The costumes have all been put away and the trick-or-treaters are gone leaving only a few feathers or streaks of glitter on the walkway next to the sagging pumpkin with its memories of smiles. All we have is candy. Candy collected by our own children, or the leftover treats reserved for friendly goblins that never did appear. From their sack on the mantle or the bowl in the kitchen the haunting begins. Calling to us at night when we are tired and cannot resist. They circle or perch and wait until the boredom sets in. Or like a horned and “nougaty” demon at our left shoulder and whispering promises of “just one, just one ‘fun sized’ treat.”
How do we resist? How can we prevent that slow seep of glucose through intestinal walls which inflames the pancreas to an insulin rage and brings us to a state of simulated starvation where we crave more and more and more? How can we give our poor little liver a rest, so it no longer asked to release its fats into the blood as if we were courting a stroke? How can we ever say “no” to confections designed for an unrelenting “yes, yes, yes”?
In the late 1970’s, there was an anti-smoking ad which showed a woman, lips puckered, lighter and cigarette in hand, before the narrator intervened. “The next time your wife reaches for a cigarette, give her a kiss instead.”
Let us too exchange one sweetness for something sweeter still. The next time the he or she of your life reaches into that sack looking for a Peanut Butter Cup, a Kit Kat or even the dreaded Snickers, give them a kiss instead. Inject a little more love and playfulness and affection into the everyday and mundane. By substituting kisses for candy, you can both build the relationship and protect the waistline.