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Learn the Ancient Secret to Kicking the Candy Habit

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I hope I don't sound smug when I tell you that this candy addict has managed to last a month so far without candy and sweets. Amazed is how I really feel.

Maybe blessed is a better word. Yes, blessed, for what has been revealed to me and what I am about to reveal to you.

Four weeks ago, I announced my not widely-anticipated plan to kick all the sugary things I love for a year. I called it Mission 2010: A Year Without Candy and it coincided with my new blog, A Year Without Candy, in which I chronicle my efforts.

Big news: While racking up one month candy-free, I stumbled onto a long-hidden secret, passed down through the centuries, usually by albino monks, about a universal law that can help everyone who wants to kick sweets.

The Ancient Secret to Kicking the Candy Habit - or Da Candy Code for short - reveals the most powerful law in the universe. The knowledge of this law has run like a golden thread through the lives and the teachings of all the prophets, seers, sages and saviors in the world's history who jonesed for Junior Mints, and through the lives of all truly great men and women - at least the ones with a sweet tooth. All that they have ever accomplished or attained has been done in full accordance with this most powerful law.

Before I get to the Ancient Secret, let's look at what we're up against this week. These are the dangerous days leading up to Easter and I don't mean just for the Pope.

I don't know about you, but enormous, enticing milk chocolate bunnies seem to perch seductively everywhere I look, winking at me and whispering my name as I rush by, covering my ears with my hands so as to resist their siren call.

Fortunately, I live in France where the bunnies - although as big as the ones back home and much more elegant in presentation - aren't cheek by jowl with the (sadly delicious) hard stuff you can get in America.

By that I mean the diabetes-friendly, corn syrup extravaganzas the exacting artisans at Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, CVS and Costco churn out: Cadbury mini-eggs, jumbo-size bags of miniature solid milk chocolate eggs (check label to make sure they are real milk chocolate, not milk chocolate-flavored!) jellybeans, yellow-dye colored marshmallow chicks and yes, special Easter-colored candy corn.

But no matter which side of the Atlantic you're on, Easter Week is just as treacherous as Halloween and Christmas for sweetfreaks like me.

Or it was until February 28, 2010, the day I gave up candy for a year - and began my initiation into the shadowy world of Da Candy Code.

If I were like the sages and seers who guarded this Ancient Secret as jealously as I might have hidden a theater-size box of Raisinets during "Shutter Island," I'd just make up reasons for my success in kicking candy.

Maybe I'd go full Renee Zellweger evil and say I developed an overwhelming preference for egg white omelettes and raw spinach and couldn't force down a Reese's peanut cup if my life depended on it.

Or I could just say it was my sheer tenacity, or a power greater than myself, or regular attendance in a consciousness-raising group about corn syrup.

But I'd be lying.

The Ancient Secret to Kicking Candy is simply this:

The Law of Public Humiliation.

The beauty of this law, sometimes also called The Law of Perceived Public Humiliation, is that it can be applied in many ways.

Here's how it worked for me: Decide you are going to give up candy and announce it in the most public forum available - even if no one cares. Then, with much fanfare that only you pay attention to, create a blog, fussing over exactly which theme to use and start posting - even if nobody reads it.

In your mind, everybody is reading it because, theoretically everybody could be reading it. So if you fall off the candy wagon, you've failed in the eyes of potentially millions.

I've learned this deceptively-simple, shame-based law may work even if you have a vice other than sweets.

What's the addiction YOU want to give up?

Like... Red Twizzlers or Gummi bears or Lindt chocolate or Cadbury eggs or double espressos or mocha lattes or Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream or Diet Coke or Red Bull or salt and vinegar potato chips or Cheetos or Marlboro Lights or dookie stick or Dos Equis or Chardonnay or red wine or vodka tonics or Jack Daniels or Adderall or Ambien or Vicodin or Bolivian marching powder or heroin - to name just a few off the top of my head?

Name your poison. Then say you want to kick it. Then set yourself up to be humiliated if you don't follow through.

Start a blog about it. Make a Youtube video and send it to every one of your Facebook friends. Or go small: make a bet with a friend who hates to lose as well and make it a win/win if you both stick with goals that you each want.

If you understand how to apply this Ancient Secret to your own life, you might even make it as far as I have.

But I hate to be smug.