This weekend, I went to an event with one of my best friends. Something that came up in conversation was how much food has become a part of the holidays and most celebrations. For birthdays, there is cake and ice cream. For St. Patrick’s Day, there is corned beef and cabbage. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is almost never a party or event that doesn’t have food of some kind, be it holiday pies, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cookies, you name it.
There are even food calendars which list which foods go with each day!
So what are former/recovering food junkies supposed to do?
Keep a Log
This seems like a pretty basic thing to do since everyone can do it. That’s the point, though: Everyone can do it. I prefer Lose It!, a free application for both Apple and Android. I can add my own recipes, serving sizes, calories (if I go to Potbelly and use their nutrition calculator), or search their database of foods. I’ve also tried Weight Watchers before, too. Both systems let me track the food I’ve consumed. Sometimes I go over the limit I set for myself, and that’s okay as long as I don’t make it an everyday thing.
Host Alternative Events
Happy hours are a great way to network, but they aren’t often held in places where calories and portions are small, not to mention the drinks. I will be the first to say that I miss going out with some of my friends but that seemed to be the only time we hung out was when there were drinks involved. If your friends live close by, hosting different events like a game night or a book club night or even a movie night either at home or out. I’m doing a Paint Nite event with Ray, but there are companies that will come to a person’s house for a paint event. It depends on what you and your friends like to do that doesn’t revolve so much around food.
Create a Non-Food Reward System
One of the issues that I’ve always had and have noticed in others is that food is often part of our rewards system. I lost 15 lbs this month? Great! Now I can have that cookie I’ve been craving all week, right? I could, but isn’t there something else I’d like to do? Sure. I could go get a new book, get a pedicure, take myself out to a movie, go for a walk through the mall and not buy anything, go play in the park, binge watch a few episodes of a show I like, etc. These are just things that I use for my rewards. Find something that works for you and keeps pushing you to reach for your goals.
Find People on a Similar Journey
Youtube, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and Meetup can be your best friends when it comes to finding other things to do besides eating. I’ve found videos on how to self-publish my book, alternative history, crash courses, and vloggers who are on their own weight-loss journeys. Sometimes seeing other people going through similar things helps keep things in perspective. I use Google and Pinterest to come up with exercises, non-food rewards, and other blogs or information that I can use for this blog. Groups can be found on Facebook and Meetup. There are running groups, coffee groups, social groups, etc.
These are just a few things that can help in a recovering foodie in a foodie world. It’s so easy to fall back into old habits. I still want pizza and soda some days. I can have a few bites of a slice, but I don’t want to stretch my stomach back out with soda. But finding alternatives like a ricotta bake and infused water can help me stay on track. Keeping that log holds me accountable and having a non-food reward system isn’t always exciting but using some of my 101 goals for those rewards helps me tackle both.
Listening to: Sunday Spiel: Let’s Talk about Health by Glitterandlazers
Reading: The Line by J.D. Horn
Quote of the Day: “Nothing happens by itself… it all will come your way, once you understand that you have to make it come your way, by your own exertions.” – Ben Stein