If it were possible to somehow travel back in time to the early ’90s – quick, somebody find me a DeLorean and a flux capacitor – my 10-year-old self would be pretty upset with me this week.
You see, contrary to the unofficial rules of childhood, which states pretty unequivocally that thou shall not give away candy, I did exactly that Wednesday morning, when I stared at the bowl of mini chocolate bars leftover from Halloween and could not dare unwrap another.
So I suggested my girlfriend take them to her office, where a pregnant co-worker has a serious chocolate craving. By 9 a.m. they were gone from my life.
And though I have a tooth just as sweet as the next person – sweeter, probably – and it pained me to give up the sugary treats, it had to be done.
It had to be done because I have no willpower. Like, zero. If there’s chocolate there, I’m going to take it and eat it. Simple as that.
This isn’t a new phenomenon for me, either.
When I was a kid, there was a house on my street that – rather than answer the door hundreds of times every Halloween night – simply left out a big bowl of candy with a sign that said “take one only, please.”
And God bless ’em, they thought that would work. After a few years, I learned to go there first.
But while it’s always been a weakness of mine, it has never really bothered me much – I’ve come to grips with being out of shape, though I have at times over the years tried to fix the problem, with limited results.
Sure, once I lost 50 pounds, but that weight-loss was spurred onward purely out of horror and shock; I hadn’t realized how much weight I’d gained until, shortly after starting my job here at the Peace Arch News, I saw my headshot appear in the paper and freaked out a little bit at the size of my face.
Turns out that spending more than a year as a bachelor, consisting on a strict diet of beer, nachos and poutine isn’t good for one’s figure.
After seeing that, I was determined to have a slimmer photo appear in these pages in as short a time as possible, and later that year – after some awfully hard work – I accomplished said goal.
Lack of willpower aside, I reached my goal because I had something specific to shoot for. (Aside from, you know, general good health, which come to think of it, should be motivation enough, but I digress…)
Which brings me back to Wednesday’s Great Chocolate Eviction.
I have something to shoot for again – I’m getting married in a year, and I’d like to be able to fit comfortably into a suit. Because wedding pictures last forever – even if some marriages don’t – and I’ll be damned if I’m going to stare at my pudgy face on the mantle for the rest of my life.
I’ve been working on my plan for a month or two already, and there has certainly been progress made – I had to go out and buy what my girlfriend calls cheap “transition” clothes, because my old clothes are too big but I’m not yet ready to spend a fortune on new ones, and the kitchen is chock-full of healthy options. But it’s been hard work and – gulp – taken a fair bit of willpower I don’t necessarily possess.
And there’s plenty of work yet to be done.
It means going for daily (OK, semi-daily) early-morning jogs and long evening walks with the dog, and it means eating healthy food rather than making fast-food runs.
And, sadly, it means saying sayonara to the Halloween leftovers.
My 10-year-old self would be so unimpressed.
Nick Greenizan is a reporter at the Peace Arch News.