One holiday season I signed up for a local Olympic weightlifting meet, where I wanted to qualify for another event in a lower weight class. The holiday season is my favorite time of year, I love everything about it including the social events and lets be real here most of all…. FOOD! My husband and I even host a holiday party every year that I plan for weeks I’m so into it! So I had my goals which included cutting weight and in order to do that I had to track all my food and be pretty darn strict with my intake, while also trying not to lose strength….fun times. And then I also had the holiday season with all my favorite things that would potentially be off limits to me during my cut. Most people won’t have such an extreme case when it comes to keeping goals in mind during social events, but I want to share how I enjoy social events while committed to a goal.
When committing to a health goal more often than not drinking will be less than what was previously consumed, especially performance based goals. Social events make that hard because there’s always that person who asks you why your not drinking, or assumes your not having fun since your not drinking. I used to get defensive at these questions because honestly why do I NEED to drink to have fun?? And although I believed (and still do) I don’t need to drink to have “fun” it never feels great to be the only one not or feel singled out, no matter what the topic is. I have found other ways that have helped me during the times that I choose my goal over a drink, often I respond with a simple “no thanks” or “not right now” and leave it at that instead of automatically feeling the need to explain why I’m not. I have found that I no longer get those awkward questions or I get them a lot less. Another way I avoid feeling let out is I pour a non alcoholic drink into a wine glass like Kombucha or Zevia! I love doing this because I FEEL like I’m participating in the socialness of “drinking” without sacrificing my goals, plus who doesn’t like to drink out of fancy glasses?!
The holidays are also a time of year that certain family staples or desserts are brought around once a year, and I have some that I simply don’t want to go without. When signing up for something to bring to the party I always sign up for a food that will support my goals, this way I know there is something I can definitely enjoy! When it comes to filling my plate I always fill it with veggies first whether that be a salad or raw veggies from the veggie tray. I have found that if my plate is full of ANYTHING, then no one questions me about why I’m not eating and I don’t feel like I need to explain myself OR get defensive. I then get whatever protein source available wings, grilled meat, meatballs, charcuterie board, etc. there is usually always something to pick from. I have a huge sweet tooth and live for the holiday treats, I mean yolo right?! But treats and health goals, depending on what they are, don’t always support each other. So if I’m not watching my weight closely due to a competition I’ll have those sweets after I’ve eaten my plate already and still want it. Sometimes I think I want ALL the treats when I’m hungry, but once I eat I realize- yea I want it but not all of them.
For social events focusing on what supports your goals first helps set you up for success and also allows food freedom too. I don’t feel as restricted because I focus on health first and still eat what I want. There should and can be a balance between attaining your health or performance goals and living life too. Life is way to short to over restrict and not have “fun” at a party! Have additional questions on social situations? Don’t hesitate to ask!! I’m on Instagram @christina_curt.killeen