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Back Off, Health Police, We Eat Candy

Photograph by Twenty20

If the wafting of pumpkin spice from every store in town is any indication, Halloween is here. That means shopping for gourds, Pinteresting costumes and eating candy. Lots and lots of candy.

This is truly the most magical time of the year—I'd say it’s my favorite holiday if it wasn’t for the fact that orange and yellow are sooooo not my colors. I once had an orange dress that made me look like a real life Great Pumpkin, and I’m pretty sure I scarred some children for life.

Fashion fails aside, here’s why I love this holiday: The food is fun to look at and even more fun to eat. Walking down the grocery store aisle, you’ll see every monster-themed morsel you can imagine.

Of course, you can never go wrong with a basic candy corn. But I like to dive into mini-candy bar offerings from Hershey or saddle up next to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin. It’s Halloween, so slimy, gummy candies are also not safe from my grasp. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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And let’s not leave out the Pinterest champs who create caramel apples, mummy cookies, kitty litter cake—the list of goodies goes on. So irresistible.

... I really wish we could go back to the days when everyone could enjoy eating a piece of candy without feeling like they’re failing their diet.

But there's one thing that takes the “wee” out of my Halloween. The blog posts and cautionary tales by health experts and hangry skinnies about eating Halloween . They write up tips like “How to avoid the holiday weight gain” or “10 Ways To Indulge Without The Bulge.” (Actually that’s brilliant. Don’t steal that. But you get the idea.)

The sugar police come out in full force this time of year to remind us that sugar is bad. Kale is good. Everyone wants to give me advice on not treating myself during a time of the year designed for treats and indulging. To this I say, calm down sugar police. Calm. Damn. Down.

Since when did a little peanut butter cup give you a bulge? Will having a mini-Crackle or two really “pack on the pounds?” I don’t think so. As I see it, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the treats of the holiday season. It gets really exhausting feeling guilty every time I want to have a treat. Or nine. So I’ve decided I’m not going to engage in the guilt. Doesn’t that sound liberating?

Eat that treat! Treat yoself! Say no to the pressures of a healthy Halloween and get down on some zombie cake pops.

Admittedly, maybe I don’t have as much of a problem with all the treats, because I already have a fat bulge in the front and the back. And while I appreciate all the healthy “alternatives” (I see you ghost banana), I really wish we could go back to the days when everyone could enjoy eating a piece of candy without feeling like they’re failing their diet. Remember that? Someone’s mom worked really hard to make a spider web out of rice crispy treats and you won’t eat them because they have sugar? Stop it. Stop it right now.

Yes, it IS possible to overindulge during the holidays and gain a few pounds. I realize everyone’s body is unique, and we all gain or lose weight differently. If you really are one of those people who eats a piece of candy then gains two pounds then God have mercy on your soul. That sounds awful. I’m really speaking more to the moms who don’t allow themselves to participate in the Halloween food festivities because they’re afraid to get fat. You will not get fat. You will have a momentary sugar high and maybe even accidentally have fun and then live to tell the story at your next PTA meeting.

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Eat that treat! Treat yoself! Say no to the pressures of a healthy Halloween and get down on some zombie cake pops. I’m giving you permission to put the treat back into trick-or-treat and save the guilt for your New Year’s resolution like our parents did.

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