Planning for Success: Triggers, Pressure & Holiday Craziness

We are officially in the mist of the holiday craziness. Instead of the letting the stress takeover, I’m using this time to get my mindset rock solid. Being in recovery means having more freedom, and freedom comes with a lot of responsibility.

What’s coming up this weekend for you? Parties? Work potlucks? Happy Hours? My weekend is going to consist of lots of restaurant meals, traveling, two parties, a night out with friends, and a Hanukkah party.

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Sounds fun right? Ehhhh. I know myself; the thoughts, patterns, and habits that surround my emotions and thoughts. I can openly admit now that I use eating as a coping mechanism for my anxiety. My brain attempts to trick me by saying “you’ll be okay”, “you don’t need to plan”, “you won’t jeopardize your recovery if you let loose this one time”. The next thing I know, the feeling of un-comfortability, urges, cravings, and pressure to conform to everyone else’s indulgences acts as a trigger and the overeating behavior rises to the surface.

I do not want this weekend to be a replay of what I explained above. I’ve had too many Sundays waisted because I was sulking in the aftermath of self-sabotage, including but not limited too, mental fogginess, mood swings, and being physical pain.

I want to set myself up to stay mindful, plan ahead, stay balanced and make carefully thought-out decisions as to what to eat and what to pass on. The key is having more control over my actions and food than it can ever exert over me.

REMINDERS:

  • This weekend is a test of my skills, mindfulness, and growth. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right. This weekend has the potential to shift my old mindset and habits.
  • I’m an “abstainer.” Similarly to Gretchen Rubin, “I find it far easier to give something up altogether than to indulge moderately”. For me, moderation requires enormous self-control and is be the difference between feeling bad (when moderation turns to overeating) and feeling awesome long-term (when I abstain).
  • Utilize your willpower, it’s okay to say ‘no’.

FRIDAY. DINNER. CO-WORKER OUTING. 

  • After work, four co-workers and I are going to UVA in the Upper East Side. I have reviewed the menu and I’m going to get the Brodetto di Pesce (head on shrimp, scallops, octopus & white fish cooked in a savory white wine & tomato broth, served with grilled ciabatta bread) and a glass of Merlot.

SATURDAY. DINNER. GRADUATION PARTY.  

  • One of my best friends is graduating from Law School (so exciting!) My parents are coming into NYC for a celebratory dinner. I know it’s a pretty formal venue and I can’t find the menu online (damn it) so I’m going in unaware, but prepared. I’m going to have a glass of wine if alcohol is being served, and pick the most simple thing on the menu consisting of protein & veggies.

SATURDAY. NIGHT. BARS WITH FRIENDS. 

  • After the graduation dinner, I am meeting up with some friends.
  • I’m expecting to feel pressured to drink more than I want. This is where I have stumbled in the past, and where I blatantly lie to myself by saying “you’ll be fine” then find myself waking up the next morning with a throbbing migraine and tummy ache from drunk snacks.
  • My #1 priority is going to be enjoying time with my friends & getting home at a reasonable time so I am prepared to help my mom with party prep Sunday morning.
  • Three drinks maximum and no more
  • I am going to leave the bars before 2am, and when I get home I will go directly to my room and to sleep.

SUNDAY. PREPPING & HOSTING HANUKKAH PARTY. 

  • Distract distract distract will be my plan for Sunday. I tend to let my old habits creep back when I’m home, allowing myself to slip back into childish ways.
  • Wake up around 9:30am, make a smoothie for breakfast and go to Starbucks for a Venti Christmas Blend with Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce.
  • Then, help my mom cook everything for the party. Take my dog on a long walk. Go to the gym and do some quick weights (optional). Take a shower. Journal.
  • When the party starts, I don’t want to make food the focus. Instead of staying near the spread, I’m going to get my plate and go sit down with my family.
  • After my family leaves, I am going to spend some quality time with my best friend who is in town.
  • Come back to my parents’ house and go straight to sleep, preparing for a day of working from home on Monday.

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