As the days grow shorter and we can begin to feel the bite of colder air, our thoughts turn to the upcoming holiday season. No, not Christmas – what, are you nuts? I still have plenty of time to think about that. No, actually, I refer instead to the most popular holiday in our household:
We are just about ready. The skeletons, pumpkins, and headstones have been pulled out of long-term storage. Lor has made some last-minute additions to our design elements. (See the gigantic arachnids above.) We have even begun looking at costumes, a rare event for the two of us. 
However, a shadow hovers over the household. A frightening subject that we shy away from in terror. A taboo that we desperately wish to break, one step waiting to be taken into the gaping maw of madness.
I am referring, of course, to buying candy for our trick-or-treaters.
In previous years, we would stock up. We get hundreds of trick or treaters at our home, so we would buy huge bags of candy from the local grocery store to be prepared. And we would get the good stuff, too: Twix, Reeses’ Cups, Snickers, and Heath bar minis all made regular appearances in our bowl of goodies. No cheaping out on the kiddos for us, no siree.
And, invariably, we would overbuy. So, for a week or two afterwards, we would indulge in the remnants of our Halloween Candy Explosion, until it was finally all gone.
This year – yeah, not so much. The LAST thing I need is a whole lot of candy sitting around the house just waiting for me to eat it. Sign me up for one ticket to Bariatric Surgery Failure Island. Just not going to do that to myself.
So, instead, we have been buying other trick-or-treat items. Toys, stickers, erasers with spooky designs on them. We tried this last year as well. Lor was enthusiastic, I was skeptical. I was positive the kids would hate these little dollar-store items.
Which serves to demonstrate how little I know about kids. The toys were a huge hit – more popular than the candy by far. There are apparently Halloween scouting apps for smartphones that tell parents which homes are giving out the best stuff – and our house got listed as the best one in the neighborhood. Never underestimate the appeal of plastic fangs and spider rings.
However, I can’t stand the idea of not giving out more traditional Halloween fare as well, so a day or two before the event we will head to a Family Dollar or something, and buy a big bag of off-brand candy. We will make sure that it contains nothing that we like whatsoever. We will allow each trick-or-treater to pick one piece of our off-brand candy and one toy, and fervently hope that we don’t run out. Nothing worse than having to head to the store on Halloween night for an emergency supply purchase.
And, if any candy is left over the next day, we will immediately give it away to someone, so we don’t learn to like whatever the remnants are. Prudence, you know.
Repeating “I Will NOT Buy Snickers” To Myself,
– Hawkwind

The Slack Diet

I got up this morning just knowing that I had failed this week.
Our calorie numbers crept upwards all week long, with several days ending above 1,000 Calories. I didn’t get out and really exercise every day like I should. We slipped up on carb levels several days. I had a really bad experience with some chicken nuggets leading to 2 hours spent within 5 feet of my bathroom.
So, all things being equal, I just knew that today’s weigh-in would reflect my failures for the week. Instead of holding steady at 224 like I have for the past 3 weeks, I was going to have gained weight. I would be the first recorded example of a weight loss “honeymoon period” that lasted less than 3 months after surgery.
So, of course, when I weighed myself this morning, I came in at 221 pounds.
Isn’t it the damnedest thing? For weeks, you work your ass off, watch everything you eat, exercise religiously, and the scale won’t move.
Then you have a week where you blow the whole thing off, and you lose 3 pounds.
Makes you wonder about the “weight regulator” in your brain, really. Like, are you encouraging me to be a slacker? ‘Cause that is sure the impression I am getting here.
Yes, yes – I know. Changes in metabolic processing, serotonin levels, body adjusting to new intake levels being forced out of “Starvation Mode” – I get it. “Correlation does not imply causation” as the folks with pocket protectors and lots of letters after their names like to say: The fact that my weight loss re-started at the same time as I was peelin’ it does not mean that the two things are in any way related.
But, man, it sure feels that way. Maybe I should try the “lethargy diet” – sit at my desk playing World of Warcraft and eating ice cream for the next week, and see what the numbers look like. You know, for science.
Oh, right – honeymoon period. There is every reason to expect, now that the weight loss has fired up again, that I will lose weight lying on my back and eating Twinkies.
Damn. And it sounded like such a good plan, too.
But, in reality, there is nothing to do but buckle back down this week, hit the weights and the cardio religiously again, be more careful about our meal planning and execution. Get back on that horse and work on the plan we committed ourselves to.
But if I get to next Monday and hit another stall as a result of my “good behavior” I may just tear my hair out.
And I don’t have all that much hair left at this point.
Happy To Finally Be 80 Pounds Down,
– Hawkwind