Surviving the holidays with your waistline intact Part 2 – staying on course at parties

Nothing strikes fear in the heart of dieters over the holidays than having to to say no to a well-meaning host or hostess. And lots of us don’t want to miss out on some amazing meal or fancy cocktails. Therefore, a big part of planning for success over the holidays is having a strategy for parties.

We typically have 3 fears around events:

#1 Fear of missing out (FOMO)

Overeating and overdrinking are baked into (no pun intended) our culture – especially around holiday time. At almost all parties, people are walking around with fancy foods and glamorous-looking alcoholic drinks. When you stop overdrinking and overeating, you and almost feel alone because everything in our culture is almost against you.

But, before you take a bite of that cake or a drink of that champagne, stop ask yourself…why am I here?

Truly, you can eat or drink at home or ANY time so that can’t possibly be the reason to attend a party. Many of my clients tell me that alcohol and food makes parties more fun and believe that they are missing out on some amazing fun thing by not eating and drinking but, think about that for a second. Is the party really more fun or does it just seem fun? Think about little children at a party. They have a great time regardless of what food is served. Often times they are having so much fun they forget to eat. Isn’t that what a party is all about? Having fun with others?

Some of this FOMO feeling likely comes from our intense (and natural) fear of rejection

Most of us have a deep seated fear of being rejected if we act differently than others. As humans we are wired to fit in with the herd so this can seem a little scary. But ask yourself, is it true that people care deeply if I drink that glass wine? Are they going to want to be my friend if I eat the that brownie? Do you care that much what others consume?

And are you really missing out?

There will always be more food. The food will not run out. There will always be another opportunity to eat or drink or whatever. I promise.

#2: Fear that we can’t trust ourselves

Sometimes we are so worried about overeating and overdrinking that we either stay away from social events or stress ourselves to the point of overeating and drinking to push away the stressful thoughts. But, there is another way. In last week’s blog I discussed planning ahead. I recommend writing an eating/drinking plan 24 hours before each party or social gathering. If a plan is written you are much more likely to stick to it. Read your plan right before you get to the party.

#3 Fear of offending a host

I often hear from clients that they don’t want to “offend” their host. When a well-meaning host offers you something that is not on your plan, it’s really OK to say “no thank-you.”  Imagine, if you were a non-smoker, if your host offered you a cigarette, would you take it and smoke it?  Just because you are offered something, you don’t have to take it. Others will not suffer you don’t consume their food or drinks.

As a mentioned in an earlier blog post, if you assume that your host will be offended  – you are MIND READING. I believe most people don’t give a damn about what you are eating or drinking because they are likely thinking about what they always think about – THEMSELVES.

Remember, the purpose of a social gathering is to be social with people you enjoy. If you host sees you having a good time, they will not care if you are eating or drinking something in particular and, if they are temporarily bothered, they will get over it. I promise you. Simply say “no” or no thank you or “not right now. ” That’s it. It’s your body and it’s your choice.