Is Sugar The Scariest Thing This Halloween?

29 October 2020 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

You’re probably asking yourself what do sugar, a global pandemic and fear have to do with Halloween?

Well, all three can be scary.

We are in the middle of a global pandemic and many of us have experienced much upheaval. The holiday season is about to begin with Halloween. This year, the holidays are certainly going to look very different, some traditions will not look the same as previous years. Our minds resist and fight change, they crave certainty. This year has pushed many of us out of our comfort zones, especially around food. In times of vulnerability, it’s natural to seek comfort in sweet foods. Very often, when sweetness is lacking in our lives, we turn to it in the form of food.

The attitudes of mindfulness can help us approach the holiday season with a sense of calm:

Acceptance

Can you bring an attitude of acceptance that things have changed and that celebrating Halloween with “trick or treating”; costume parades and gatherings will not be possible in the same way as previous years? Despite this, could you still make it meaningful, fun and memorable?

Allowing and Letting Go

The more we try to control and restrict sugar or any food for that matter, the more it has control over us. Trying to get “control” over food makes us more out of control. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but the way to feel in charge of your eating is to allow yourself to have whatever you want. So how about letting go of the rules and restriction and allowing yourself and those around you to enjoy the Halloween candy? You may be concerned about health. Think about this, eating sweets in secrecy is not healthy. A sustainable healthy way of eating, is eating with flexibility and pleasure by letting go of guilt and shame around food choices.

Remember some foods nourish the body, others nourish the heart and soul and some are for pure fun! There is room for all of them!

Awareness

When you eat, bring your attention to your body. Bring your attention to your mouth and the taste of what you are eating. Very often we overeat because our attention is elsewhere or caught up in judgement. Can you try be really present with the “party in your mouth” noticing the flavours and textures, how the food feels in your body, this will help you enjoy your food and get more satisfaction.

Bring awareness to your judgements, very often it’s labelling food good, bad or naughty that leads to overeating. Sugar is not bad and you are not weak or naughty for eating sugar. Bring awareness to your thoughts.

Pay attention to thoughts like:

  • This year has been so awful that I am just going to eat!
  • I’ve already blown it, I might as well carry on!
  • That’s enough
  • I shouldn’t; I mustn’t
  • Everyone else is eating
  • Sugar is addictive
  • If I start, I won’t stop..
  • What the hell! Who cares!
  • I will be good tomorrow, on Monday, in the New Year…

Every time you eat is an opportunity to practice, learn and start again. We are aiming for progress NOT perfection!

Acknowledge

It’s important to acknowledge that food and holidays can be tricky to navigate at the best of times, in these trying times, it can be even more challenging. Diet culture has spoilt the fun of the holidays by focusing on weight loss and controlling or eliminating certain foods. If you have a history of dieting or restricting foods, going on another diet or trying to control your food can offer you a false sense of control and comfort. Putting all your attention on what you can or can’t eat is often a distraction from more serious things in your life that you may be avoiding.

Attend with care

Can you treat yourself kindly whatever may arise this weekend? If you overeat, or eat too much sugar, avoid beating yourself up. Nourish don’t punish. Your body has infinite wisdom and will digest and process everything you have eaten. As best you can, treat yourself to fun, pleasure and care within the limitations that we face right now.

Wishing you a Happy Halloween!

All my best,
Xen

PS. Are you ready to heal your relationship with food? Book a free mini session.

PPS. Stressing about eating during the holidays? Check out my online How To Handle Eating in the Holidays course.

Halloween Gift for you: A Chocolate Meditation to help you eat chocolate mindfully.

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