Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Beware The After Halloween sale!

Tread wearily fellow dieter; the dark forces have gathered. Faster than a chocolate bat escaping the flames of Hades; quicker than a skeleton-costumed, sugar-crazed seven-year-old can consume a pile of gummi booty; we have arrived at the time of year when calories assail us from every direction.

One of the seemingly benign but more malevolent influences is the post-Halloween candy sale. Enter any store and be immediately accosted with an oversized display filled with foil covered peanut butter chocolate bats, black and orange jelly beans, and "fun size" candy bars. (Personally, I consider one-pound bars to be the "fun size" bars; miniatures are merely appetizers. But, who am I to quibble?) Attached to this colossal cache of calories is a sign proclaiming, "Half Off!"

Despite the activities of the previous evening, no amount of sugar crawling through my veins will cause me to pass up a 50% off sale; after all, I'm overweight, not stupid. Buy one, get one free, is a deal in which any rational person would partake. I therefore purchase four bags of high-fructose pleasure - saving five dollars - rationalizing it to the fact that I can freeze the treats for next year. I plan to use the five bucks for a low-calorie meal; truly, I have achieved a win-win scenario.

Despite noble intentions, too many marshmallow peanut bars have melted my willpower, and the treats do not survive until next October; actually they don't even endure the trip home. As I debate whether or not to curtain the damage after 7,353 calories, the mantra of all disillusioned dieters haunts its way into my caramel-coated consciousness, "As long as I blew it, I might as well really blow it and start dieting tomorrow." Whether 'tis the dark side of candy corn talking or not, this idea makes sense at the moment and from then on, anything slow enough to get a fork into it becomes my prey. Before dawn, I have consumed more calories than there are zombies walking the streets on all Hallow's eve.

This continues well into the week; soon my stomach resembles the familiar shape of oversized jack o' lantern and my belt can no longer traverse my midline. In order to enjoy the simple pleasure of breathing, I am forced to buy three larger pairs of pants ($29 each), a new belt ($10), and a pullover, extra-large shirt to rid me of the danger of buttons popping from my mid-section and putting someone's eye out ($23). Including tax I'm now out $153!

Of course, I did save five dollars on half price candy, making my net expenditure $148 but that's still one scary after-Halloween sale.

If you'd like to read last year's column about Halloween, click here. To download a spreadsheet in excel to calculate your own savings, click here.)

About the author: Scott "Q" Marcus, THINspirational speaker and author. Since losing 70 pounds 13 years ago, he conducts speeches, workshops, and presentations on goal setting, attitude, and health throughout the country. He can be reached at 707.442.6243, or

1 comment:

OneMoreBite-Weightloss said...

So true, "I consider one-pound bars to be the 'fun size' bars; miniatures are merely appetizers." I spent a good five minutes telling my husband how I hate those "fun sized" dinky things. Too many calories wasted tearing off the wrappers.