Memorial Day weekend is coming which reminds me that the warm weather is here to stay and the cold winter is behind us. I love the summer, being outdoors, breathing in fresh air and spending fun relaxing time with family and friends. It also means barbeques, pool parties and vacations which all involve food.
For the chronic dieter, this might bring you stress. How do you stay on your diet when you are invited to these social gatherings where you are not in charge of the menu and/or cooking? For many of my clients who first come to see me, they make promises to themselves that sound like this:
“I am only eating grilled chicken and salad at this weekend’s BBQ party.”
“I’ll have one hot dog, no bun, and that’s it!”
“I’ll enjoy myself while on vacation and start my diet again when I get back.”
I can go on and on. I’m sure these statements sound familiar to you. But do they ever work? Not really. You arrive at the BBQ but the steak on the grill looks and smells SOOO good, you have one hot dog but then feel bad so you fall into the “what the heck” trap and pile on the potato salad, pasta salad and mindlessly snack on chips and dips the entire evening. Well, tomorrow is another day, right? Later that night you are upset with yourself and now your inner talk sounds like this:
“Why can’t I just have the willpower to avoid those foods?”
“I’m such a failure. I’m doomed to stay on this roller coaster of yo-yo dieting for life.”
“There is just something wrong with me, I should be stronger.”
What does this inner dialog do for your trust in your body and food choices? It causes you to lose more and more trust in yourself, lowers your self-esteem and confidence and keeps you in a negative cycle of restriction-deprivation-overeating-guilt.
As an intuitive eater, you leave all this behind. You learn to trust yourself, your body, your food choices and you feel empowered when you walk into the holiday barbecue or summer pool party.
While I can’t give you a crash course on becoming an intuitive eater in this blog, I can provide you with 2 steps to take towards an intuitive eating experience this Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Ready! Here they are:
1. Set your intention before you leave your house to go to the barbecue or party that you will be fully present and aware when making your food choices. That means surveying the food offerings, deciding what you REALLY would love to eat that would truly satisfy you, put it on your plate and go sit down. Remind yourself that you will not be influenced by what others around you are or are not eating, and you will honor your true food preferences.
2. Eat and focus on your every bite. How does it taste and feel in your mouth? Is the taste, texture, aroma, and appearance pleasant? If not, don’t feel pressured to continue eating it. Put it aside and find something that appeals to all your senses. When you are comfortably full, stop eating and spend the rest of the day/evening socializing and enjoying great company and weather.
Your turn to take action: What is your intention for eating this holiday weekend? Write it below and commit to it.