Easter is coming. The candies are shaped like eggs. Their normally brown wrappers have been transformed into flower-covered, beautiful pastels! They look even more tempting and delicious than normal. Jelly beans are in bowls everywhere you look. It easy to scoop up a few and eat them without so much as a thought.
Easter candy isn’t the only challenge. There is the Easter meal and the family gatherings. Food and tension are a dangerous combination for some of us with weight issues. Indeed, food and tension is the very reason why some of us even have weight issues!
You can handle Easter successfully. You can enjoy some candy and some special holiday foods and stay on track. Easter doesn’t have to set you back with your progress and you don’t have to run away to hide from the festivities. All you need is a good plan. Making a very detailed step-by-step plan helps to ensure your success. Make a mental movie of your plan” and watch it over and over again to make your plan go exactly the way you want it. Mental imaging is a tool professional athletes use to stay at the top of their game.
Begin by reflecting on past Easters. What happens and what triggers the events? What are the foods you are most likely to overeat? How did you feel? What kind of negative self-talk did you give yourself. How long did it take you to get back on track after Easter Sunday came and went? Did you ever get back on track? Now that you can identify what went wrong you can create a plan that addresses or avoids those traps.
Here are a few tips to help make your plan fail-proof.
1. Be very choosy about Easter candy. Allow yourself to indulge but limit the indulgence. You could set either a limit on the number of pieces or a calorie limit. Whatever you decide, make your limit and stick to it by choosing the very most delicious candies available and savor them. Lose the guilt! Guilt takes away your power and makes you feel bad and that can upset your progress.
2. If you will be in a situation where tension runs high with family members find ways to physically or mentally remove yourself. Take a walk if you can or if you can’t get away do your best to smile and let the snarky comments and bad behavior of those around you roll off your shoulders. It helps to remember “this is temporary; it shall pass and what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger!”
3. When faced with the meal and the hors d’oeuvres be extremely choosy. Don’t bother with the snacks and tidbits that are available all the time. Chips and dips, cheese and crackers are nothing special and served at every gathering so don’t bother with them. What are the specials foods served at Easter that you love? Have those in limited portions.
4. Avoid alcohol altogether or mix wine with sparkling water for a spritzer. Alcohol wasted calories and reduces your inhibitions. It intensifies tension and can lead to regrettable behaviors both in words spoken and food eaten!
5. Move, move move! Help with the preparation, serving and cleanup as much as you can. If your help is unwanted don’t plant yourself in a chair. Stay on your feet.
6. Practice, practice, practice these tips by creating images in your head and watching yourself successfully perform the actions you will do to stay on track!
A few final words of advice:
Wear something form-fitting to flatter your progress thus far and remind you that you want to stick with your goal.
Snack on fruit and vegetables to keep you from getting too hungry so that it’s easier to practice flexible restraint.
If your best laid plans go awry, you didn’t fail, you just need to adjust your plan so that it works the way you want it to work next time. Don’t beat yourself up or start giving yourself negative self-talk, instead write the word “Easter” on a piece of toilet paper, flush it, and go on with your program as though Easter never happened. A little weight gain is not a “setback” or a “roadblock”