Holiday parties: I'm averaging 2 per weekend and that's only because I can't go to the 5 others happening the same day. I have a feeling many of you might be going to a whole lot, too. Thanks to my friend Brady's suggestion, I'm going to give you 5 easy ways you can go to those parties, have your cake, eat it and feel good about yourself in the morning, too.
1. Don't restrict your options*. If you walk into a party telling yourself that you will only eat vegetables and only drink water, you may be setting yourself up for failure. If you're a moderator at heart (like I am), don't restrict your OPTIONS; work on your PORTIONS instead. Decide: How many times will you fill your plate with food? How many glasses of wine will you have at this party? Give your portions pre-determined limits, not your options.
*Now, if you're an ABSTAINER at heart, I'm actually going to suggest you DO set pre-determined boundaries in terms of options if you know that can work for you. What do you know is going to be a trigger food? Or trigger drink? What will you be happy (or satisfied) eliminating from this party?
Not sure if you live in the moderator or abstainer camp? Read this nifty article my client Leslie shared with me.
2. "Let's do a lap before we commit to a location." Scan the room for places you can hang out and stand that isn't close to the bar or to the food. Every time I either host or attend a cocktail party where we gather around the food, I find myself picking at EVERYTHING whether I'm hungry or not. One easy way to take care of that little bit of busienss is to simply hang out away from the food and beverages!
3. Be more interested than interesting. What I mean by this is: Engage in conversation with those around you! Be present! If you're at a friend's party, GREAT! You'll likely already have things to talk about. If you're at someone else's work party or don't happen to know many people, that's great, too, because you get to ask them lots of questions rather than hiding behind that gigantic wine glass! If you're talking to someone, ask what they're doing for the holidays or for New Year's Eve. Ask if they took any good trips this past year. Ask about their favorite show or how they're connected to the host of the party. Let the conversations fly!
4. Work out before you go. Do you ever notice that when you give yourself a really good workout, you're don't feel like indulging quite as much? Great! Get your sweat on, feel like the king or queen of the world and look forward to party you get to attend. (And if you're looking for a quick circuit to do, TruFit just posted this doozy!)
5. Treat this night like it's any other night.** As we established at the beginning, you may be going to multiple shindigs this holiday season. Which means there isn't a shortage of events. Which means we don't have to treat it like the last party on earth. So why would we treat it any differently than another night at home (keep in mind I'm not talking about attire here, haha)? How many glasses of wine would you have at home? How many times would you make yourself another plate of food at home? Will this be the last time you ever eat a pig in a blanket?
**Now, if the event is particularly epic in some way (if it's being hosted in an amazing restaurant you wouldn't otherwise go to, for example) or you are only going to one holiday event, then I say do it up! Have fun! Don't be strict with yourself! Eat those pigs in blankets! You do you. It's when the "special" events actually become once/twice/three-times-a-week events that treating them like they're the last parties we ever go to can get us into a heap of trouble.
So, here's the bottom line: Put yourself in a position where you will have fun not just the night of the party but also in a position where you'll feel great the following day. Go at your own pace and do pace yourself. And, now, go get 'em, tiger!