This past weekend my husband and I hosted our 7th Annual Sober Day at the Ballpark. By now, you may know, it’s a day where we come together to remember Sean’s brother, Aaron, who we lost to addiction. We do that by keeping our tailgate at the Philadelphia Phillies game alcohol free. It’s such a fun day, for a good cause, to remember a great person. We’re so thankful for everyone who comes, calls, donates and supports this day.
But, good cause aside, tailgates, as we all know, have a lot of amazing food. And I usually eat a lot of it. Especially at this one because I’m the kind of person who emotionally eats whenever hosting something. Hosting is stressful. And as fun as parties and events are, I often leave regretting them simply because I ate too much. That’s why going in Saturday, my goal was simply this, don’t feel like crap at the end of the day.
It’s hard to not overeat at events, but it doesn’t have to be extreme overeating. We all have an eating threshold. There is a distinct moment where we go from “it’s not that bad,” to, “i hate myself.” I wanted to stay on the front end of this emotional eating spectrum.
I did this with a 3 step plan I created in my head for myself.
1. Don’t restrict. I was going to indulge, I decided that up front. I was eating a bagel, a soft pretzel and most likely French fries. Nothing was off limits. Here’s why that’s important because we all live with two settings, perfect and disaster. And no one is asking you to diet on a day of fun.
2.Don’t just eat to eat. I knew there would be cookies and candy and chips spread on all the tables, but that didn’t mean I needed to take a handful every time I passed by. We often feel like if it’s someone’s birthday we need to eat the cake. A co-worker brings in cookies, we need to eat one. But that’s not true. We don’t need to eat to eat.
3. Don’t feel like shit at the end of the day. We all know that moment where we cross over the line. I had had a bagel in the morning. I had eaten the soft pretzel I wanted at the tailgate. Now it was time for dinner and my husband wanted a hoagie. I was about to get one too and just knew that that meal would make me feel like crap. But I had a salad, and that small decision was the reason I laid my head on my pillow that night and felt like I won the day.
Any event or holiday can feel like a major detour in our quest for health. But we have the ability to not let them all become a detour, but rather a speed bump. It may slow you down, but it doesn’t have to take you completely off course.