I had a lovely time last weekend.
My family and I celebrated my Uncle’s 60th birthday.
His wife (my beautiful Aunt) planned a week’s worth of fun-filled surprises for her husband of almost 30 years. With the help of my Mom (who held the birthday party) and the rest of us who showed up to surprise this wonderful, funny and kind man welcome his 7th decade with love and laughter, we all had a blast.
Most important, though, my Uncle had a fantastic time – and I’d like to think that part of it had to do with the fact that he got to see just how much we love him with all of our hearts.
Now, of course, all of this celebrating meant one other thing.
And plenty of it.
Whether it’s at a restaurant or a party at someone’s home, when you’re celebrating an event – the chances are that food will be abundant.
So with this being said, is it possible to stick with a wellness program when you’re enjoying the festivities?
The answer is yes – but there are a few steps involved.
I’ll share them here knowing that if you follow them, you’ll be able to partake in whatever joyous occasion comes your way without ditching your intention to stay true to your well-being.
How to Stick with Your Wellness Program While You’re Celebrating
I know how challenging it can be to make deliberate choices when you’re surrounded by people, activities, and food that aren’t in alignment with a healthy living program.
The idea is to make things realistic, enthusiastic and enjoyable.
You don’t want to restrict yourself, but you do want to remain empowered.
And if you don’t think this is doable, then I’m here to tell you that it is.
In fact, there had been a time when I wouldn’t have been able to “have my cake and eat it too” without feelings of guilt – nor would I have been able to feel as though I was punishing myself if I refrained from overindulging on certain food groups.
However, these days, it’s no problem for me to enjoy my festivities without my surroundings owning me or my decision-making abilities.
I did this last weekend, and I’ve done it plenty of time before then.
By following the steps I’m about to share with you now, you’ll be free of the self-imposed limitations that keep you a prisoner of your mind – where everything starts.
1 – Remind Yourself of Your Why
One of the best ways to stick with your healthy living program is to remind yourself of why you’re doing this.
The reason for this is because our emotions dictate everything we do.
When you initially decided to embark on a healthy living program, it’s because something happened in your mind, heart and consciousness that let you know you needed to start taking better care of yourself. When this occurs, it’s usually because you’ve experienced the pain of your current circumstances to such a degree that you couldn’t stand it any longer – so you had to make a change.
It’s easy to stay true to your intentions when you’re in the middle of a predictable routine. But when you’re out and about, you’re at the mercy of your surroundings.
When your environment becomes stronger than your Will – it takes over.
It won’t though if you stay connected to your intention.
When you know you’re about to go on vacation, to a party or anything else that resembles a celebration, take some time beforehand and remind yourself of WHY you care enough to make conscious and deliberate decisions.
You don’t have to be perfect about it, but you do need to demonstrate to yourself that you have your best interests at heart – regardless of your surroundings.
This allows you to feel empowered because you’ve assumed personal responsibility for yourself. This is a powerful form of self-trust. When you trust yourself, you are the one in charge.
When the environment dictates your state of being though, you’re a victim.
The question then becomes – which do you prefer?
2 – Plan Ahead
I’ll give you a perfect example of why this is so helpful.
While I am no longer in a state where I’m concerned about being tempted by “bad” food or restricting myself (because I’ve followed my own personal development advice over the years), I still like to plan ahead.
Given that I don’t eat meat, I like to see what my options might be in any given location when it comes to food so that I’m not caught off guard.
I might discover that where I’m going, there aren’t any options for me to enjoy. And even though that never happens, it’s still nice to have a plan just in case.
Well, my family and I had originally planned on going to a specific restaurant the night before the surprise party. I took the liberty of viewing their menu online to narrow down a few of the options I would have been cool with.
Now even though I did this, the plans changed a few times and we ended up at a restaurant I didn’t plan for in advance. We ate much later I usually do (by several hours), so by the time we sat down, I was famished.
However, it was all right.
I found something I not only enjoyed, but there was NO guilt involved in my decision about what I was going to eat.
This is because I stay true to my why, but also because I plan ahead. But even more than that, I’m self-aware. I’m in tune with my inner-world and I have made conscious contact with the “I” that is the decision maker – as opposed to the “me” that reacts to my environment unconsciously.
See, by planning ahead, things still may not go the way you think they will. But by acting like someone who plans ahead, you send yourself a message that says “I’m responsible for my choices, and I can flow along with anything because I trust myself to do right by me.”
Now the good news is, more times than not, by having a plan, you’ll be able to stick with it. You’ll show up prepared – and quite possibly excited about what you’ve already chosen to eat.
Or you might decide to eat something an hour or so before going to the restaurant to make sure you aren’t starving – which will help you make a better choice.
But if things do change along the way, behaving like an individual who plans ahead is the act of changing your mindset from someone who is a victim of their circumstances to one that takes charge.
Another benefit to planning ahead is you may decide to include some physical activity in your celebration to balance out any indulging you might do.
For example, if you go on a cruise, they usually have a gym. You would plan in advance to get some exercise in to remind yourself that you’re someone who takes care of themselves. Or you may invite a family member to go for a fitness walk during a weekend visit.
I did this several years ago while visiting the same people I am discussing in this post, and I’ll tell you – it not only gave me a workout, but we enjoyed spending quality time with one another while doing something active.
Any indulging I did that particular weekend or last weekend didn’t matter.
I had to become a different person to make different choices…
…but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Personal Development is the Key
This scenario is no longer a struggle for me.
But it sure used to be.
Healthy living is meant to be a joyful experience that empowers you, not one that makes you feel like a victim.
If I hadn’t changed my perspective on wellness, I would still be at war with myself. Every vacation or celebratory event would involve a battle between me – and myself.
Well-being is our natural state. Our mental, psychological and emotional conditioning, however, is not.
When we combine self-awareness and personal growth with healthy living to transcend our current self-limiting beliefs about who we are and what we’re capable of, we no longer make wise choices…
…we become wise.
So consider following these steps when a reason to celebrate comes up.
You can enjoy your festivities without guilt. You can also stay true to your intentions – as long as you remember, clearly, why you set them in the first place.
Does this make sense to you? Do you see that by shifting your perspective and being prepared can allow you to enjoy your celebrations without “wrecking your weight loss program?”