Limiting Beliefs: Halloween

Steph Wagner MS, RDN

October 31, 2019

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Limiting Beliefs: Halloween


Get Focused Challenge for bariatric surgery patients


Get Focused Challenge, Day One


Liming beliefs, what is it?

If you are joining my Get Focused Challenge this Fall then let me start by saying Happy First Day of the Challenge!!!

Who runs a wellness challenge to start on Halloween? It really is non-traditional.

Hence the theme, limiting beliefs.

Each challenge I pick a theme to focus on. We have used positive thinking, accountability, motivation and several others. This time around, we are challenging the beliefs that are holding us back.

What is a limiting belief?

Limiting Beliefs, blog bariatric food coaching steph wagner on foodcoachme

While I plan to coach through more about limiting beliefs at our live coaching call on Sunday, this is the fundamental concept of a limiting belief.

Perhaps it comes from something teachers, friends or parents told us growing up, and we believe it. “I’m not very good at math” turns into not trying to add up numbers in our heads and saying it aloud because the belief that the answer will be wrong is deeply seeded. We go straight to a calculator instead of trying.

Yes, it’s an example that has nothing to do with food but gives you an idea of the concept. A limiting belief that you aren’t good at adding up numbers limits you from trying. This may not seem like a big deal, because calculators really are available!

I’m not a very good cook might turn into eating out often.

It’s not worth it to cook for one person turns into grazing all day long.

I’ve never been good at keeping a food journal turns into giving up on it.

Limiting beliefs are all over the place. We’ll spend the next 28 days identifying them, and then challenging them!



Limiting beliefs and…Halloween?

Halloween seems like a small holiday because it’s right before the big show. But Halloween (and honestly, Valentine’s Day) have de-railed more patients than I can count.

You may or may not be surprised to hear how many patients through the years come into my office and tell me they got off track starting at Halloween time.

It seems silly on one hand because it’s just one day! It’s not even that big of a holiday…you don’t get work off! There is not usually a big family meal! How could Halloween be to blame for getting off track? But honestly, it’s not silly on the other hand.

Why? Everyone loves the Fall. Pumpkin this, warm that. The cozy feelings start to come and with it comes the excitement of Fall foods and drinks.


Plus, Halloween is a holiday. Holidays are special! They are meant to be unlike all the other days.  They brings up feelings, emotions and memories that we tie to food and events. We think of being a kid or we think of the kids in our lives. It brings out the child in all of us.

Whether we realize it or not, we have beliefs of what Halloween should be. It’s supposed to be chilly in the air, but not too cold that you have to wear a coat over your costume. You envision having a chili bar and a spooky movie on in the background. It’s the first holiday of the season you might pull out decorations.

Oh and then the candy.

The aisles of the grocery stores fill up with candy. If your emotions and memories haven’t started to be stirred up yet, they will now. Which candy is the best? You see the classic wrappers for all the Mars candy bars. You want to fill your bowl to the brim with the best ones. You have great memories of halloween (I hope!) and you want to be a part of that for the kids coming to your door too!

In between all these things lie limiting beliefs about the holiday.

I want to have a full bucket of the best candy!

I want to make sure I have enough and not run out.

I don’t want to be a scrooge at work!

It’s way too hard to eat healthy at those Halloween parties at work.


Some of these thoughts may have truth to them, but are they more limiting than they need to be?

If you run out of candy and you turn your light off, is that really so bad? I mean, do those late night trick-or-treating teenagers need more candy?

Is it so bad to hand candy that is not actually your favorite? Or what about handing out stickers, pencils or little toys. As a mom, I love it when someone gives something other than candy out! My kids are at the age that they love it too! 

The real trick of Halloween? It’s typically not October 31st that throws someone off. It’s the leftovers.

Limiting Beliefs, blog bariatric food coaching steph wagner on foodcoachme

EVERYONE has leftover candy after Halloween. What do they do with it?

They bring it to work. 

This is the real trouble. You have leftover candy at home. You have leftover candy at work. Everyone thought they would run out of candy but instead, it’s everywhere!

It’s the little Snickers here and the little Reese’s cup there that turns into the slippery slope of losing focus. This is why the Challenge Starts Today!!!

By the way, work (and especially work parties) are really hard, but my next section will be my point on that.


Work festivities and limiting beliefs

If you are working full-time, you are spending a lot of time at work.

It makes sense to me that having festivities and events at work are so exciting! It’s a great time to change things up, have fun and break up the monotony of…work.

It’s also a great time to invest in the relationships of the people you are working alongside. There really is a lot of good that comes from having work parties and events. It does take focusing on the reason to help you move past the food.

Sometimes, you do have to skip altogether. 

It’s okay to know yourself well and leave for lunch that day. Avoid the break room. Keep a distance. You can make it a point to let someone know why you won’t be at a certain event.

If, however, you feel mentally strong enough, you should go! Visit with co-workers. Share fun stories. Possibly make it a point to be a better listener of someone or share encouragement with someone that they did a great job on a particular task. Whatever it is, make the focus less about food and more about the relationships of the people you work with.

That being said, there will be food there. If it’s potluck style, bring something you know you can have. If it’s catered, ask the person in charge of ordering the food what will be on the menu. These days, so many people have food restrictions it doesn’t seem weird to ask!

Outside of a set work meal, keep away from any break room areas that are SURE TO HAVE LEFTOVER CANDY.

Seriously. I will put money on the fact that 99% of break rooms in the U.S. will have leftover candy for the first two weeks of November.


My take-home message

As we start this Get Focused Challenge on Halloween, I want you to ask yourself, what liming thoughts are you believing?

Perhaps it’s about Halloween itself, about the time of year, about the challenge goal that you picked or just about anything in between.

Once you identify a ‘limiting belief’ you can then challenge it. Why do you believe that to be true? What could be different? How do other people view that?

If you are a member and participating in our Get Focused Challenge I hope you can make it for the Live Coaching Call I will host every Sunday during the challenge!

The first one is Sunday, November 3rd at 6pm and 8pm Central. If you signed up for the challenge, you will get a reminder email with the link to join the call!

Have a very Happy Halloween!

(I know I will with my little Cow and Owlette cuties)



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