The deadline is looming.
You’re feeling increasingly panicky.
You wonder what you will do, how will you manage.
You’re increasingly twitchy and your palms are beginning to sweat.
It’s no good, you have to go.
When you finally enter the room you immediately survey it looking for danger.
You espy the enemy in the corner.
Strong, sturdy, heaving with ammo.
You glance at it but resist prolonged eye contact.
You know where it is.
You tense your body and straighten your back.
You vow to keep away from that mean bully so as not to antagonize it.
Lest it releases its menace upon you.
But after a while you have to go to the bathroom.
The menace in the corner is still there.
You have to pass by.
As you do, you flick your eyeballs over your threat’s solid frame.
And on closer inspection you see things are not as bad.
As you thought.
There’s some friendliness there. A little vulnerability. Quite tasty, in fact.
You waft by, gaze lowered, intent on playing hard to get.
But your mind is intrigued, your defenses lowered.
You think, maybe, maybe… but nah. You pull back.
Over the evening, you get into the swing of things.
You chat, you drink, you’re having a good time.
You’re still acutely aware of the mystery in the corner and occasionally look over to check the lay of the land.
Still there, still tasty.
You move closer to get a better look. You realize it’s not all bad.
Maybe, maybe, you can flirt a little. Try out a few things, keep things light, just test the water.
So you do. And you know what? Nothing terrible happens. Nothing gets out of control. You stop. You move on.
The tiger has been tamed.
But you don’t move right away.
You hang around. A little voice is telling you this isn’t such a great idea.
But you ignore it.
You like a challenge.
And after a while, danger speaks to you, except it doesn’t feel so dangerous anymore.
You think you can handle it. You start to rationalize.
Because bad boys are always exciting, aren’t they?
So you go for the ride, telling yourself this is fun, it’s just one night. Tomorrow is another day.
And it is.
Except when you wake up in the morning, the thrill of the chase, the ride…
Instead, you groan.
So does your scale.
Your boundaries fell away last night.
That wild ride was awesome but now the chicken cream puffs have come home to roost.
On your thighs.
All your hard work over days and weeks, undone.
In ten minutes.
Of carbs, cholesterol, cravings and craziness.
And now you have to start all over again.
Have you been there? I know I have. Many, many times.
The morning after your date with cake is rarely a pretty experience.
And the potential for this overeating scenario to repeat itself over and over is huge!
I have been developing strategies for just this type of situation for weeks in anticipation.
At the weekend I tested them by resisting to eat the following:
- Sandwiches (made with white bread)
- Scones with jam or lemon curd and clotted cream
- Chocolate biscuits
- Victoria sandwich cake with more cream and jam
- Sausage rolls
- Banana bread
The table was heaving.
This food comprised an English tea hosted by two friends and myself. So many emotions and comforting biochemical reactions wrapped up in this food.
I didn’t eat any of it.
A few months ago this would have been impossible for me.
I would have likely had at least one of everything.
And second and thirds of my favorites.
I would have considered it my duty.
So I want to share some of my thoughts.
But before I do, I would like to make a request.
We are not alone, you and I.
Many of us experience this dilemma and I would love the comments section to become a place of sharing that holds as much value as this post.
Please tell us your strategies for surviving feasts so we can all learn from them – me included!
And then share the post so even more people can chime in.
You will be doing a great things for (wo)mankind.
Here we go…
How To Stop Stuffing Your Face At Parties
Warrior Defense Strategy #1: Play that movie in your mind.
Remind yourself of past situations that have ended up badly.
Analyze them. Remember what happened just before you started eating.
Maybe you wanted to join in. Possibly you came under scrutiny or received criticism for your food choices.
Maybe you felt guilty for turning down food someone has made for you. Maybe someone acts hurt when you do so, triggering the guilty feeling.
Rehearse these situations and feel the feelings.
Warrior Defense Strategy #2: Plan your tactics.
You know this is going to be a battle so you have to prepare like a warrior.
Before you go, think about what you can do when you are faced with a threat. Here are some suggestions:
- Survey the food table, identifying those items you can eat.
- Resolve to stay away from the table altogether.
- Avoid alcohol because all your good intentions get swept away.
- Take a potluck item you can eat so that there is something for you.
- Eat before you go so you’re not hungry. Make sure it is something you really enjoy.
- Choose people to hang out with carefully – those that interest you, people you know, people who don’t eat mounds of sausage rolls and cake (that used to be me – you wouldn’t want to be standing next to me at a party.)
- Know your trigger foods – those that cause your food boundaries to come crashing down if you eat just one bite – identify their location, and stay away.
- Give yourself a non-edible treat before you go so that you are relaxed and serene before you arrive.
- Plan what you will say when you turn down food.
- Come up with some substitutions that you’ll eat if someone makes them for you and contact them to let them know.
- Offer to help. Keep yourself busy cleaning up or welcoming guests. Anything to avoid feeling gauche or bored.
- Don’t go. I’m serious. Is this something you really enjoy doing? Or is it something you grit your teeth through and you eat as a means of comfort. We all have to go to things we don’t want to go to but some are optional. Is this?
Plan your defense in as much detail as possible.
Warrior Defense Strategy #3: Practice your battle plan
Now, think of the party but this time with you successfully avoiding the food. You can do this as you go about your day.
First, imagine the scene you anticipate – the room with the table heaving with yummies, people standing around chatting, you feeling twitchy and nervous, tired of standing, not knowing anyone.
Or maybe you are lively and talkative, impulsive with a dash of recklessness.
Then, imagine yourself using the tactics you came up with.
- See yourself moving a plate out of arms reach without touching the food on it.
- Standing in the dining room when the food is in the kitchen.
- Practice turning down alcohol and asking for a substitute drink – say it out loud, remember the words.
- Focus on your goals for the event – to connect with family, to have a good time, or maybe it’s to learn something. Whatever it is, realize food plays simply a bit part, not the lead and there are higher sights to be reached. Make a mindset shift from food to connection.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse until these actions become automatic.
That’s what warriors do, they practice over and over. It’s how they become skilled.
And how behaviors become automatic.
Go over this until you are feelin’ it, baby. 🙂
Warrior Defense Strategy #4: Play Your Hand
Go out and do it!
Go into battle, your weapons poised, alert to danger, skillful in defense.
Keep reviewing and analyzing all the while, changing tactics as the battle ensues.
Keep the end game in mind, hold your nerve steady and make your choices with confidence and commitment.
Warrior Defense Strategy #5: Be proud
Whatever the outcome, a warrior is always proud. Defeat isn’t an option.
You’re still alive. There will always be another battle to be fought and won.
Review what happened successful or not. Journal, go over in your mind, talk it out.
But however you do it, work out what worked – the words, the gestures, the mindset, the tactic – and work out what didn’t.
Identify the triggers to your downfall if you had one. Identify the trigger item – was it chocolate? Pastry? That pie your Mom makes especially for you?
Then plan for next time. Draw up strategies so when you’re faced with these enemies again, you’re armed.
And ready to pounce!
Life follows the trajectory of a missile.
We have goals in our mind (even if we think we don’t,) we set off and we stray from our course.
Like a missile, we check on our target and course correct to stay on track.
That is how missiles operate. Stray, correct, stray, correct…and eventually, STRIKE!
So even if you feel like you’ve fallen at a hurdle, review what happened and course correct for next time.
Anyone with talent only realized it by practicing and honing over and over.
We can whittle away the bumps and rough edges that cause us to trip and graze
our knees to oblivion.
And yes, you can do that too.
Remember the missile.
Stray, correct, stray, correct, STRIKE!
It’s not rocket science. 😉
Don’t forget to show us how brilliant you are! Share your strategies in the comments. I want to add more tactics to my armoury. I’m sure others do too.
And don’t forget to share! There are buttons at the top, bottom and to the left hand side of this post.