Beware the After Halloween Candy Sales!

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 Hallows’ eve.

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Birthday Cake Ban

I hate being one of those crotchety old people who hears a story, shakes his head in disgust, and says, “When I was a kid…”

grumpy-old-man-with-caneYet, I find myself in that position (hopefully I am not crotchety however).

“When I was a kid…” I don’t remember parents bringing birthday cakes or cupcakes to classrooms. I just don’t think it was done way back then; maybe they melted on the stagecoach ride over. Who knows? Yet, times change and it appears to be standard operating behavior for parents to do so nowadays — that is, unless you reside in Northern Kentucky.

Burlington Elementary School in the Bluegrass State revised its wellness policy.

The end result is a ban on food for school birthday celebrations. We’re not just talking about cakes; rather — in the interest of promoting healthier food choices — ALL other snacks are now verboten. Non-food “treats” such as pencils, balloons, erasers and book-marks are suggested. (“Happy birthday Johnny, now blow out your bookmark!”)

The intention is laudable; they’re actually doing some-thing to combat the ever-burgeoning obesity crisis and attempting to shift the focus of celebrations away from food. Good on them for that. And there are indeed health concerns involving food allergies; not to mention, I imagine it’s purt’ near impossible to school a child redlining on a sugar buzz.

Yet I have concerns.

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Video: God Only Knows Beach Boys Remake

I’m not much of a Beach Boys Fan.

I like their “big hits” but I could always take them or leave them. This video however is not only beautiful to watch, but it goes to a great cause. Big stars each sing one line of the classic song. (I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t recognize a lot of them – and I used to be a DJ!)

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Twenty Years at Goal Weight

man-in-diapersI entered the planet at nine pounds 14 ounces.

Assuming that to be normal, thirty years later, as a newly minted father, I panicked when the doctor informed me that my firstborn weighed six pounds six ounces.

Looking me in the eye, attempting to calm my jitters, he replied, “Six-six is normal. I promise he’s fine.”

“But I weighed ten pounds when I was born!” I protested.

“I can’t help it if you were cruel to your mother,” he replied.

Moral of the story: I was born big, and from that moment, packed on the pounds, tipping the scales at ten pounds for every year.

To explain, I weighed 50 pounds at age five, 90 pounds at age nine, and 130 pounds when I was a teen. From there, I accelerated, reaching 230 upon entering high school — poor timing to say the least. Of the 1107 students in my class, I was the second fattest. Further putting this in perspective, that was in the day when childhood obesity was an oddity, rather than unfortunately as it can be today, quite common.

Kids are brutal, so what were supposed to be some of my best years were anything but. Girls ignored me; guys badgered and bullied me.

Physical education was the lowest of the low.

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