3 Tips for Handling Social Occasions with Freedom!
So, what does this mean for you? Coffee with friends, the occasional brunch or afternoon tea, lunch or dinner outings, parties, buffets, holidays, and cruises?
How do you feel when you’re striving to lead a healthier lifestyle? At best, it can be a bit frustrating, and it might seem like you need lots of energy and mental space to navigate these occasions. At worst, you may find yourself repeatedly giving in to temptation. Perhaps you feel that once you start indulging, you can’t stop, that sugar takes control of you when you start eating it, or that you return from a social event feeling less than great.
Or maybe, like I used to, you make excuses or skip social occasions because you’re worried about “falling off the wagon” or not reaching “your goal.”
In this video and in the blog below, I give you three tips to help you navigate these occasions more easily, making them less emotionally draining and having a reduced impact on your health…
Take Control (with God)
The challenging part of all these situations is when something else is in control rather than you (with God in you). This could be sugar, social pressure, greed, self-sabotage, or emotional eating.
It’s perfectly fine to enjoy whatever you choose during social occasions.
Everyone has different comfort levels, and there are no rights or wrongs when it comes to food choices. All food can serve a healthy purpose.
But if you don’t feel in control, that’s where you can do some work. Take some time to invite God into the social situations you find yourself in and ask for guidance in making choices that bring you peace. Maybe it’s trying a little bit of everything, enjoying a meal cooked by someone else, eating beforehand, ordering your favourite dessert from the menu, just having a drink, or sharing a cake. What is a peaceful outcome for you? It will likely vary each time!
As you approach the social occasion, ask for God’s help to find that peace in that situation. What would Jesus do? How can you invite Jesus in? It’s more about Him being in control than anything else.
And remember, it will be different each time. One time you might have a dessert and have complete peace with that; another time you wouldn’t have peace having a dessert because you’ve already had two desserts that week, for example.
Next, consider whether it’s a Social Occasion or a Special Occasion.
Social occasions happen quite regularly, while special occasions are much less frequent. Special occasions are unlikely to have a significant impact on your health, probably amounting to a week or less in a year. Special birthday meals, Christmas meals, a few meals on holiday, a wedding, etc.
However, social occasions are different. Be honest with yourself. This could be coffee and cake 2-3 times a week, work conferences, parties, a regular take-away or meal out, a church group or toddler group where there’s always cake. The food at these occasions will have an impact on your health as they are so regular.
It might be that you need to have a look at your week and be honest about whether it’s having an impact on your health. Then you get to make a choice about what you do with that. You don’t have to change anything, of course, but you might want to.
And then, the practical tips:
- Do you need to ensure you’re not hungry before you go out?
- Do you need to ensure that you’re not hungry?
- Do you need to keep your hands occupied with a drink?
- Do you need to focus more on the conversation?
- Visualise what you want beforehand, find peace, and enjoy!
If you are looking for some more support to find freedom in the area of dieting and healthy living, our Healthy Whole and Free course could be for you. It’s a 6-month online course with live teaching and loads of support. You can find out more and sign up here. We also run a series of online events covering different aspects of physical, spirital and emotional health, many of which are free. We’d love to see you there.