There are so many heart-warming moments and it is easy to get lost in how adorable the celebrations are.
I’m Tracey! I am a Slimming World Consultant in Tallaght but most importantly I am a Slimming World member. I have lost five stone following the plan and words cannot convey just how much it has changed my life in every single way.
I was a comfort eater, a secret eater and miserably unhappy for all of my teenage life. Since becoming a parent something clicked for me. I want to be around for my son for as long as I can be. I don’t want him to grow up seeing food as the enemy and as a reason to hide his emotions. Slimming World has changed everything for me and I want to help others do the same.
Parties are a very real part of life. How wonderful to be able to celebrate birthdays and milestones with the people that you love. Unfortunately, these events can come with anxiety if you are on a weight loss or fitness journey because a huge part of any kind of party tends to revolve around food and drink. There are a number of different approaches you can take to ensure that these occasions are enjoyed for all the right reasons and in a way that does not interfere with the weight loss journey you are so determined about.
Children’s birthday parties tend to be one of the hardest for some reason. Celebrating the birthday of a child is so special especially when it is a child that is very dear to you. There are so many heart-warming moments and it is easy to get lost in how adorable the celebrations are.
For me, it tends to be a case of making a plan to have nothing or everything. I know that once my hand goes into a bowl of crisps, chocolate or treats it is game over for me. I can’t just have a little bit and I know that about myself. Before I know it I’ve had five sausages, four slices of pizza, two pieces of cake and enough crisps and chocolate to feed a family.
Evening parties like 21st, 30ths etc are a little different in that the problem for a lot of people tends to be the alcohol. Then you have the small issue of the platters to contend with. After you’ve had a couple of drinks the silver trays tend to appear. You can smell them before you see them and they are dripping in grease, sporting a beige colour and you know you are about to do some damage.
Social occasions that involve a sit-down dinner have pros and cons. You have an individual portion of food so the temptation to pick at party food or treats is not there, but the options do tend to be foods that do not work well with your weight loss plan.
There is no right way or wrong way to approach these events but the most important thing to note is that knowledge is power. Simply thinking about the event in advance and considering your triggers and temptations is worth it’s weight in gold. It might just arm you with the information needed to make a plan. Quite often that is all that is needed – a plan.
Of course in a perfect world we would all just eat before we leave the house, drink soda water and lime and say no to every food offering but naturally, that is a reality that many people struggle to maintain.
Some people are really good at just having a little bit of what they fancy but in my experience, as a person who struggles with my weight, I know that I do not have that self-control. For that reason, the kindest thing I can do during some of these events is to actually manage my expectations. If I have a busy week with a lot of social occasions I will commit to going to my weigh-in but prepare myself for the very likely possibility of a gain.
The approach you take will also depend on where you are in your own personal journey. If you are nearing a big milestone or weight loss goal it just might not be worth it for you to have again that week. In this case, it might be one of those times that you do pull some major willpower out of the bag and avoid the temptation that surrounds you.
There are other weeks where you will feel more “able” for that kind of result. You might know that a gain won’t phase you too much. This is where your ability to “get back on plan comes in”.
A lot of people really struggle to draw a line after a party or event that has involved a lot of party food or alcohol. One event tends to turn in to a couple of days and the fear of spiralling out of control is always there. Some people will feel confident in their ability to wake up the next day and get back to normal but only you can know that about yourself.
Weight loss is such a profoundly personal experience. How you approach your journey week to week really comes from your own heart. It involves a lot of soul searching and an inner strength that involves really looking at the big picture. We all have times where we stumble and struggle but there is always the opportunity to draw a line and get back to eating the foods that make you feel great. It is always worth it.
And sometimes the most powerful thing of all is to focus on the really meaningful elements of these social occasions and that is time spent with people. That is what we will remember. Those are the memories we will cherish rather than the food we ate.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.