rebel:)

  8. Like Jody – Fit at 53, we buy candy we don’t like. If no children show up, it goes to the office the next morning where it is gobbled up immediately. 🙂

  9. I LOVE Halloween! If I could only stay away from the candy. The only year I ever managed was the year I did Atkins. I thought I would combust if I ate even the tiniest bit of sugar – it was hard core. We get a lot of Trick or Treaters so we have to have something to hand out…but maybe I could a non-food item this year?

    • Karen

      Seems the best trick for many of us is to choose a candy you don’t like yourself. One year I gave out Nerds. The kids like them but I was not the least bit tempted. Chocolate of any kind would do me in.

  10. Yes, optimism and hope. Having those healthy snacks at my side is what helps me. Apples right now are particularly lovely. You can do it!

    Yes, we will be dressing up. Last year it was Star Wars. This year all the kids (GB) are reading or being read Harry Potter. SO, yep, a Harry Potter family we will be!!

    • Karen

      I hope you post pictures! And I’m with you on the apples right now. But I’ll be pretty tired of them mid-winter and eager for summer fruit again.

  11. Wow! You are going to be a very busy gal this October. All of that activity should help you LOSE weight! Oh, that’s right, most of that activity involves food….darn!

    What book are you reading for your book club?

    I haven’t dressed up in a complete costume in years…since I was 42 — I’d like to though. I still have the memory of dressing up as a monster when we first moved to Illinois. I had a tape that played blood-curdling screams and groans…I was so excited about this! When the doorbell rang for the first time, I hit “play” on the recorder and slowly opened the door. There was this tiny little girl standing there in a little pink tutu. She took one look and listen and I saw her little face begin to contort into terror. I whipped off my mask and shut off the recorder and knelt down and put on a happy face to talk her out of crying. Then I gave her about 20 little candy bars to cheer her up and allay my guilt. Her mother almost peed her pants from laughing so hard. I never want to scare a teeny little thing like that again! I felt so awful!

    • Karen

      We are, in theory, reading the new one about Jackie Kennedy’s tapes. Can’t recall the name right now. We don’t usually pick something that is only out in hardcover or new so not easy to get from the library.

      Funny story:) One year a SIL, now ex-SIL, came over and gave out candy here while her kids went out with mine. She was dressed as a scary witch. I didn’t let her go to the door alone!

  12. Jan

    We have a vacation scheduled for the week of Halloween but not certain if we are going to take it or not. If staying home, candy goes in a big bowl on the porch – first come, first served. Extra goes to Sue’s work. I have dressed up once in the last 20 years but gave away my costume, doesn’t fit anymore 😉

    • Karen

      I hope you get to go! I’ve wondered about leaving candy out and if kids take a lot or just one. Hidden camera would be fun.

  13. Michele T

    Try not to be afraid of food. Something that helped me in a social eating situation this week was to think about the source of the food. Was it worth it to me to ingest food and calories for this group of people? NO!!! Some other people? Yes. Thinking about who I was eating with made all the difference in the world, and besides, it’s your body. You can eat as you like or abstain as you like. I guess it’s all about instant gratification versus delayed gratification. And sometimes, it’s okay to indulge a little. That is normal life.

    P.S. I can’t wait to read about your upcoming weekend adventure. Hope you’ll spend the time with lovely people. 😉

    • Karen

      Interesting idea. I focus on the food or my thinking and not the other people. Hmm. Oh, if only I was one of those people who view food as fuel. Sigh.

      • Michele T

        The situation I referred to was really not a very pleasant thing anyway. And I didn’t like the person who brought the food. I thought to myself, “I don’t want HER calories coursing through my body.” Really rather petty and rude, but I didn’t eat what I didn’t want either. lol

        Oh, I don’t at all wish I viewed food just as fuel. It’s too much of a positive thing. Food is nurturance and social time and soul-replenishing. It’s just about controlling the intake. Seriously, doing this WW thing is the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I feel like I’ve been set free food-wise.

  14. Wow, do you have a busy month ahead of you!! Being at a college would probably be the hardest hurdle for me. Those kids have the metabolism of a hummingbird (lucky kids). Keep tough, Karen. I have faith in you!!

    • Karen

      My son is one of them! Of course, he doesn’t snack all the time like I do. He just got back from a road trip and called us on the way to the dining hall and said he pretty much hadn’t had time to eat in 24 hours! I’d never do that. Of course, maybe he was drinking instead:(

  15. KLA

    I’m kind of lucky that my social calendar is not overly social at the moment and with two in daycare, well, we just don’t have any money to go out for dinner or vacation.

    I sympathize with you, that’s a lot of social eating to contend with. Would your book club be open to setting some boundaries on the food?

    • Karen

      I doubt it but I’d never ask. I keep pretty quiet about my eating “issues” and everyone else is skinny.

      • KLA

        I was (perhaps I still am) one of those people who yammers on about their weight and eating issues to my friends all the time.

        I’m glad you have this blog so you can talk to and get support from other people living with the same issues…

  16. Looks like a fun busy month for your Karen but I know you will sail through it without fail because you have learned so many good coping strategies this past year!

    I might be the only person who doesn’t like Halloween – just have never cared for it! I love Fall and Thanksgiving just don’t care for the costumes and trick or treating and the scary stuff! Weird I know but it’s just me. We usually go out to dinner or a movie on Halloween depending on what night of the week it lands. Not many trick or treaters in our neighborhood.

    • Karen

      We usually are home with the TV on. But it has only been the last couple of years with no kids coming by; we used to get tons.

  17. Roz

    Hi Karen. Yikes, you have a busy October ahead of you!!! I know you’ll be just FINE!!! I think Halloween is fun, I love the way people decorate their homes!!! My favorite costume from years past? MANY years ago, my ex boyfriend and I and two other couples went as a six pack of beer. We made cardboard “cans” and then tied ourselves together. When one of us had to go to the bathroom, we were cut apart. funny!! Have a great week.

    • Karen

      Very cute costume. Not many decorate around here but on our bike ride the other day we were on a path that was behind some houses and one had a pile of dirt with skeleton bones. Clever.

  18. For me October marks the start of the holiday eating. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Xmas, New Year’s Eve, my birthday….It doesn’t end until February. It’s SUCH a hard time of year. Hang in there. I’m there with ya!

  19. On a creative note… I love that font you found. I’m really into that stuff.
    And… I hear ya!
    I know you can do this.
    The travelling and changing schedule really throws me for a loop too.
    You know where your hurdles are, and you sound really prepared.
    Now, it’s just to balance the need to control your eating with the ability to just relax and enjoy yourself.
    I hope it’s a great month for you.

  20. Whew. I’m tired just reading that.

    My goals for this month: lose weight. That zero pound net loss last month was a killer.

    I LOVE halloween but won’t be dressing up this year. I’ve always wanted to be Wonderwoman though. Maybe next year. 😉

  21. what scares me is halloween candy especially candy corn

    • Karen

      Fortunately that one I can avoid if I just don’t have it around. I will buy some for my oldest son, who likes it. But the bag will go right into his care package without me snitching any.

  22. All that in one month? Sigh.

    I would put the cocktail party pants on right before book club to remind myself “no false munching”.

    I would imagine you are going to be going to college around the time of the game w/ Stanford. Lucky ducky.

    We are going to Victoria, BC for a few nights (and eating in French and Italian places and I WILL be eating and drinking – but then getting back on plan) and then we are going to a party Halloween. Sigh.

    Have a great time on your little jaunt out W.

    • Karen

      Yes! I need to do that. I might need to then move them into the kitchen or pantry to remind myself:) Yes, Stanford. We’ll be going to the game. I think that a “normal” life, as I so often talk about, would allow for little indulgences. So, I need to be consistent all the rest of the time. Consistent. Yep. This week I’ve been on track. Phew.

      • Ah consistency. Sounds so easy… so bland and manageable. I vote, cut extra calories for your consistent days, eat a few extra things on the cocktails and fake book club days and enjoy half a dinner out with your child and his friends, but salt the hell out of the other half! Sometimes I cough up some good advice. It is almost always stolen from a sage.

  23. I have a lot events on my calendar too, but I am trying to keep things in perspective, make the best choices I can (even if they’re not THE best choices), and hope I can run off whatever excess calories I consume. I’ve become less and less tempted by Halloween candy now that I’ve become a chocolate snob. Since I’m not buying bags of truffles to give away I won’t be too tempted, although I might have a Reese’s for old time’s sake!

    • Karen

      Oh, I could go for any Halloween chocolate except that waxy kind that comes wrapped in foil. I’d list them here but that would be cruel. I actually may have one more event but am trying to avoid it:)

  24. It’s good that you are looking ahead at what your possible eating challenges will be and making plans for how to stay on track! I can totally relate to how hard this is going to be, but you can do it! I noticed in your recent cycling pictures how slim you are, so maybe it’s time to practice a little moderation? I know for myself that I can’t do moderation yet. I’d rather have none than have only have a little.

    • Karen

      Well, I would have thought the same about mid-summer. But I’ve really been up and down with my eating since that road trip to take my son to college. And my weight, too. So, need to get on track. But my goal in life is to be able to add moderation back into my vocabulary:)

  25. Wow, that IS quite the month. But it sounds like you have a plan, are mentally preparing yourself, and know the obstacles that will be in your way. A fantastic start!! Knowledge and preparation can be our best weapons!

  26. I Love halloween!! Well my greed does and the dressing up is fun too!And if you had no candy last I’m sure you ca do a repeat this year! Sounds like you have a lot going on this month! I’m jealous! Nothing like mini trips to keep you going through these autumn months of chilly weather and dark evenings!

  27. It’s October, so candy corn is in the house, but it is up high so I can’t snack on it very easily!

    September is the crazy month for us, so October actually is a bit more relaxed. Halloween is the kickoff to the eating season, though – so I do have to be careful and set limits for myself.

    Enjoy your busy month!

    • Karen

      I really struggle last year for the holiday season, other than doing well at Halloween. I am determined that will not repeat this year. Love the “up high” idea. My husband sometimes puts his stuff above my head so I don’t see it; he’s a foot taller than me.

  28. Julie

    I am also in Australia and halloween is not a deal here. However, I was astonished to find Christmas candy and decorations in the supermarket yesterday – yep begining of October and there were the Christmas M&Ms (my true weakness I just want to bury my face in a bucket and inhale – oops TMI maybe?), fancy tins of biscuits and so on! The only thing I can hope for is that I will become desensitised by December …

    • Karen

      I wish they didn’t start so early! Ours will be out the minute Halloween is over. Only so much shelf space so one holiday at a time.

  29. Weeeeeellll…. October means it’s the start of the holiday season which means more temptations than normal. And, I really love food these days, so it’s going to be harder than usual to resist temptation! Not sure what I might dress up as for Halloween… I’m running a 5k on Halloween weekend so I thought about dressing up as a black cat with “yes I’m having a litter of kittens” written on the shirt…

    • Karen

      Cute idea:) My first pregnancy had me going through the holiday season and for some reason I was committed back then to eating with moderation. I only gained the normal pregnancy amount.

  30. You have a lot going on! I don’t really associate October with Halloween as we don’t celebrate it around here. I just don’t buy the candy, because I still do love it!

  31. It sounds like you are looking ahead and planning. That’s good. Hope it goes well all month!

  32. I hope you have a great trip! It sounds like you have a great game plan. I always go in with the best intentions but tend to stray sometimes (especially when I travel)..

    October-December is literally filled with foods associated with the holidays. Let’s both get through these months unscathed for the new year 🙂 haha

    • Karen

      I took two trips over a year ago, one about 4 days and the other about a week, when I managed to really eat well with just a few indulgences. But most of my travel is a complete eating bust.

  33. I actually have similar fears but mine are more related to the holidays. I have been either pregnant or having to gain weight over the holidays for the past few years. I am so afraid about being able to maintain with all the social functions since those are definitely my biggest diet challenges.

    • Karen

      I have full confidence in you to sail through, Tina. Interestingly timed – I just saw part of a recent Dr. Oz show where he talked about habits that make us fat and one was… social eating.

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