Halloween is next week. Soon, little goblins and witches will knock on doors, announcing themselves. “Trick or Treat!” They want candy!

Halloween was one of my favorite holidays. We grew up in a moderate income family, but had no idea that we were ‘poor’. Our costumes were originals. One year I made dice out of cardboard boxes for my brother and me. Creating our get ups was part of the fun of Halloween. But the best part was the candy. I lived in anticipation for weeks before the holiday arrived.

We lived in a high density neighborhood, where we could go door-to-door in a short period of time, and fill our bags with every sweet concoction our hearts desired. And on the following school day, someone who’d eaten too much of that candy would get sick on the bus; it never failed!

My heart’s desire was not just for my bag, but also that of my brother’s.

At some point in my life, my treats turned into a trick. No matter how much candy I ate, it was not enough. I’d inevitably get into my sibling’s bags, sneaking more and more chocolate, attempting to satisfy a craving that could not be satisfied. I had become a sugar-addict! As soon as I’d eat one, I’d want more. That led to other foods too; mostly high carb, processed foods. That led to morbid obesity and a life of depression, obsession and emotional flat-line.

My first Halloween with David was a hoot! I’d been sugar-free for over six years. Feeling confident, I greeted the children, commenting on the great costumes and throwing handfuls of bite-sized tootsie rolls into their bags. After they’d gone, Dave took one of the tootsie rolls (about the size of the end of my pinkie finger), popped half of it into his mouth and wrapped the other half up. I asked what he was doing, since the concept of half a tootsie roll was totally lost on me. He said he just wanted the ‘taste’. Whoa boy, that would have set up a craving in me, leaving an empty bag in the morning, and I don’t even like tootsie rolls!

This will be my nineteenth Halloween with no sugar. Isn’t that amazing? I’m no longer obese, maintaining a healthy body weight now for eighteen years. I can look forward to the colorful costumes without worrying about gaining a whole bunch of weight. You see, if I don’t eat one bite of a candy bar, I cannot eat a whole bag of it, and your bag, and everyone else’s I could pilfer.

Happy Halloween to everyone who celebrates! I’ll spend a quiet evening with my 90 year old parents. That’s about as good a treat as I could hope for.

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