I was going to write a post about how to overcome your fears. In fact it’s been brewing in my head for the past three days, but I’m still not sure how to put it into words…so I have sat on it for a bit. Waiting for the time.
But then I woke up this morning..and ALL I could see on FB and twitter was “Don’t Binge on Halloween Candy”.
I Google-ed “ways to avoid Halloween candy eating” —> 63,000,000 hits. 63 MILLION!
Some lady passing out flyers shaming children with whom she felt were obese.
People writing about ‘how not to binge on Halloween candy’, ‘why Halloween candy is bad for you’, posting every single WW point and servings for mini candy bars on FB. I do think it’s a good thing to think about these things. I also spread wide caution.
why do I spread caution about this all?
Because for many of us who have issues with food…shaming, guilt, listing reasons why we SHOULDN’T be eating something…is not helpful. It’s not helpful for me to sit and write a post about ’10 Ways to not eat a Snickers Bar’…and line it with old sayings that are laden with guilt and tired-ole antidotes ‘it tastes good on the lips, but lands on the hips’. I spent a vast majority of the past decade vacillating between knowing the points of two mini-candy bars, a snowflake, and a margarita….to binging my way through all the above. I spent so much time trying to control my own emotional responses to food by shaming, avoiding and justifying why I shouldn’t be doing something…that indeed I’ve put on weight that I’ve lost dieting (ironically, but not really) because I just couldn’t find a balance.
I couldn’t find the balance, because I was never really focusing on finding peace. More though, I wasn’t allowing myself the space to actually process if I wanted 10 Snickers bars, 5 iced sugar cookies and 2 spider-webbed cupcakes in 10 minutes. All I was thinking about was the list of reasons why I shouldn’t be eating them, how I was going to blow my points/calorie allotment, and how tomorrow “I was def giving up sugar, y’all.”
Oftentimes it ended in tears.
It ended in tears not solely because I felt so gross. It ended into tears, because I was so exhausted from trying to avoid myself and the fear I had over my perceived inability to actually honor what I wanted. I found this interesting article by Melinda Wenner Moyer, she quotes lots of studies outlining the importance of creating a non-restrictive, but balance approach to food as a parent. The outcome of one study whereby kids were denied fruit, but given sweets is that:
Most importantly, the kids who had not been given any restrictions ate less food overall than did the kids who had been restricted from either food.
I think this is true for a lot of us. Once we GIVE ourselves the permission to NOT restrict, because we no longer fear the ‘damage that we could do’, we ironically find that we binge less.
So have a damn snickers bar. But make sure you have it in a place of pure peace. And enjoy it…in fact you may find that you don’t really like it at all. But that’s the journey.