How I overcame Halloween Candy Anxiety
I get a huge kick out of Jimmy Kimmel’s yearly segment called “I told my kids I ate all your halloween candy.” It’s funny and relatable because it’s the dirty little secret that all parents have –i.e. the late night raiding of their kids halloween buckets after they go to sleep.
In our house, upon morning, maybe the whole bucket of candy is not gone but you better believe that quite a few choice pieces are missing (ahem, Reeces peanut butter cups). And by the way, if anyone is interested in what to do with all that left-over Halloween candy, read this article.
But, let me be clear that since I became a mindful eater, Halloween has never been the same for me. What used to be both a holiday I looked forward to, it also filled me with dread because I could never trust myself around the candy. At first, I tried giving myself “rules” – only 6 mini-pieces per day which generally dissolved into 8, 10, 15 pieces based on rationalizations that allowed myself to extend or bend the rules. Then I tried counting calories and budgeting in the halloween candy, which really backfired because I blasted through that budget by 2pm. Then I used the tried-and-true strategy of completely denying myself of any candy at all, which works for as long as will-power lasts which we all know is both variable and unreliable because it eventually completely throws you under the bus. Not to mention, the denial leaves you with the sucky feeling of being deprived and watching other people luxuriate in a sweet, melty chocolate confection goodness while you smile a half-witted and wilting smile while crunching on some carrots and pretending everything is ok!
The last 2 years have been different for me, however. And in all the best ways. Since I learned how to eat mindfully and intuitively, my relationship to food has changed and improved dramatically. Because I never deprive myself, place arbitrary food rules on myself and stopped moralizing food in general, the pull and fear and anxiety around my food choices has completely disappeared. Its truly a miracle really given my history. Because I adopt an abundance mindset with food now and there is no more restrictive diets just around the corner, I’ve been able to relax around food and trust my body and palate to make the right decisions.
How this translates is profound. Sometimes I will choose to have some candy and sometimes (most times) I won’t.
The other incredible by-product of my becoming entrenched in unrestricted, undistracted, eating is that I’ve developed a really judicious palate and the kinds of candy that used to trigger me simply don’t appeal to me anymore! I know it sounds crazy but it’s true! It doesn’t taste real or good to me anymore and it’s empowering for me to be able to to choose the items that will most give me pleasure and that I am truly excited to eat. That, is the most empowering element of all: that I am not beholden to food or feel out of control, concerned, anxious or confused anymore about what I’ll eat. I trust myself, I communicate with my body and I listen deeply.
So, this Halloween, I get to have exactly what I want – some delicious chocolate, just enough, to satisfy me, but not too much that I feel sick, get worried, or feel like I’ve broken some sort of random self-inflicted rule.
So, this Halloween, I get to have exactly what I want - some delicious chocolate, just enough, to satisfy me, but not too much that I feel sick, get worried, or feel like I’ve broken some sort of random self-inflicted rule. Click To Tweet
Interested in how you can get to this exact same place by next Halloween (or this Thanksgiving for that matter?) Enroll in my free 7-day mindful eating course today. I’ll give you the tools that i’ve used in my own relationship with food step-by-step with specific homework assignments, worksheets, resources and more.
And by the way…what is your most favorite Halloween candy?
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