Halloween doesn't have to be scary, I promise! Now I know when you are dealing with eating disorder, body image, and emotional eating issues, you probably want to laugh in my face because 1. Halloween is a holiday and it can be flat-out triggering (family issues, social media, school, memories, etc.), and 2. It's a holiday that revolves around candy for goodness sakes, and HOW in the world Nikki, can we EVER enjoy candy while we are having eating issues? Well, I am here to tell you all that Halloween can be an enjoyable holiday, even while you are recovering. How does that sound? Read on to discover how.
One really effective strategy to cope with your fears is to change the messages in your mind, the messages that you have been receiving around food and body image for a very long time. And for those who have struggled with food, one chronic message may be: "I can't have this/these food(s) (fill in the blank as to what food(s) you may have denied yourself for a very long time)." Well, what happens when you are inevitably around those "trigger" foods? Chances are, you are going to binge on them because your body is craving them. Intuitively, our bodies know what they need, and to deny our bodies of good, nutritious foods, the sweets, the snacks, and all of the food(s) in-between, is to deny ourselves love. Now, we don't want to be obsessive and we don't want to be apathetic with our bodies. We want to be intuitively balanced in our approach with food. So anytime we restrict or binge, we are not living in a place of spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance.
At Halloween time we are given a wonderful opportunity to change these scary "I can't have these certain Halloween food(s)" messages into messages that are in-line with the 5 EDIT™ Principles like: "I will Give to My Self" and "I am True to Myself."
Activity: I'm going to guide you right now on some Halloween fun that includes the 5 EDIT™ Principles! Grab a bag or two, sit down and have FUN decorating them with stickers, markers, glue, whatever you decide (this is ART as therapy). Now, once the bags are decorated, I want you to fill them with positive message related to any of the 5 EDIT™ Principles. As an example, some of the messages could say, "I Give to Myself by really tasting and enjoying what's inside my Halloween bag, and I am so Thankful!" Another message could be, "I am True to My Self by snacking on the 'scary-foods-with-boundaries' which I've picked." Then, use the EDIT™ "Make Peace with Food" Worksheet below and select a few snack-size treats, and also some “safe foods” to enjoy on Halloween.
Want to dive deeper into this activity and make peace with food completely? Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a complimentary 30-minute consultation and see how the 5 EDIT™ Principles can help you enjoy Halloween once and for all!