One thing Caren and I love to do together is throw a party. It's so fun to incorporate decorations, food, drink, favors, etc. into a theme! The preparation is always so fun but the best part is seeing everyone enjoy it all and getting to enjoy it with them. Especially, the food.
For the most part my diet consists of healthy fare. I could stand to eat more veggies and drink more water but I don't eat a lot of junk food. The problem with my diet is not so much what I eat but the WAY I eat. My portions are too big and when food is in front of me I eat and eat and eat.
That's where the parties get me. There is always yummy foods out on the table before you. When setting up for a party you try to have various places where one can grab food so that no matter where your guest chooses to do their socializing there is food with in reach. Do to the easy access of food at parties, I find myself mindlessly putting food in my mouth all night long. Party in my mouth! Woo hoo!
My nutritionist sent me home last week with several pamphlets on Social Eating. Here are some of the tips I found with in them:
At some events there is that ONE thing (or two, or three) that you just have to have! My friend, Jen, makes these super amazing mini-sandwiches, Slider type things. They are also super fattening. (Oops. I'm supposed to be changing my language. Instead of saying a certain food is "naughty" or "fattening" I should say that it is "high-calorie.") So Jen's sandwiches are high calorie but I don't want to be deprived of them. So what to do when I am faced with them at a party?
Eat them. That's right! Eat small portions of the selections that are really important to you and larger portions of low-calorie foods. So I can have Jen's sandwiches but just one instead of 4 or 5. I can have a slice of Caren's pear pie. A slice. A small slice. The rest of my plate should be loaded up with the stuff from the veggie or fruit platter.
Bring one or more low-calorie, nutritious side dishes to share that way you can ensure that there is something for you to eat that will not un-do all of the previous hard work. Also, you can make foods that you don't particularly like but that you know everyone else likes. For example: I don't like seafood. (Wish I did. I try all the time but something about it...blech.) A shrimp cocktail platter would be genius for me to bring! That's one less thing there that I would be tempted to eat. Or something with mushrooms in it. That would work for me too.
The pamphlet also suggests that I eat a high-fiber snack shortly before the party to prevent that famished feeling. I don't know if this would work for me because I don't eat for sustenance but for pleasure. So I don't know that it would really matter that I feel full. I think maybe the idea is that you are not so hungry that you start gorging food. I don't want to add any extra calories though so I think having several glasses of water is a good way to make yourself feel full plus I can get in that extra water I need and be more hydrated before taking down a few cocktails as well. Win-win-win.
They also suggest focusing on non-food activities such as being involved in events with the children. Boo. Terrible suggestion! I don't want to play with my kids at the party. The beauty of it is that we adults can sit and have a conversation because all of the kids are occupied with one another. Plus there are not always children at our parties. I could focus on playing a board or party game with the guests.
Plan ahead. If you know you are going to a party eat a light, low-cal lunch that day so in the evening you are available to take in more calories.
I highlighted a few other tips from the pamphlets as well as worked on my mind set. I started my Pillar of Positives on my kitchen wall. This is where I am writing positive things about myself in order to move out the negative talk and thinking.
The first day I wrote "nice stems." I thought, I love my legs! Well...except that I'm knock-kneed. I started to think what I might put for the next day and the next and I noticed that every time I gave myself a compliment I followed it with an insult. I like my face except for my big nose. I like my hour glass shape but I just wish I was not so short waisted or so big busted. It went on and on like this until the light bulb came on: I've decided that when I write my positive thing I will accept the compliment in full and not allow the negative half to follow. What happens is that I only hear and remember the negative part and forget all about the compliment. I want to practice muting that voice so that when others give me a compliment I can graciously except it with a "thank you" and feel good about.
So where is this negativity coming from? When did it start? As a child I remember being quite proud of my beauty but it was simple then. I had pretty hair, pretty eyes, pretty smile. The body was just a little girl body. I think it was around Jr.high that I started being concerned about my body. My brother would tease me about being fat and I had a rather competitive friend that would brag about weighing less then I did. I'm sure these things had an effect on my concept of weight, beauty and how they applied to me but as an adult I know those things don't matter. As an adult I know that my brother was just being a big brother and that he is proud of me in every way. As an adult I know that my friends jabs at me had nothing to do about me and everything to do about her insecurities with herself.
I also think some of it has to do with trying to be a humble, Christ-like, woman. I would feel guilty when I looked in the mirror and was proud of what I saw so I would temper my pride with an insult. How that would be Christ-like I don't know. I imagine He was very comfortable in His skin and did not give a flip about the esthetics's of his physique. He was healthy and that was all He concerned Himself with in regards to it. After all, He knew His time in that body was to be brief. Isn't that true for all of us? These bodies are not permanent. Can I get an "Amen" or "Praise God" for that? So what is the obsession about them for?
Last night Caren hosted a back to school party/happy hour. She rented an inflatable slip-n-slide for the kids and there were water balloons and other fun things. There was also all kinds of yummy food. Knowing there was to be a party I had a delicious but small and light lunch of sliced tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil:
|Picture of health!|
Before the party I drank a few glasses of water while reviewing what I wrote on the board. The Pillar of Positives read:
Feeling healthy and (dare I say) pretty I headed over to join the festivities. Once there I had a little trouble with the chips and salsa because it was just a bag of chips sitting in front of me. To keep from grazing, I got a plate and dispensed the amount of chips I was going to allow myself to have on it. When the chips on my plate were gone I was done with them. I used a small plate when I served myself the main meal foods that way I kept each portion small. This made more caloric space for wine and a bit of dessert. I felt very good with the way I managed my eating while still being able to enjoy everything offered.
The best part of the party was not the food but the edifying fellowship with all of my friends. It was so good to see everyone; many of whom I had not seen all summer because of our travels. We all got caught up and shared laughs. I can't help but think that Jesus might look on the goodness of a time like that and say, "I like to party, so I like My people to party!"