So you finally decide now is the time you are really going to get ‘on a healthy plan and stick to it’, you are going to be strong, no cheating here. Clean eating or bust because you HAVE to make a change. You start out on a Monday and you are all over it. Salad, clean eating, throw everything away in your cabinets kind of thing. Then, sure enough, you get invited to a party. And not just any party, but one with barbeque, pizza, and cake.
Two things used to go through my mind when this would happen
- I have to be so good all week and stick to my diet perfectly so that I can fit in my clothes for the party and feel ‘good’
- What am I going to be able to eat at the party? I am not going to be able to resist the cake, ugh! I love cake! God, this party isn’t going to be any fun.
I would start to get anxiety and stress out the whole week about the party coming up!
The party would come and I would go in with the mindset that I am not going to have any wine and I am only going to eat salad. I will only drink water all night.
I would walk in so focused on my plan. But then the first thing someone asks is ‘do you want a drink?’ ‘can I get you anything’… I say no. I am being ‘good’ but then I would be teased. “Oh come on, we are at a party, let loose!” and I would think, I can’t have any fun, I am trying to lose weight.
At first I might be able to stick by my plan, but my mind is working super hard to keep me ‘on track.’ I am getting stressed because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of ‘clean’ options to eat and I’m hungry. My mind is also doing a great job of literally spotting every thirst quenching beer or glass of wine at the party as if it is emitting a siren’s song just for my ears. I finally break. Okay, I will just have one. But as most of you can relate, one can quickly turn into ‘eff it, I’ll have another’ since I already broke my rule.
Then I think, you know, I’m hungry I need to eat or I am going to get too drunk. So I start ‘soaking’ up the alcohol with the pizza and wings. You know, trying to be responsible and all.
And basically in no time at all, I have broken all of my ‘rules’ I set out to have in the first place. I feel like crap about it. But I just didn’t have the willpower
Guess I’ll have to start over on Monday. I suck.
And there begins the famous “yo-yo” cycle we have all come to know.
So how the heck do we avoid this cycle? We can’t hide in our homes forever people!
Inevitably I learned along the way that the ‘all or nothing’ mentality was seriously mentally exhausting and really- it never ever worked- not once. I could not beat out my willpower. Despite my best intentions and efforts, there was always a sexy party lurking in the corner waiting to take me and my perfect diet out. And seriously, sorry diet, I am going to choose the party over you every.single.time.
Reality is, if you are waiting to start a diet when life slows down, it never will. There is always going to be a social event, dinner, or party that is the killer of all diets. And no one wants to be the ‘no fun friend’ at the party on a diet. This is the number one reason I no longer give strict meal plans or diets to the girls I work with. Nor do I personally use strict meal plans in my life. It is not real life, it is not sustainable, and we don’t have the mental energy reserves to plan out every freakin meal every time we leave the house.
But that doesn’t mean all is lost if you are trying to lean into a healthy lifestyle and lose weight
Here are some things I do now when I know I am going to a party but want to leave feeling great
- I am REALISTIC. I allow myself to think about the food and drinks that will be there and enjoy the idea of them. I prepare ahead of time by knowing that I will probably want a glass of wine or two. But I remind myself that after two, I usually hate the way I start to feel too drunk and the hangover is SO not worth it when you have a toddler waiting by your bed in the morning.
- I tell myself no food is off limits. I can sample all the food at the party but I don’t probably need to eat until I can’t walk. A trick, many of you may have even seen me do is, I fill my plate with a little bit of everything that looks good as if it was an appetizer sampler and then just taste a few bites of everything. If I find something I really enjoy, I may not eat the other things because I’d rather savor that one item I do like. If there is pizza, I will have a slice and fill up the other half of my plate with a big salad or veggies. Eating 1 piece of pizza is not going to kill my diet. Especially if it stops me from eating 15 cookies when I get home.
- Just slow down a bit while you’re eating. Pay attention to how you feel about what you’re eating. Does it taste good or are you just munching to keep your hands busy, maybe you’re nervous so your nibble. While you are eating are you chewing or inhaling? When you are done eating, do you feel gross and stuffed or like you are satisfied. Remember, the food isn’t going anywhere. You can graze all night.
- Try not to let your surroundings make the choices for you. Just because everyone else is eating until they are stuffed, doesn’t mean you have to. You can be comfortable and confident in your skin while honoring what your body feels good doing. Another tip I often share is to just plan to bring a dish that you like and is ‘fat loss’ friendly but not boring. That way you know with 100% certainty that you can fill your plate up with your dish.
I’d love to hear if you feel like these tips have helped you when you head out to an event. Share your experience with me! If you feel like you need more direction when it comes to ENJOYING social settings without sabotaging yourself, be sure to subscribe to my email list for updates, including my soon to be released “A Social Girls Guide to Fat Loss”