The Scary Truth About Halloween
In this post I want to share how I learned to control myself around Halloween candy
Halloween used to scare the crap out of me. Not because of the ghosts, ghouls and gobblins but because of the Reese, Smarties and oh man, the M&M Peanuts.
I would be able to restrain myself for the days leading up to the big day but once I had that chocolate in my hands it would lead to one or two massive binge fests followed by days of ‘cleansing’ and restriction to make up for it.
The anxiety and pull toward indulging in these treats leading up to Halloween (especially during my eating disorder days) felt like the powers of the Ring fighting its way back to the Dark Lord.
Walking through the supermarket was a nightmare with all those in-your-face chocolate displays etc.
I had my fair share of Halloween binges and I could go on and on about how awful it felt after the fact but rather than dwelling on this, I want to share with you what it feels like now, as a healthy, strong, level-headed woman who has defined her barriers when it comes to food.
When I walk into the supermarket now, I feel nothing. There is no emotional tie to the candy or chocolate. I just walk by it. It no longer appeals to me nor do I desire it. So how the hell did this happen?
Well, I really had to think about this and what I realized is that I have actually separated myself from these sorts of food items for almost 4 years now, with the exception of a few M&M peanuts here and there (which always led to over eating so I stopped those too). Completely Zain? Yep, completely. This may seem harsh, obsessive, unbalanced whatever. I no longer care about the judgement from others. The reality is it worked. The abstinence from this crap changed everything. I lost the taste for it.
So do I ever eat chocolate? Hell yes! Of course I do! I choose to indulge in clean, raw chocolate and I LOVE making my own Resse Peanut Butter Cups, M&M’s and other candies (stay tuned for recipes). I use raw cacao powder and healthy, unprocessed fats to create the most incredible treats. They are so delicious, that I would so opt for one of these over any of the processed treats ANY DAY!!
This is one of the reasons I decided to do my #RecipeRevamp contest. This way, I can help you revamp your favourite food/treat into something clean and healthy.
One of the things I have learned on my recovery journey is that you cannot deny or deprive yourself of delicious, sweets, treats and food.
Fortunately, not everyone has faced the same issues as I have where the lines of hunger and fullness have been blurred and they cannot stop themselves from continuing to eat. I have had this issue so I have to take the extra step toward being strict with my boundaries around treats. What I choose to enjoy as treats now just differs so much from what it used to.
I love biting into a rich and delicious piece of pumpkin cheesecake, knowing that I am going to feel fantastic after, not experience a sugar crash or addiction to more sugar, retain water or feel, well, gross.
Sorry, tangent. I do that sometimes.
So back to Halloween candy.
Other things that have kept me straight during this time of year (and other times of the year involving sugary treats, which is like at least every couple months in Western society) are:
- My Meal Plan - Yep, you have heard this from me like a broken record. Can’t stop binging? Can’t stop thinking about food? Can’t get the body that you are dreaming of. Stop everything and create a meal plan. Use resources like the Eat Clean Diet Series of books to get started.
- Supportive People - If there is a time of year like Halloween that is tricky for you, let one of your loved ones know not to let you alone with a pumpkin full of candy! Reach out! It may not be an issue that they face or have ever had to but if you are honest you’ll find many people will gladly support you.
Chances are there are many people who will also judge you, encourage you to try a treat etc. The reality is, THEY HAVE NOT BEEN IN YOUR POSITION WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD. Food can be one of the worse addictions stronger than drugs or alcohol because you need it and come into contact with it every day to survive. Not everyone gets this. Its ok. Find the people who do and don’t fear the judgement. Until they have walked a day in your shoes or care to take the time to understand what you go through, they have no business or right to steer you away from what keeps you safe.
- Make A Clean Treat to Enjoy - Check out My Favourite Desserts here. These are all healthy safe foods with proper proportions of macronutrients for you to enjoy. Make a single serving and indulge in that.
- Don’t Go To The Supermarket OR Put Yourself In Other Places Where You Will Be Tempted - This is a no brainer. It may suck. You may feel like a two year old child but the reality is you have to protect yourself until this no longer affects you.
So there you have it. These are some of the steps that helped me face this time of year and get to a point where Halloween now scares me in the way it should…blood, gore, screams and black magic…
Happy Halloween everyone and please tweet, facebook or message me with any questions!