When people think of Halloween, typically they think of costumes, trick or treating, scary stories, classic Halloween movies and yes Halloween candy. But for me, when I think of Halloween the first thing that used to come to mind was STRESS. Lots and lots of stress. Basically surrounding candy. Honestly, some of you may think I am totally crazy, but I am not a huge fan of Halloween. I do not like being scared, I did not like trick or treating, I am scared of the dark and I hated dressing up and drawing any sort of attention to myself. The one thing about Halloween I did like was the candy.
On Halloween, I used to eat so much candy I would become sick. Later in life, I would literally binge out on so much candy on Halloween because “that is what you were supposed to do.” But as I got older, and my eating disorder had grown, things really got out of hand..especially on Halloween. I remember I used to BINGE out. Eating so much candy I thought I was going to throw up…and then eat some more. It was like something took over my body and I physically could not stop. I told myself it was ok because it was Halloween and everyone eats candy. I used to even hide and sneak more candy when no one else was looking. It had gotten to a point where it was really out of hand.
Fast forward to when I began my big weight loss transformation, I avoided all candy, at all costs and didn’t even “allow” myself to have one bite of candy. I was upset, angry, frustrated and hated myself for becoming so overweight where I felt like I wasn’t allowed to ever have candy again. The days and weeks leading up to Halloween would be filled with stress and I would try to come up with a game plan as to how I would avoid candy. I told myself that whatever happens I am not allowed any candy.
Well…as you can see that is not a healthy relationship either. No, I didn’t eat any candy, but I hated myself in the process. Sure the next day I was super proud of myself, but when the moment came when I finally did allow myself to have some candy or some chocolate, those old ways came raging back and I could not control myself.
This past year I learned that I have an eating disorder, I am a binge eater. The way it works for me is that I completely avoid certain foods, or I cannot stop eating them after I start. There is no middle ground for me. Once I start I physically cannot stop. After I learned about this eating disorder, I took recovery into my own hands and told myself that I am ok, this is ok and this disorder does not define me. I knew I would only come out stronger for having to deal with this.
But with Halloween right around the corner, I felt that stress and fear come back. I am still working on finding my middle ground, but this past year I have really grown as a person. I have learned from my past and started to figure out what worked for me. So I came up with a new game plan. Only this time, I focused more on the middle ground and what would work best for me.
Part of what I changed up was my food and how I track what I eat. I now follow the Transform app where I track my macros. You can click HERE to read more about this program. I also made a Youtube Video talking about my thoughts and feeling about changing my diet/tracking after losing 300 pounds. You can watch that video HERE.
So now, if I am really feeling like something, I can plug it in and feel ok eating it without the guilt, shame and regret that I used to have. I finally feel like I have some freedom over food, and now with Halloween, I think I will be able to handle it better this year without completely restricting or completely binging out.
Tips/Tricks to combat candy surrounding the Halloween Season.
These are some tips that I am working on, to help me feel more in control around Halloween time and around candy.
1. It is ok to have some candy!!!!!
Reminding myself that candy is not the enemy and that I am allowed to have some if I want is a huge relief for me. I do not feel like I will be breaking the law, letting myself down or failing if I have a piece of candy. Its just candy.
2. Total Restriction is not healthy.
Although completely restricting myself did not work and is not healthy, it did help me in some ways. It helped me not feel the need that I HAVE to eat candy on Halloween. I know I am perfectly fine if I choose not to have any, because I know I can completely avoid it. So in a way it did help me because I now know, just because it is Halloween, does not mean that you 100% have to eat candy!
3.You are in control.
I am in control of what goes in my body. I know if I want a piece of candy, I will track it in my app and feel no shame, regret or guilt because I am “still on track”. This mindset has tremendously helped me. Just plug in what candy you want, and make it work for you within the rest of your day.
4.You can eat candy and not track it.
It is ok if you have some candy and not track it or count it in your calories or macros. For me, this is a hard one, and right now in my life, it doesn’t work. However, I know it is absolutely ok to do this. I know I will eventually get to a place where this will work for me. For me personally, I still need track it right now, however, if you choose to let yourself enjoy some candy throughout the day, do it!!! No self hate, guilt, regret…this is your choice and you are the one in control. Remember that. It is ok and you will be ok!
5. Pick some of your favorite pieces and set them aside
Set some candy aside. For example, set aside 5 mini chocolate bars that you love. Throughout the day, you have that set amount of candy that you can have. Doing this helps me not completely binge out on candy all day long. I know that I have my own little stash, which are my favorite pieces and still allows me to enjoy some candy, but in moderation.
6. Do not buy your favorite candy or have it around the house.
If you know you cannot avoid Snickers Bars and they are in your house, get rid of them. Don’t buy them. If your kids come home with them, get rid of them. There is no need to have the extra stress on yourself. Someone told me that they also limit the amount of candy that their kids can keep. For example, they let them pick 10 pieces, then donate the rest. Or have the “candy fairy” come and take their candy and replace it with money or a new toy. If you cannot keep the candy in the house, get rid of it. Allow your kids to have some and enjoy it, but then move on. I don’t have kids so this is not an issue for me, just passing on some tips I have learned from other parents.
7. Let someone else in your house pass out candy or pass out a different kind of treat.
If passing out candy is a problem, do not pass out candy. Maybe you can go in another room while someone else passes candy out. If you know that won’t work for you can and always pass out a different type of treat, a snack size packs of crackers, carrot sticks, freeze dried fruit or even stickers. Sure you might not be the most popular house in the neighborhood, but who cares!
8. Stay Strong, don’t just eat because it is Halloween.
If you choose not to eat any candy and are really ok with that choice, don’t eat it. Don’t let anyone pressure you, tempt you or make fun of you for not eating it. Remember just because its Halloween, doesn’t mean you HAVE to eat candy.
9. Make your candy count.
For me, I am a sucker for chocolate. Let me rephrase that. I am a sucker for See’s Candy. It’s my weakness. So if I want candy, I do not waste my time or calories on just any chocolate, I go for the good stuff. So if you want candy, go get some of your favorite and enjoy that instead of just eating random candy that you have around you. Make it count and make it worth it!
10. Enjoy candy throughout the year.
Enjoy candy when you want it. For me, I always have chocolate in my freezer. If I feel like a piece of chocolate, I track it and eat it. Period. It works for me. It has really helped to know that if I want some, I can have it. Knowing I can have a piece and move on whenever I want it has helped me not feel the need to completely binge out when I do have it because I never completely restrict myself. I am really working on “everything in moderation” so not restricting myself though out the year helps so I don’t completely binge out especially on Halloween.
These are some tips/tricks that I am using/practicing. I am not sure what I will choose to do this Halloween in terms of candy, but I definitely feel more in control than I ever have before. I now know 1. If I want candy- it’s ok! 2. It’s ok to have some candy and move on without completely binging out on it. 3. Choosing not to eat candy is ok too if that is honestly what I choose to do and think is best for me at that time.
Make your choices surrounding candy work for you. Do what feels right for you. Remember, there is so much more to Halloween than candy. Focus on making memories with your family and friends. Focus on how much fun/joy the day can bring. Remember Halloween doesn’t have to stress you out, make you nervous or be a day to eat so much candy that you get sick. You are in control of your choices and your actions. Candy is just candy. Show it who is boss! (PS that is YOU!)
Let me know what you think of my tricks/tips for surviving Halloween candy down below in the comments. If I forgot anything that you may use let me know what tips or tricks you have that help you deal with Halloween candy. Also, let me know what your favorite candy is…I am dying to know! For me, bring me anything from Sees candy and I am a happy girl.
Happy (almost) Halloween my sweets!
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