Favorite halloween candy on three! 1, 2, 3. JUNIOR MINTS!

Halloween may make you question is it okay to eat sweets? How do you enjoy sweets without losing control?

Whatever your go to halloween sweet – we need to talk. It’s okay if you love sweets – including halloween candy.

And, it’s okay if you love food in general. Too often new Intuitive Eaters try to banish their love of food by turning Intuitive Eating into a restrictive diet. When it comes to sweets, if you focus too much on *whether or not you should keep sweets in the house* and *stopping when full* you miss the bigger picture: allowing SATISFACTION to guide your eating effortlessly, so you finally feel free! What if you could relax, and confidently keep sweets in the house with no more guilt? This week, you can use available halloween candy as an opportunity to learn how to create this exact kind of relationship with sweets. Instead of spiraling out this week over candy, Melissa will use this solo episode to show you how to find some peace as you:

  • Let go of food morality, guilt, and shame that hurts your intuitive eating process
  • Consider the satisfaction you get from your food (and life!) – this week, and generally
  • Feel more comfortable with an “All foods fit” mindset as part of your gentle nutrition approach
  • Self-assess where candy binges are coming from if you’ve already stopped dieting and no longer really call foods “good” and “bad” in your mind

Melissa also gives you some reflection questions to reframe your relationship with food by surfacing thoughts and feelings that might be getting in the way. 

Dm Melissa @no.more.guilt anytime you’d like to say hello and share a favorite takeaway from the episode. Really loving the pod? Your 5 star review and feedback means the world! Thank you for supporting the pod so we can help others become the first in the family to break the diet cycle, just like we are!

Episode Resources:

Melissa mentions a recent Reel video she made on Instagram about Halloween candy, you can watch it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CkMImg4ggKH/

Join the Break the Diet Cycle Podcast Community in Instagram: @break.the.diet.pod

Connect with Melissa on Instagram: @no.more.guilt

Follow Break the Diet Cycle on Apple Podcasts

Follow Break the Diet Cycle on Spotify

This episode was sponsored by No More Guilt with Melissa Landry. Reminder that though we are dietitians, we’re not *YOUR* dietitian. Podcasts don’t constitute treatment. If you have concerns about your dieting behaviors, seek out guidance from a medical or mental health professional. And if you’re looking for the process, support, and focus you need to live life without food guilt apply for a coaching program from today’s sponsor. No More Guilt with Melissa Landry is currently enrolling clients into 1:1 programs, group programs, and, recently added a do-it-yourself learning format: the Ex-Dieter’s Guide to No More Guilt.

is it okay if eating sweets makes you happy? transcript

Melissa Landry  0:02  
Hi there, I'm Melissa, a registered dietitian specialize in intuitive eating for on again off again, chronic dieters, and I'm here to help you take the guilt and stress out of eating so you can be the first in your family to break the diet cycle. I'm interested in helping you unlearn generational diet trauma, so you can be who you are without food guilt. Be sure to follow on Instagram at no more guilt for more support between these episodes. Are you ready? Let's jump in. 
It is Halloween. And I need a reel on Instagram last week showing different types of things that can happen within families growing up around candy. I'll put the link in show notes. But the reel goes something like this, it says remembering how everyone used to treat candy growing up and I cycle through the characters that I often play. And you know, Mom's coming in there. And she's that careful eater, she goes up chocolate couldn't even dry. And then dad comes in and he's like, Come on, let's cheat. And then there's an image of maybe childhood you and they're hiding candy because there are binge restrict extremes in your household. And maybe as a kid, you never even learned to listen to yourself. The real thing I'm here to talk about is the comments section of that post. I really love when you guys share a little bit more about what your experience was no one family that went through generational diet, trauma is going to be exactly the same. And so I do really enjoy hearing the specific scenarios and things you went through because how you apply Intuitive Eating is going to be a little bit different depending on what you went through and what your diet trauma response is. One of them really jumped out at me. It was a comment that their parents used to pay them five cents, or some amount of money for every candy they did not eat. And I wonder if that happened to you. Or maybe you've done that with your own kids. And I have a few thoughts on that. I want today to talk about your experience growing up. For some people, it felt positive for some people it felt negative. And for others, it may have felt bittersweet, so that maybe you can apply some new tips to use Halloween as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. 
That's actually a criticism I have of how folks on social media have been talking about candy. It's all like, okay, let's let's quickly learn all the skills so we don't eat too much of it. That is a fear based approach to intuitive eating, the purpose of intuitive eating is not to not eat too much. That's a different form of restriction, right, you still have a definition of how much you should eat, that judgment is still there. I want to give you something fundamentally different in my space through the no more guilt community. In my programs, I want to give you a way of thinking about yourself that you truly respect your body. 
Let's start with thinking about how to stop the good food versus bad food spiral using Halloween as our jumping board. You know, we have a lot of labels we use to describe our food, healthy, forbidden, guilty off limits. And the more we categorize food based on their moral value value, the more complicated and honestly sucky our relationship with food can be it feels super exhausting to worry about the right and wrong things all the time. My whole thing is that these good and bad food labels are getting in the way of your connection with yourself. If you are engaging in something bad, you're likely to feel guilt. And that is the driver of what is called the binge restrict cycle. You might have seen me put a post up on Instagram before or maybe in your travels. But it looks a little like a pendulum. And on one side it says binge and the other size it says restrict. And essentially when you get into that morality around food or one is good and one is bad. You will try to override your body's cues to be in a good space, meaning restriction doesn't feel good, but it is good. So I'm going to plow through I'm going to white knuckle I'm going to feel deprived and try to get over it. But our minds and our bodies can't put up with that forever by design, that's a good thing. It will have a reaction your body will have a reaction in the other end of the spectrum, around binging. And at that place. We do feel a lot of guilt we say things like I really blew it. Sometimes those thoughts can ramp up into a full blown binge. And this is what we're really trying to avoid. Changing the way you talk about food changes the way you feel about food. If you remove the guilt, you're more likely to be able to connect with your body. And that is the whole backbone of intuitive eating. Being able to sense how you feel and make choices based on those feelings is a foreign concept to a lot of us who were prescribed in praise diets. Or maybe we were praised for looking a certain way or punished for not looking that way. 
So with intuitive eating food is just food. A lot of times in my sessions, clients will say, Oh, that was so bad. Oh my god, sorry for saying bad protip. It's okay, if your first thought about food is that was bad, or this is bad, or this is unhealthy. You cannot automatically snap your fingers. And think differently. You need to do the work to reframe and unlearn those thoughts. So one thing I want to right off the gate tell you is that if this week around sweets, or just like in general, when you're around former forbidden foods, you beat yourself up for thinking they're bad. That may backfire with more guilt. So go ahead and just say, Okay, you're thinking the food is bad. That's all right. Something you learned. That's not moral either. We have this tendency, don't we? I grew up Catholic. So there was a lot of good bad morality. In my in my thinking, from that time, you may relate based on your upbringing, or your exposure to diets or dieting behaviors. 
Now, a lot of people will say, okay, I get it, there's no such food that is, quote, bad, Melissa. But wouldn't it be bad if I ate it forever and ever and all the time. And to that, I say, it depends. You are more than your physical health, and you are more than the nutrition you eat. So you tell you is your value around nutrition is variety of value? Is feeling good in your body of value? If yes to either of those things? Yeah, maybe eating chocolate, all meals, all snacks all all the time, may not be in line with your values or your body's needs and wants. And good thing that no one is proposing that. We have hard work ahead of us as intuitive eaters where we have to trust our bodies before we trust our bodies. You know what I mean? This process is asking you to take the leap of faith that you will be able with practice and maybe a little bit of feedback, and information to land on the type of nutrition that works for you. 
You know, most of us if we were to eat chocolate, all meals all days all the time, we may tire of that we may feel a certain way that intrinsically or internally makes us adjust. And removing the morality only helps that the other thing I can't impress upon my clients enough is how nutrition is a long game. Could you imagine if, after one week of nutrition that maybe wasn't optimally balanced or had the best variety, we would become sick. Oftentimes, Halloween holidays, this way of eating that might favor former forbidden foods is kind of temporary. It doesn't feel temporary when you're in it. Because of the guilt and the shame, it feels really, really uncomfortable when you're in it. The body can tolerate shifts in nutrition, week to week and month to month. And if we are, if we do have concerns about general nutrition, we can approach that thoughtfully. You know, we can think about what can we add? What can we adjust or replace rather than restricts to help us feel better or work toward whatever health goal we want to work on assuming it's related to nutrition because not all health goals will. 
Often a perceived lack of control comes from the history of restriction to begin with. And there are ways that you can learn to enjoy sweets without that feeling of loss of control. Couple of things I look for in clients are around biological hunger. Are you eating enough earlier in the day so that you are not primed to be so hungry that binging is more likely. Other things we might talk about include emotions and how those play in to your desire to eat sweets or not. And lastly, we think a little bit about satisfaction, satisfaction overall and satisfaction you get from your food so let's turn our minds there now because like, I gotta ask you just think about it broadly. How satisfied are you with the way that you eat right now? And I'm not talking about against the morality of you feel it's healthy or not. I'm talking about this last week. How satisfying was the food you ate? 
Satisfying isn't just oh, it tasted good. Satisfying means that you walked away from that meal or snack, feeling pleasant, feeling like you met your needs. Satisfaction is not just the nutrition inside the food we eat, it also has to do with the way we talk to ourselves while we eat the variety of the food, that feeling that it hit the spot on more aspects than taste. This could include texture, temperature, sweetness, the amount of savory whatever, whatever it was that you were really looking for was that met in some way? Could be the environment, we consumer foods can be the persons we eat with. So if you generally in your life don't get a lot of satisfaction from your food, or broader than that you're not experiencing satisfaction your life overall. Heck, yeah, when candy's in the house for a week, and you really do not give yourself satisfying experiences in food or in life, it's gonna be really hard as an intuitive eater to experience that in a way that feels calm and in control. And that's not a bad thing. It's just an experience, just something that you are going through. And I think when you see on social media, someone say, oh, my gosh, I'm doing intuitive eating. And while we were we I just ate two candies. And I felt so good about that. Sometimes I can put a little flag up when I hear that story, because it makes it seem like eating two, or however many is the quote, right answer and there is no right answer. And when you see someone say, oh my gosh, yeah, I had a candy and stopped, or I had two candies and stopped. You have no idea what is going on with their internal experience, you have no idea how they're doing with all these other factors. And that's why I really want today to talk about candy. 
Yes, because I realized, you know, as people we go through certain seasons and situations that can be can feel really, really difficult. And it's important, and I want you to be able to solve it, I want you to be able to understand yourself and have a way of being but we cannot forget, it's kind of not about the candy. It's not about the candy. It's about the bigger picture of how you were approaching yourself to include yourself care. If those things are in deficit, if you feel deprived and other areas of your life, permission to eat candy is not strong enough. You know, you can't just say oh, well, I'm not calling it bad. And I'm keeping it in the house. And I'm not beating myself up about it anymore. Too much. If all that stuff isn't also in place, you may not see the effects that you're looking for from Intuitive Eating specifically the feeling of calm confidence effortlessness around your foods. So, though we're talking about strategies for candy, keep that in mind. 
So we have talked a little bit about how guilt and shame driven by this idea that some foods are good, and some foods are bad, can make this week or weeks like this where there's a lot of food in the house that maybe isn't usually they're a little more challenging. And I give you that backdrop to remind you that any single skill that I give you or tip that I give you, it doesn't live out of context, you've got to figure out your bigger picture. That being said, I wanted to let you know that there are exercises and things you can do to help yourself maybe feel a little more neutral around candy this week. Now, if you were in my house, what we used to do is we used to go trick or treating, and we would dump them out. And I would like I guess eat all my favorites in one fell swoop. Partially because my mother never kept candy in the house. And that just felt like the right thing to do. It felt like I needed to get them all in. Now my sister was much more patient, she would like have one a day she would really make them. So reminds me of that marshmallow experiment where he put kids in a room. And you see like, they say, don't eat it. And if I come back and you haven't eaten the marshmallow, you'll get another marshmallow. So it's like basically measuring their their ability to wait for reward. I guess I had a very low ability to rate the reward back then. And honestly, I still do.
So you know, you might tap into some of those early experiences you yourself had with candy, you know, what is your story around candy? Do you have a story that you can't wait to eat them? You have to eat them when you have them? Do you have a story that you can't control yourself? Are you what is your reaction to candy right now? And maybe that is an exercise that you do where you just sort of take a piece of paper and you write the word candy on the top and you close your eyes and you imagine candy or you imagine experiences you've had with candy and you just jot down all of the stories, thoughts and beliefs that currently come up around candy. Maybe you even notice some of the emotions that come up around candy. For some folks, it is a feeling of excitement, anticipation. Maybe it's kind of like a lusty, forbidden sexy going, oh, you know, people can react like, oh my god, it's no good. Is that coming up within you? A really strong forbidden, sultry pull? What's going on there? If you can identify for yourself? What are the thoughts and the feelings I have about candy when I am away from candy, you are going to be more able to notice if and when those thoughts and feelings come up in the presence of the candy. It's a practice ground. There are other types of exercises you can do to neutralize sweets. 
I get a question a lot where some clients are like, do I bring all the candy in the house and just have a free for all until I stop? Or do I bring them in one at a time? Or do I just leave it alone and not bringing them in? Ah, once again, it depends. It depends. It depends on your history. It depends on your goals, and it depends on the level of fear you have. What I really want for clients are consistent experiences of mastery or progress. Why do I want this? Because as a learner, if you just kind of punny, if you bite off more than you can chew with the intuitive eating process, you go too hard too fast beyond what feels safe and comfortable relative to the fears you have about the process, you are more likely to have an experience that feels unpleasant or negative. That is not bad in and of itself. However, if you don't have the support, or the process to see that experience as a normal part of your learning process, you might experience a big old wave of the food police voice and that's that one that tells you you can't handle it, you shouldn't do this, you really should just diet one more time, it makes the whole process harder than it needs to be. And that's what my support offers clients. It's a space where they can kind of sit back and make sure that they're approaching this in a holistic stepwise fashion that gives them more likely that is more likely to give them moments of progress. And that progress is what builds the trust in their bodies over time. 
My suggestion to you is if you're like, Ah, I'm not really ready to bring in all these candy in the house all the time. And I don't know if I'm gonna be able to do all this neutrality work. Maybe just do it away from the candy for a second, just take a look at what your thoughts and your feelings are, can you surface them? And maybe sort out what are some things that are just not true for you? Oftentimes we do these exercises, we look at this and we're like what? I mean, have you ever, you know, been in a coaching or therapy space and you say something out loud? And you're like, what, that's not what I believe, where did that come from? Or oh my god, I just heard my mother. Oh my god, I just heard my school teacher that was you know, absorbed in diet culture when I was a kid and used to say these things I hear my auntie part of this work is differentiating, what is your stuff? And what is the stuff that you have just absorbed from people along the way. So even if all you can do through that exercise is toss out one or two beliefs that really aren't in the business of maintaining, that could allow you more neutrality and monitor connection to your body so that when you're eating candy, it doesn't turn into this fear, guilt ridden spiral. So wanted to give you a tangible tip. And I wanted to remind you that without the bigger picture, these tangible tips might not stick. I want you to enjoy the sweets or any food that you love. Especially Halloween candy. 
This holiday is just so silly and fun and creative. Kids bring so much joy and dogs. I don't know if anyone saw my dog Lucy was a lobster. For Halloween. It was adorable. You deserve to be around fun, creative, joyful, community based experiences. And that's what Halloween is to me. It's a chance for us to have fun. And that's hard to come by sometimes as you get older. It's hard to come by if you're working from home and it can be hard. So why wouldn't we invite fun and joy in the things that make us happy and if candy or sweets is something that makes you happy, you are in the business of figuring out how to maintain that part and let the other parts go. The part about guilt. The part about shame the part about fear. You know, I said when I was a kid I used to sort my favorite ones. And I was kind of concerned about never having them again. And and now I think, you know, it candy comes in the house, I think what do I want right now? I think how do I want it I think, you know, someone told me Junior Mints tastes good in the freezer. So sometimes I'll think like, Oh, I love Junior Mints do I want to get them a little cold and eat them later, or do I want them room temperature. Now. These are things you can start thinking about. It's super empowering. When it's not a do or die, eat it now get it out of the house, I can't tolerate it, a tension starts to go away. When you have full permission to eat sweets whenever you want, you might be surprised at just how long they last when you're no longer rushing to get them out of the house. 
So today was a wee bit of a check in, I wanted to remind you of the bigger picture this week. You might not crush it when it comes to your intuitive eating process, especially if you're a beginner. And that does not mean that you're a failure or that you're doing a bad job and you're never going to experience food freedom. It just means this is where you're at in your learning process. And you might need support or process to come back up to the bigger picture. Very specifically, you might need to work on your mindset, gentle nutrition, emotional coping skills, you might need to work on your fear of waking, and how that dictates your ability to eat food that you want without guilt or fear. You know that I currently am taking one to one clients that's there for you at any time. If you want to create a plan and practice these skills with focus and consistency, that you need to finally be okay with your body. And as I've mentioned on past podcast episodes, if you are more of a group person, and you have been wondering when I'm going to offer my next group, the waitlist is growing for this offer that I'm hopeful to open around the new year. You're gonna go down to show notes and add your name. I'm going to be emailing you those on the list periodically updates, giving you little tips and things to get ready for a group, I would love for you to put your name on that list. The new year is such a great time to invest in an experience with me because that's often the time where the rest of the world is on a diets. And this can be really activating and triggering. 
So if you are someone who tends to say new year new me, and you are already worried about what it's going to be like to push away on diet culture, come 2023, put your name on that list, we'd love to have you in our group. This is not an offer that I do that I plan to do very often going forward as I just so enjoy my one to one work. So get your name on that waitlist. Otherwise apply for coaching. Now if you know you're more of a one to one person, or you just need the support sooner than later, I'm here for you. 
So now I gotta run and figure out what I am doing this evening. I don't know if I told all of you, my husband, Dave traveled for 10 days. His company has staff in Chile. So he was there doing some work. And I've been solo. So he's coming home today very excited to see him. And I kind of want to go to dinner with him tonight to catch up outside the house, but also was Halloween and I kind of want to see the community kids costumes. So I don't know if we're going to be the cranky neighbors with the lights off just yet. We'll have to wait and see how we're feeling whenever he comes home. But if you are handing out candy tonight, if you're going out with your kids, or if you're just sitting on the couch, relaxing with yourself, be good to your good body. I'm telling you this guilt, the shame it has never worked. When it comes to feeling free around food to feeling best in your body. It's okay to know that it's okay to reject dieting since you are clear. It's not working and it's okay to try something new. And I hope today's episode was helpful. All right, we'll see you next week. Thanks for being here and for being who you are.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai