Occasion Stress

Between groups I follow on Facebook and posts on Connect (Facebook for Weight Watchers; look me up: Winteraine) I have read a lot of people who stress about special occasions and all the yummy, tasty goodness that comes with the event. A common theme is how to lose weight when they are celebrating. I get a little sad reading these posts because I feel like people may not enjoy these special days to the fullest because of fear of a pound or two.  I say don’t stress these days; I say throw caution to the wind folks! It seems like careless advice to give if you are trying to lose weight, so let me elaborate.

Think of how many occurrences you have throughout the year that rate as a special occasion. I am not talking about your niece’s 6th birthday party or celebrating your kids win at their little league game (while these should be celebrated, they are more of the mundane special occasions). I am speaking of the BIG occasions; a major milestone birthday or anniversary, a wedding, an engagement, the big promotion. Even a holiday that is special to your family (I am looking at you Thanksgiving). At most there are 5 days a year where you are really celebrating (if you are celebrating more than that in a year, you are WAY to popular or had an stellar personal year…congratulations). That is 1 tiny percent of the year you might “pig-out”.  Not including leap year that gives you 360 days to recover from those probable 5 days of splurging. I have a type A personality, and I am a mega rule follower. I track religiously, EVERY SINGLE DAY (I have a fancy virtual badge to prove it too)! At the end of this month I am going to a seafood and wine festival. I love seafood. I love wine. I have already given permission to myself to not track that one day. I have already given myself permission to enjoy myself with no stress or guilt of a hypothetical weight gain. Remember, it is not the few special occasions that got us into this whole big mess; it’s the other 360 days of splurging that did.

Weight Watchers and other programs like it are designed to be used lifelong. It is unrealistic to think that you can live your entire life within 30 points. These programs are tools to teach those who need it to have a healthy relationship with food. It seems counterproductive to a healthy relationship to have anxiety about something you may or may not eat 1% of the time. Food becomes the enemy, and we dread these events instead of becoming excited to share in our loved one’s life. I am not going to have dread or fear from happy times, but enjoy them. A temporary 1-2 pound weight gain seems like a fair trade for special memories with those who mean the most to me.

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