by Tom Kelly, M.S.
There is absolutely no shortage of unhealthy food choices around me. It seems that wherever I go, there is access to chocolate, candy, or generally unhealthy food. At the Albert Ellis Institute, a giant jar of my favorite candy (Kit Kat bars) is always available. On campus, the kind staff has begun to stock pile Hershey chocolates. I found these as soon as they were left out, and have targeted them on a daily basis. At home, my new roommate has loaded the cabinet with Cheese- Its. I do not particularly love Cheese- Its, but I have found myself eating them at an alarming pace.
With Halloween coming up, I know my all too kind Mom will soon be sending me a bag of candy for any kids that come to trick-or-treat. Unfortunately, kids never come to my apartment to trick-or-treat. Over the four years at this location, never once has one come along. When I tell my Mom this, she says she will send something just to be safe. However, I end up consuming nearly all the candy, every year! I know how this Halloween is going to turn out!
But, if I want this Halloween to turn out differently, I know I need to make a change. I recognize that the junk food is not going anywhere. It is going to be around me, wherever I go. The question I am now asking myself is whether I really do NEED it. As I walk into the Albert Ellis Institute, as I open the cabinet at home, and as I open the package filled with Halloween candy, I can start to tell myself that while I’d love to have some, I do not NEED it. I would prefer to have it, but there is no reason that I must and I can then certainly elect to not eat any. I think I am much less likely to have a stomachache this Halloween if I change my thinking.