Ever promise yourself that you’ll make healthier choices, only to enjoy a meal out with friends and you suddenly feel stuffed? Or maybe having one glass of Chardonnay too many?
You’re the one in control but it doesn’t feel that way.
The question is, how do you have fun in situations where you’re out of your usual element and still keep the commitments you make to yourself?
Here are three ways I manage my mind to maintain trust with myself, make healthier choices, and have a good time:
1. Good food is always available: When face-to-face with our favorite goodies, we can experience the fear of missing out. We overeat because it’s “so good” and who knows when we’ll have it again. I learned to challenge this thought process by reminding myself that good food is another meal away. I might not eat that particular goodie everyday but, the point is, I could. Remember that whatever treat is in front of you is not the last treat you will ever encounter. Something tasty is just around the corner. These aren’t just empty words. It’s important to plan for those occasional treats so that you maintain a positive relationship with yourself around food.
2. The host will survive if you don’t have seconds: For years I struggled to refuse food someone offered to me. Can you relate? And even when we decline the offer, people don’t always respect our “no.” I had to admit to myself that it’s not my responsibility to overeat in order to manage someone else’s feelings. Eating more than we need only causes us to beat ourselves up after the fact.Learn to be okay with the reaction of another because how someone feels about you saying “no” is her issue. You don’t need to take ownership of how she feels.
3. Be clear on the purpose: A client once shared that when she dined out, whether at a wine dinner or a church function, her first focus was to enjoy the food and libations. Not surprisingly, she ended up overeating and getting mad at herself. When my client decided that the important part was being with people and nurturing relationships, she naturally stopped overeating. Be purposeful the next time you get together with people – whether celebrating, consoling or just hanging out together – that relationships come before food (and wine!).
Next time you’re on your way to a party or restaurant, decide to put these mindset shifts into practice. You’ll be able to enjoy eating out, stay in integrity with yourself, and still feel great when the event is over!