Every year during the time between October 1 and December 31, we go through a period that I call the Holiday Trifecta. It is the time where we focus A LOT on food items, we don’t allow ourselves to have the rest of the year. It can feel overwhelming to have so much food around and you try to resist it. The struggle is real!
This holiday season, we are looking at how different situations and foods affect you. One local fitness center has a no candy November- you win if you do not have candy all month. Does this sound reasonable or doable?
Join us on this weeks’, Feed Your Soul with Kim Podcast we are looking at the Holiday Trifecta: Candy Issue, we will:
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Kim McLaughlin, MA
Kim McLaughlin is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, inspirational coach, speaker, and writer. She helps people who feel frustrated overwhelmed and overloaded, and it shows up in overeating. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology. Kim is a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and she assists people to gain peace with food.
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Hi there, this is Kim and I wanted to talk to you about ways that we have to support you. I know when you're listening to this podcast that you are wondering about emotional eating and wondering what you can do differently with food and I want to have you go get the Am I an emotional eater quiz. This quiz is so helpful to help you determine what's going on for you how food is affecting you, and then what you can do about it. Go to my website, feed your soul unlimited.com and click on the link for that Am I an emotional eater quiz. I know this quiz will help you get on the right track with food Welcome to the feed your soul with Kim podcast. I am Kim McLaughlin your host I help people have peace with food and to feed their soul. I want to help you put food in its proper places nourishment and increase your satisfaction in life. I am a psychotherapist, a blogger, author, speaker, and I focus this podcast on giving you ways to understand food differently and help you in your relationship with food. You can find out more at feed your soul unlimited.com Hi, everyone, I'm so glad you've joined us for this edition of the feed your soul with Kim podcast. Because today we're talking about something very current that's going on. I call it the holiday trifecta, the candy addition. And every year I talk about in my blog on my podcast with all of my clients, I talk about what I call the holiday trifecta. And that is the time between October the first and December the 31st. Where we're inundated with food we're inundated with food that is different than what we have during the rest of the year. And what I noticed is that there's a lot of concern about overeating, concern about emotionally eating concern about gaining weight. And this all leads to dieting in January. So it's like the setup the three month setup of overeating. And sometimes we'll go into this time period with kind of an abandon of Oh, what the heck, I'm just going to eat all I want to eat and then come January one, I'm going to die it and lose all the weight or I'm going to regain quote unquote control over food then. And I want to challenge you to think about this all differently. There are these strong messages that you can't control food. And that shows up during the holiday time because it feels it can feel kind of out of control. And then the message come January one the way you are supposed to control it then is to diet. So we have that binge diet cycle going on, that's hard to get out of, we also can get the the message that we can't stop eating once we start, which reinforces the idea that we shouldn't even start eating. And then if we do eat, if we do eat these things that we think are bad, that then we're feeling out of control because we shouldn't be eating it in the first place. Also, we know that eating overeating is super pleasurable. And it's been the way that we've coped with different issues in life. It's the way that we react, if we're happy, if we're excited, if we're sad, if we're lonely. If we're angry that eating helps us cope that just is something that's happening. So these are things that happen over and over and they show up a lot during the holiday time. The other thing that happens during the holidays and that I really want you to think about is that the holidays are rife with special foods, the special foods that come out once a year. So what happens right now we're just done with Halloween and what showed up was candy, a lot of candy. I don't know about you but it was really interesting that my daughter came home with a lot of candy it seemed that this year we're one year out from the pandemic starting that there was more people giving out candy and giving out a lot of candy and big pieces of candy. I'm so surprised at how much candy she came home with. And how many people were out trick or treating and how much candy was out there. This is that once a year thing where we have all you know we buy the bags and bags of the little candies all the little candies We like or maybe we buy little candies that we don't like because we're afraid to have them in the house. But this is the one time of year that candy consumption is huge and socially acceptable that we, we just allow binging on candy on Halloween, it's very, it's very normal to have that happen. The other thing that happens once a year is the special foods come out, there's a lot of places that have special types of food, it's the once a year thing. And so there's a big lookout one is pumpkin spice latte. So Starbucks puts it out at a special time every year. And it's a short period of time. So if you want to have it, it's one of those foods that's going to go away at Starbucks. And so it's brilliant marketing, because it gets you wanting this thing. And then you might have a lot of it because you know, you're going to be deprived of it for the rest of the year, that kind of idea of it's a restriction for the rest of the year. So when it comes out, you might tend to binge these things like a pumpkin spice latte. Because come I don't know what time of year, it's going to be gone soon enough, because they've just brought out the Christmas, the Christmas recipes, so it's gone, and then you can't have it. So you're going to want it more because it's in such limited supply. There are other special foods that we bring out this time of year, the cookies, the holiday cookies, the cheese cake, Turkey, gravy, ham rich foods, lots of things that we don't have every year. And we actually eat them. A lot of them binge on them, because we don't allow ourselves to have them the rest of the year. It was really interesting to me that I really came into realizing this a few years back about Thanksgiving, and that I would think that about the special food that we had at Thanksgiving. And I realized that like all the foods that we have at Thanksgiving we could have all throughout the year, and really make it a not so important food, that it's just something that we do all throughout the year. And then we don't have to deny ourselves because what happens is that when these special foods show up at this holiday Trifecta time, October one to December 31, these these foods show up that we've denied ourselves all year, how often do you have a full turkey meal during the rest of the year outside of thanksgiving? It's not very likely. So what happens is, is that in fact, we are denying ourselves throughout the rest of the year of these foods. And then we actually binge on them and over eat them because we've been denied them for so long. What we know through the the research about habituation is that the more we're allowed to have these foods, that the less they have control over us. So literally if we allowed ourselves to have candy, Turkey cheesecake, I mentioned cheesecake because I like cheesecake. So that's that's on me. But it we're exposed to them more or had access to them more often throughout the year, they wouldn't have such a draw for us this one time of year, and then we wouldn't be binging on them because they wouldn't have that big of a grasp on us. I hope you really get this as a takeaway, because that is so important that that idea of denying yourself throughout the year of these holiday foods that they're special, quote unquote, holiday foods, when we deny them when they come around, we want them a lot. And then we tend to overeat them because we love the taste of them. And we know that it is going to go away. It's interesting that at a local fitness center, one of the things they're doing in the month of November is a no candy November. So you win a prize at the end of the month if you don't eat candy. And I thought that was interesting because that once again goes to the idea of restricting ourselves from certain foods because we can't control them. So if we are in this kind of group setting, then we're buying into the the idea that I need to restrict candy because I can be out of control with it. And it's interesting to me that so many people buy into that mindset of I need to eliminate a type of food Because I can be out of control with it. I mean, they didn't say, Let's eliminate soup or let's eliminate salad or let's eliminate apples, it's candy, because there's good bad concept associated with candy. And that sense, it's not healthy, quote, unquote, that we need to not have it. And I find that interesting. And I just want you to consider and wonder, Are you falling into that kind of mindset of, I shouldn't have any more candy. So like, you do the trick or treating or your kids do the trick or treating the other day. And now there's all this leftover candy. I know people that will sell it to the dentist, who then send it to troops overseas, which is kind of a nice thing to do, because they deserve as much a sweet treat as anybody deserves. But there's also this idea that I need to get rid of the candy because I can be out of control with candy. And what I want you to consider is, maybe what makes you out of control with candy is that you deny yourself of it. It's just a different way of looking at it. And it becomes more in alignment with the intuitive eating idea that we talk about on this podcast. Hi, guys, this is Kim. And I want to let you know that the emotional eating solutions eight week course is open. Now you can find it on my website at feed your soul unlimited.com. Go to the work with Kim tab and click on that. This is the time to get peace with food. And I know this course will help you, you also can find the link in the show notes to the emotional eating solutions, eight week self study course. What we know from research and just think about it throughout your life is that we binge that there's a diet binge cycle that happens. And I've talked about this before. And I still want to keep talking about it because it takes a long time to really get it. So if you think of our circle, at the top of the circle is diets and restrictions. So what happens is, is that if we feel bad about ourselves, if we feel out of control, what do we know how to do we diet we restrict we take away. And what we knew what we know is that as we go around that circle, the next thing that happens is we binge, it might be an hour a day, a month, a year, two years. But what we know is that for every diet and time of restriction, there is a binge. And what happens is, is that when we binge we binge on these foods that we think we shouldn't have. And we then feel out of control, we move around the circle a little bit more, and we come up then to shame and guilt. We feel bad about ourselves, we hate ourselves, we hate our body, we think we're going to get fat and that we are horrible people for binging. So then that shame comes along. And the only way we know how to manage that shame and anger towards ourself is that we go back up to the top and we binge or excuse me, we don't binge, all we do is go back up to the top and we diet and restrict. And we start the cycle all over again. What I want to do is help you get out of that dieting binge cycle, because it just is a circle, it goes around and around and around. And until you jump off of that we're being you're going to continue doing it and and it's becoming harder and harder to notice what are diets because they're getting they're touted as being healthy a healthy lifestyle, a healthy way of eating. And generally that's a code word for diet and restriction. So we talk about this in other podcasts about what is a diet and we'll continue to talk about that because it's something really important to to start discerning what is a diet for you? When do you know if you're leaning towards a diet? And I gotta say, I've been doing intuitive eating for years. And sometimes I fall prey to that idea of the diet mindset and how quote unquote easy it's going to be and it's not and I know that the best thing for me is to jump off of that diet binge shame cycle, because it doesn't serve me and it keeps me locked going round and around in a direction that just doesn't work. So The other thing we know about benching and and how to start noticing when this is going on is that we start to look at food is good and bad. This is good food, this is bad food, this is what I should eat, this is what I shouldn't eat. There's a right food, there's a wrong food, there's healthy food, there's unhealthy food. And we, we think that if we eat these certain foods, that the outcome will be that we'll get fat. So I have to avoid this bad food, because I'll get fat from it. Or I'll feel bad about my body, or I'll be out of control, and I can't stop. So we tend to want to keep that bad food out of our out of being in front of us. I was just so earlier just talked about that fitness center that's having a contest to not eat candy all month. That is because they're calling candy, bad food. And what we know is that when we start calling it bad, ultimately, we'll want to have it because calling it bad and not having it is a form of restriction. And we're ultimately going to have it. So what I look to do with people is to help develop this idea of peace with food and this way of being a peace with food. And it's very, very doable. So let's talk now about what we can do to get off of this holiday trifecta of candy being a bad food where we can't have it or we can't have it around. What I want you to do is to one start being curious. I want to have candy right now. I wonder what's going on? Am I really wanting it and I responding because I've not allowed myself to have it before? Is it that I'm scared about it? Am I concerned about having it? Am I sneaking it and trying to not let others know that I'm eating and begin to have this kind of inquisitive style about what you are thinking of eating most, especially when it is the bad food, the wrong food, the unhealthy food, the fattening food, and I'm putting quotes around all these words, as I'm sitting here, and you can't see that but like their quote unquote bad, quote unquote, wrong, quote, unquote, unhealthy. It's this idea that our society has put forth that that we believe then gets dealt with come January one through a diet. And if it really got dealt with, we'd never have to go on a diet on January when again, the diet would be done. And that's not how it works. That's not how it works. Because the cycle keeps being it's a repetitive cycle. It's a repetitive cycle. So I'm saying one thing to do is to be curious to help you get off of that diet binge shame cycle. So ask yourself a lot of questions. The second thing I want you to do, and this is super radical, very radical. And I want you to prioritize having pleasurable food, eating foods that you love eating foods that are yummy and tastes good and feel lovely in your mouth and in your body and just make you feel fabulous. So eating what you love, can be scary. Eating what's pleasurable can feel scary, because you might then think, well, Kim, I'm going to get out of control. I'm going to overeat, I'm gonna binge. Well, if you're allowing yourself to eat pleasurable food, you're not going to be binging because you're allowing yourself to have pleasurable food. People will think that if they eat pleasurable food, that it means that every day they're going to have whatever sweet things or cookies or whatever thing that they think they binge on all the time. And what we know through our research on habituation is that the more you're exposed to the food allowed to have it, if you want it, the less you actually want it, because it will be one of the many types of food and kind of food that you can have throughout the day. And it's not that big of a deal. It won't be like candy on Halloween where it's this one day, we feel out of control or Thanksgiving where the one day we feel out of control with food or pumpkin spice latte where this one short period of time is the only time we can have it so we've got to get as much as we can because it's going to go away. If we prioritize pleasurable food. It becomes a normal part of life. And it becomes part of what we just do. So that is what I'm going to encourage you to do is your doable we always have doable as at the end of this podcast is Be curious. When you're feeling fearful about certain foods, ask yourself what's going on? What about this feels scary and just be curious about it. And the second thing is prioritize having pleasurable food, food that tastes delicious. And make that a priority and see how that feels. Get curious about that, about how it feels to have this pleasurable food. Thank you for being on this podcast. We love having you on the feed your soul with Kim podcast. Go to the show notes. We have links to our emotional eating solutions. Do It Yourself course to the MMI and emotional eater quiz. These are things that can get you going in a direction that's different from how you've been interacting with food. Until next time, bye everyone.