Whew! The holiday season is finally over, and now we can all get back to our normally healthy diets, right? All of those fattening family get-togethers loaded with greasy hors d’oeuvres and trays of homemade candy and baked goods are a thing of the past. Sure glad that’s over!
STOP!!! [sirens wailing, red lights flashing] We are in the middle of a dietary crisis season that most people don’t even realize exists and because of that many of us fall prey to months of sugar-shock and why-don’t-my-jeans-fasten-anymore syndrome. At this crucial time of year when so many people are struggling to keep their resolutions, utter defeat is a mere row of adjustable shelving away at their local grocery stores.
From the first appearance of the candy corn the day after Labor Day until the last Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg is sold, we are in what I like to call “Candy Season.” It happens because of the “Candy Holidays” and it encompasses two-thirds of our calendar year! Think about it—right now if you walk into any store that sells seasonal merchandise you will find the lonely clearanced candy canes on one side of the aisle facing the heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolates on the other side. Yesterday I even spied a box of Cadbury Easter Eggs in the middle of Valentine’s Day stuff. There are no breaks in this madness!
It’s not just ordinary candy, though, and that’s the problem. I won’t give the normal candy aisle the time of day unless I know I need to buy something or I’m searching for coupons to use in the seasonal aisle. The seasonal candy, however, comes wrapped in glittery papers and molded into interesting shapes. It's pretty candy. A Snickers bar is OK, but a Snickers bar shaped like a nutcracker in a shiny blue wrapper, well, that’s just irresistible. The candy even comes in these amazingly original containers—I mean, chocolate-coated marshmallow eggs that come in an actual egg carton…they’re blowing my mind. I walk down the seasonal aisle nearly every time I go to the store just to see if by some miracle they’ve gotten something new that I haven’t noticed before. I’m flat-out enchanted by it, and I don’t care to admit it.
What’s the solution to this dietary death trap? Honestly, I don’t have one. A few years ago I tried to avoid the “Candy Season” problem by participating in Lent. I was a candy-free doll for the entire 40 days. Then, when I went to the stores during their clearance sales I stocked up on everything I had been previously abstaining from and ate chocolate-covered-coconut birds’ nests well into the summer. (Jettisoning the jelly beans, of course. Cute, but not worth eating in my humble opinion. Sorry, I digress…)
Last summer during the three non-candy-holiday months I missed the seasonal-sweets-aisle so much that I seized ten bags of the red, white, and blue star-shaped marshmallows when they appeared on an end cap. M&M’s didn’t sell their traditional patriotic candies, and I was so disappointed that I wrote the company a letter. I'm not kidding. My name is Rachel, and I probably have a problem, but surplus aisles of barbecue sauce, Kool-Aid, and potato chips do nothing for me. Give me my sugar, and make it pretty!!!!
So, keep your eyes open (in the aware kind of way, not the looking around kind of way or you'll probably just eat more) and watch your back(side) and before you know it this season will be over just in time for the other season that encompasses the remaining one-third of the year--swimsuit season. Think about that!