I have a story to share about some mistakes I’ve made along my journey, and also the 5 tips that saved me from oveating in social settings.
Napa Valley Feasts
On our first trip to Napa Valley California. My husband and I had reservations at some epic restaurants and vineyards. During this trip, I went to sleep on numerous evenings so full that my belly hurt. On more than one night on that trip, I woke up with a racing heart and aching belly. I continued to eat all the food and sleep uncomfortably during that trip. I remember vividly leaving the Mondavi vineyard after a private tour and lunch with the historian. As we drove away, I made Ed stop the car at a grove of olive trees so I could eat some olives even though I was full. By the way, olives off the tree are disgusting!
During this trip I had an attitude of all or nothing. I was all in on food and libations during the trip, and I planned to be all strict when we got home. Well, that didn’t go well, that 5-day trip turned into 6 weeks of overindulgence followed by months of strict dieting. That cycle of indulgence followed by punishment continued for a few years.
Years later we repeated the Napa trip. This time I had a different perspective. I chose to eat moderately. I enjoyed sampling food in smaller quantities. The feeling of all or nothing was no longer apart of my attitude. The trip was more enjoyable and relaxing. I slept better and savored the experience without fear of missing out. Upon arrival at home, I didn’t feel the urge to diet down with strict deprivation.
Picture waking up on a Monday morning and feeling great because you navigated an entire weekend or vacation without overindulging.
Socializing and vacations are often viewed as a means to unwind from responsible adulthood. We do our hair and makeup, get dressed up (or not) and off we go. Then when faced with temptation, we give in, because we feel we deserve it. We believe that we should have whatever we want because we worked hard, held our tongue, were patient ect… If we have been on our “A-game” in other areas of our life, chances are that we may be low on willpower when it comes to eating socially. This is especially true in social situations because we are there to unwind, meaning we are already low on mental focus aka willpower
We can choose to stay home and avoid the situation if we are particularly tense or feeling out of control. But that is no fun. And what about when we have planned a special trip or evening? How can we manage in those situations? Sometimes we really want to go out, and if we stay home, we might feel a little FOMO, right?
Check out these 5 Tips to stop you from overeating so that you can enjoy social situations without guilt or regret.
- Make time to quiet your mind. Quieting our mind restores our willpower. Some people call this meditation. It is simply is being alone with your thoughts and letting them go where they will. During this time avoid electronics and entertainment. Let your mind just be. A walk even for 5 minutes outside can be enough.
- Get grateful. A daily gratitude practice need not be taxing. It can be very casual. Taking just a minute a day reflect on what you are grateful for will be a game changer for your attitude on having enough, being enough and doing enough. For help on how to begin a gratitude practice click here
- Get reconnected with your spiritual leader. Asking for guidance and giving thanks via your spiritual power or religion is powerful and often undervalued.
- Practice breath control. Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. explains in her book, The Willpower Instinct that “Slowing the breath down activates the prefrontal cortex and increases heart rate variability, which helps shift the brain and body from a state of stress to self-control mode.” In her book, she further explains that it is important to practice this before the temptation strikes. It is like a Lamaze class for impulse control. McGonigal also explains that “If there is a secret for greater self-control, the science points to one thing: the power of paying attention.” In the book, she explains that “Science is now discovering that self-control is a matter of physiology, not just psychology. It’s a temporary state of both mind and body that gives you the strength and calm to override your impulses.”
- Embrace imperfection. Letting go of an ideal scenario, and ideal body image frees up your mind to live in the moment. Living in the moment negates the “shoulds’ that your mind is cluttered with. For example “I ‘should’ eat dessert now because I ‘should’ be on a diet when I get home.” This reinforces a FOMO mentality. Expecting to be on a diet later, means that you view your self as missing out. You hold onto the story you ‘should’ eat the forbidden foods because you will have to give them up later. By contrast, if we regularly taste delicious food, the fear of missing it dissipates and we lose the FOMO mentality. Tasting these foods regularly means we do not have to eat them in big quantities because we can always have some tomorrow or the next day.
These 5 strategies are the anti-diet solutions I use with my clients and myself to eat well without fear of missing out. This attitude of freedom and responsibility is how we can feel good about ourselves sans guilt and shame.
Hey, if you have ever had food overload and get that bloated belly and sluggish feeling, you might want my 3-day reset protocol called Ready, Re-Set, Go! This three-day real food reset will put the good microbes your in you gut, and minimize the nasty microbes that make you crave junk. Do it with me for FREE! We start on 2/4, Monday right after that big game where the ads are amazing. sign up here.
Day one is a shopping day and it’s real food only, I promise. I will be giving you guidance in your mailbox as well as in our closed Facebook group, Midlife Quality Control