Independence Day BBQs And Other Foes

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

BBQ by Allen Zhou from FlickrMy neighbors across the street are having their annual Independence Day Neighborhood BBQ. Here is a copy of their invitation:

Join us on the Fourth of July around 4-ish or later, and bring something to BBQ or a side to share. Kids & pets welcome, as long as they’re nice! Call us if you have any questions.

I have a couple of questions:

  • How am I going to go to this BBQ and not eat everything in sight?

  • If I don’t eat everything in sight, how am I going to stop myself from feeling deprived and binge alone afterward?

It seems like these have been my two choices over the years. I can go to the party and overeat or I can go to the party and not eat anything. Only eating some healthy things hasn’t really worked for me because once I start eating in a social situation I don’t stop.

Sure, there’s the third option of not going to the party, but that just looks like the second option all over again except I didn’t get to see my friends.

“Today’s BBQ is a great opportunity,” I tell myself. “I have a chance to learn how to eat healthy in a social situation.”

That sounds like bullocks to me.

Here’s the plan. I go for option two. I won’t eat anything. I’ll drink Diet Coke and other calorie free drinks, but I’ll avoid all the food. I’ll enjoy the company and talk to friends.

That’s going to make me feel deprived, so I need to have a plan of action when I get home.

A special planned meal for at home after the party is going to be my reward. Sure, it’s just a variation of the bingeing alone option, but if I plan the portions and the food carefully, it will at least be healthy.

Maybe I can’t change my behaviors that have been ingrained in me since childhood, but I certainly can find ways to work around them.

Wish me luck!

If you would like some ideas on how to actually eat at a BBQ and keep it healthy, here are my tips:

I have been able to have many, many healthy BBQs with just Mike and close friends. In larger groups, though, it has been difficult to stop at just eating the healthy food.


4 Responses to “Independence Day BBQs And Other Foes”

  1. Megan Says:

    How about you eat something before you go to the BBQ? And allow yourself to have a little bit of something at the BBQ? Remember what we are told at our WW meetings: You can eat anything, just not everything! You can do this, Laura! I have faith in you! I hope you have a fun, safe & health 4th of July!

  2. iportion Says:

    I would hate to not eat anything. I’ve done that in the past cried and binged when I couldn’t keep up.

  3. judy wyatt Says:

    It takes a lot of practice to change ingrained habits. I am not always successful, but I have managed to MOST of the time only overeat a little by:

    • reminding myself that I’m there for the social interaction — so I wander around and get ingaged in conversations.

    • finding a place to sit AWAY from the food.

    • reminding myself of suggestion #1.

    • eating beforehand as suggested by Megan.

    • reminding myself of suggestion #1.

    • thinking of the offered foods as WW food exchanges, and trying to eat a little bit from different food categories that are healthy (meat, fruit salad, green salad, one or two bread exchanges) and not even starting on foods that are triggers for me.

    • practicing yet again suggestion #1.

    Try to think of this IN ADVANCE as a social situation and not as a sure-fire over-eating failure on your part. AFTERWARDS, regardless of how much you wind up eating, a lot or a little, it’s just a meal, not an example of how weak and failure-prone you are. Repeat to yourself — it’s just a meal. Now start relating the entertaining stories of the crazy people you met at the party and put the obsession about food aside.

    Takes practice. I’m still practicing.

  4. Sherri Adams Says:

    Pre-eating is always the key (for me at least) to events like this.

    Something satisfying and guilt-free an hour or so before you leave will make all the difference.

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