Here we are near the end of the year, still in the ‘middle’ of a pandemic. I wonder why we say that? How do we know we’re in the middle of it? We don’t. We could be at the beginning.. Maybe we’re near the end. We just don’t know.

If the pandemic has reinforced anything for me, it’s this: all we can do is be with what is and to take the next doable step. 

The pandemic and its restrictions have exacerbated many people’s eating issues. Social media is not helping! Neither is government health messaging to lose weight and exercise more. 

In addition, here we find ourselves at Halloween, which tends to be complex for people with disordered eating at the best of times. For some, it’s frightening. For others, liberating. And then still others find themselves somewhere in the middle, or swinging between restriction and permissiveness. 

I don’t know what’s going to happen this Halloween. I guess it depends where you are in the world and the level of restrictions in place where you live. 

One thing I do know? There’s a hell of a lot of uncertainty out there which can make it harder. 

So, how to approach Halloween this year? 

Tap into joy

If there’s one thing we could probably all do with right now, it’s to experience joy. 

Now maybe Halloween feels like a lead balloon to you – devoid of all joy… if this is you, give yourself permission to skip it altogether and do something that does lift your spirits instead.

If you have children who love Halloween (or maybe you don’t have kids but you love the tradition) what can you do to bring the spirit of Halloween that feels both doable and joyful to you (rather than another task you feel obliged to do)?

Eat what you want

This isn’t just at Halloween, of course ;). Eating what you want is a core element of making peace with food. Often the reason we binge or overstep our fullness and satisfaction cues is exactly because we’re not giving ourselves permission to eat exactly what we want. We’re focused on what we think we should eat; what we believe is healthy; what we believe will make our bodies shrink… This reinforces all-or-nothing thinking

Eat what you enjoy

You might think that this is the same as eating what you want. It isn’t. How many times have you eaten what you think you want but realise you’re not enjoying it? 

Look, sometimes what we have isn’t particularly enjoyable but that’s all we have at that time, so it will have to do – and that’s fine.

But if you’re able to eat what you want AND what you enjoy, well, then you’ve hit the jackpot for satisfaction.

And when you feel satisfied, it takes no effort to stop at that point. It’s like magic 🧹🧙‍♀️. 

Could you do with some support navigating eating over the holidays this year?

My short course Peaceful Eating Over the Holidays will open for registration soon – join the waiting list so you can get all the details as soon as they’re released.