How To Celebrate Without Falling Off the Wagon

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Valentine's Day is coming soon and, for me, that means chocolate and decadent dinners. Nearly every holiday has some sort of food attachment, whether it is a barbeque or turkey feast.  So how can you go to these events and enjoy the yummy food without blowing everything you've worked so hard for?
Realize that a holiday or a special occasion is just one day, or maybe one week for a cruise or vacation.  Many get anxiety and start eating in anticipation of the event at hand, figuring they will just blow it on the occasion anyway.  This is where living in the moment really counts.  Instead of letting that anxiety get you off track, focus on preparing for success before the big day comes.  Getting serious about your plan before a special occasion is a great way to ramp up your esteem, make you less likely to make poor choices, and helps control potential damage.
During a celebration, or when going out to eat, concentrate on your mental picture of yourself.  Picture yourself as a thin person and order and behave the way they would.  Split a meal, order an appetizer instead of a meal, split a dessert, and avoid high calorie beverages.  It's kind of romantic to share a meal with your honey.  I do this often with my husband and with my friends.  By doing this, you will slash both the bill and the calories in half.  And don't forget the option of boxing up half of your meal before it arrives. When it comes to what you eat, don’t automatically order fat-free everything.  You need a balanced mix of fat, protein, and fiber to make you feel full.  Make sure your plate is colorful and light rather than fat-free. The foods closest to their natural state are best for you.  Use portion control and put down your fork in between bites to slow down and really savor your food. Plus, you should be concentrating more on your company, anyway!
But what about dessert? When choosing a chocolate dessert on a special occasion like Valentine's Day, remember that dark chocolate is richer in antioxidants than milk chocolate.  Aim for at least 65% cocoa in your product.  If you can’t stand dark chocolate or tend to eat too much dark chocolate, try melting it into a fruit dip.  It is delicious and makes a single bar of chocolate go a very long way.  You also get the nutrient and fiber dense fruit that will keep you fuller longer.
Last but not least, no matter where you go or what you’re doing, wear what makes you feel beautiful.  When we feel good about ourselves, we are not as likely to treat ourselves poorly (i.e. overeat).  Maybe schedule a salon or spa appointment or have a girl's mani/ pedi night to start psyching yourself up for your upcoming special event.  Shop for a new outfit while you’re at it; even one on clearance will put some pep in your step and add to your feeling of attractiveness.
Remember that a special occasion is something to get ready for, to savor and enjoy.  Rather than focusing on the food, try to keep your eye on the reason for the celebration and the company you’re with; that’s what really matters!