A Letter to myself on Halloween morning
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Dear Rock Star,
So...Halloween. Your favorite. So much fun to see the kids in their costumes. So much fun to have a huge basket of candy and remember the one-night-only decadence of a strict childhood household.
This is the day to pretend, to indulge, to wild about town with friends. This is the day where it’s easy to feel close to something fantastic, something magic.
And usually it’s the day you eat tons of pizza and uncounted snack size candy bars.
But not tonight. Tonight, you will give yourself the gift of weighing the same or less tomorrow as you do today.
Not eating is easy. The thoughts that come up when you don’t are hard. Thoughts like:
I want it. I love Halloween. It’s my favorite. It only comes once a year. I deserve to enjoy Halloween.
These thoughts will cause you to feel self-pity, desire, deprivation. But you know how to handle that. There isn’t a feeling you can’t feel and process all the way through without reacting to it. The feelings are just vibrations in your body. A slight tensing, or an emptiness, or a quickened pulse.
You have given birth to two children. You can handle it if your chest tenses up for a few seconds when you look at a bowl of candy.
You know how to let an urge for food be there without reacting to it. You know how to describe how it feels to yourself. And you know how quickly the urge dissipates once you do.
Tonight, you also know that the urges will keep coming. So, you’ll stay vigilant and repeat the process as many times as you need to.
You know what it’ll be like. You’ll be excited. You’ll want to recreate the fun you had as a child. You’ll handle the candy bowl dozens of times tonight and you will want to partake.
Each time, you can recognize…this is just an urge. I know how to handle urges.
You can recognize that eating a lot of food tonight will not feel like a celebration. From past Halloweens, you know it will feel desperate and grasping and a little panicky. Candy gives you a hit of dopamine, sure. But you will also think thoughts of shame and disappointment and dread. All in all, not worth it.
You deserve better.
Here is what I wish for you: that you wake up the day after Halloween, and step on the scale knowing that you faced all the temptations and didn’t have one unplanned bite of food.
If you can do that, you can do anything.
You brain will say, You can’t do this—it’s Halloween!
But what if I’m right? What if sticking with your food plan tonight is a way to enjoy the fun of Halloween in a whole new way?
You got this, lady.