Halloween is right around the corner and most of our clients ( including me ) are already beginning to worry about how they will manage so much Halloween candy next week. The stash of candy sitting around the house, at work, or the treats at holiday parties can lead most of us to automatic patterns of just grabbing, devouring, and not paying attention to the process of eating. Instead of feeling numb or overwhelmed, we can shift our attitude from judgment to honesty. Fear to self trust. The best way to do this is by slowing down and being present.
Here are a have a few of my favorite tips that will help you slow down, beat overwhelm, and give you the confidence to choose wisely and enjoy Halloween.
1. CONTEMPLATE. Take plenty of time to scope the party room or candy basket. Notice what you really want. DO NOT DENY what you are craving. Start by becoming aware of what you want. Examine all of your options before picking one. Once you pick it enjoyyyy baby!
2. HOW SLOW CAN YOU GO? Chew slowly. Notice yourself chewing the food and truly tasting the party in your mouth. Notice how your jaw moves as you chew. Connect to the present by tuning into your physical sensations : sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
2. WAIT ON MORE. Fully enjoy one piece of candy from start to finish before you move onto the next bite or decide if you want another piece. Put a timer on. Place a gap between urge and reaction. This gives you time to check in and ask “How do I feel?”
3. HUNGER SCALE. Check in before and after you eat. On a scale of 1-10
(1 – being starving, irritable, extremely hungry)
(10 – feeling you need to unbutton your pants, very full, uncomfortable)
Just checking in will help you slow down. The mindful eater may say something like, “I just ate a meal and had a cupcake. On the hunger / fullness scale I am at about a 6.5. I am comfortably full. I know if I eat another cupcake it will put me over the edge. I know this craving will pass. Let me wait 20 minutes and if I feel hungry, I am more than happy to have another or at least take one home to enjoy later.”
4. SIT DOWN and stop multitasking. Before you eat, take a seat!!! This will help you reduce distraction, meaning less chances of you over eating.
5. EAT KINDLY. Plan on eating with the intention of being in full view of others. Notice if you have the urge to eat in a private setting. Ask what is triggering you emotionally to eat in private?
– Be KIND and compassionate to yourself.
– Make sure you don’t skip out on meals. Aim for at least 3 well balanced meals. When we are hungry, we make poor choices that can increase your chances to binge on candy and sugar later. Choose foods that light up your world…think plant-based rainbows (veggies and fruits) on your plate at each meal and you will naturally want less later.
– Make a list about all the things you love about Halloween that doesn’t include food. Fill yourself up with fun rather than food. I personally love painting pumpkins, making crafts, and planning my costume. If you are headed to a party, bring a game like Cards Against Humanity or Jenga. If you are spending time with family, maybe plan on watching a movie together after trick or treating. Plan your evening around having fun and socializing. Filling up with laughs and good company will help you forget about any urge to eat.
– Set yourself up to succeed. Create a special vibe and treat Halloween as a special day by enjoying candy for a day or two, then throwing the rest away.
– Candy buy backs. Check out http://www.operationgratitude.com/. Or contact your local pediatric dental office. Some will do candy buy backs for a good cause.
Remember Halloween is one day, so remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself. When in doubt, just slow things down.
What are your personal challenges that you face during this time of year? We are here to support you at Wicked Fitness.
Anna is a Certified Health Coach and Yoga instructor. She weaves both worlds into one, to help others live more balanced, positive and healthful lives. Make an appointment today to find out more.