Staying mindful of our healthy lifestyle goals can be especially challenging when we are going to “happy hour”. Here’re my tips on how to stay true-blue to you and still have a fun filled night out.
Let me start with the four steps that I shared last week. I use these when I know I’m going into a situation that might trigger unwanted behaviors and elicit Negative Nellie’s nagging opinions:
One: I set an intention or a goal for the outcome I want.
Two: I stay mindful of my thoughts, both good and bad.
Three: I give myself credit often.
Four: I take action to change old behaviors
So here goes:
Driving to the pub, I set my intentions. I planned to stay for a couple of hours. I would have one cocktail and at least two glasses of water. If we order food, I would only eat foods that come as close as possible to my whole food style of eating. Lastly, when the evening is over I want to feel good about myself.
The old me would go to happy hour hungry. I would eat very lightly throughout the day, so I could eat pub food. I learned a long time ago to never go to happy hour (or grocery shopping) hungry. I also know that alcohol can influence the way I make judgements and I want total control.
So, I choose to eat my usual breakfast and lunch. Then an hour before I met my friends, I had a light protein drink made with just water and protein powder.
I meet my friends, order a cocktail that is made with clear liquids and not full of sugar. I choose a Grey Goose Martini. I love martini glasses….they are so much fun!
Now we are talking and having a good time. Someone says, “let’s get a high table and order a bunch of food to share, I’m starving.” I think to myself……” I’m so thankful I drank that shake!”
We look at the menu and it’s the usual crispy crackling calamari, roasted tomato crostini, chicken wings, truffle parmesan fries, etc. I’m thinking…” oh boy….”. That’s when I see it…. BRUSSELS & CHORIZO. It’s just sautéed brussels sprouts with chorizo, caramelized onions & shredded parmesan…PERFECT!
We are all talking, laughing and having a great time when the food comes and everyone starts oohing and ahhing. They all dig into the fried stuff and I’m happily filling my plate with the sprouts, chorizo and a couple of chicken wings.
All in all, I was there for a couple of hours, the time flew by and I had a fantastic time. As I’m driving home, I think to myself how great I feel and that I need just a little light meal when I get home. I go home and have some leftover lentil soup.
When I get into bed, I say to myself: “you’ve got this girl……you had a great time, stayed true to your intentions and were in total control.” I sleep great and wake up the next day ready to take on the day.
Sir Winston Churchill is credited with saying: “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” All it takes to avoid repeating an old pattern is creating new neural pathways paved with positive actions. We have choices and cultivating change takes time and effort.
That’s it for today…. Stay tuned. Next week I’ll present a new challenge and the action that can be taken to create a positive outcome.
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