Thursday, November 15, 2012

Food vs. Socialization Experiment

I am planning an experiment over the next few weeks.  I will call it “The Food vs. Socialization” experiment. 
It became abundantly clear during my conversation with my Life Coach on Monday that when it comes to social events, during the holidays and throughout the year, I spent more time focusing on the food then I do on the people. 
It started with a simple question “What do you love most about the Holidays?”  I chewed over this for a moment and realized that from appearances, it would seem the food.  Why else would I spend hours obsessing over party and holiday menus? Why would my mind be focused on the holiday delicacies being offered at parties as we drive to our destination? Why would I spend more time gorging myself than talking to the people around me?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the food wasn’t what I loved about the holidays at all.  I love the decorations, lights, Christmas carols, gift giving, annoying dancing Santa’s, corny Hallmark movies,  stockings with the kids names embroidered on them.  The food, while scrumptious, was really not at the top of the list. 
I then took another step back and realized that I wasn’t just like this throughout the holidays, but all year long.  Each house party, dinner party, family get together and romantic date night was over shadowed by the food.  I would care less about the quality time I would get with friends and family and more about what was being served.  Seriously, I spent more time planning where we were going to eat for our Disneyland trip last October then I did about the rides and experiences we were going to have.
So my Life Coach and I decided to experiment. This weekend starts off our crazy holiday socialization schedule.  Over the next two weeks I need to consciously plan how to make the people and entertainment the focus and not the food.  Then we will get back together and see how it goes. 
Here are the activities and how I plan shift the focus:
Friday, November 16th:  Neighbors to Dinner: We have always been friendly with our neighbors but never really socialized. Mama D took the plunge and invited them over for dinner.  Seeing as I know them more as acquaintances, my focus is to get to know them better.  I made a habit of making grand feasts when we had people over for dinner but my focus is going to be to make it simple but good.  Less time on food and more time on getting to know the nice people next door.
Saturday, Nov 17th: Dueling Piano Bar with Sisters: I luva luva LOVE my sisters so it will be easy to keep the focus on socializing with them.  Plus the dueling pianos will help keep to focus off food.  My plan is to keep to the salad section of the menu with dressing on the side.  The hardest part is to keep the focus off the calorie killing martinis.
Sunday, Nov 18th: Extended Family Dinner: I love each of my family members individually but when you put all 13 of us in a restaurant it will get awkward.  My plan is to think of a topic to talk about with each family member, visit the menu on line and preplan what I will eat, and have a healthy snack before I leave so I want be as tempted by the bread and appetizers.  I think this will be the hardest of the events cause I can’t use food as a stress reducer…do they have calorie free wine?
Thursday, Nov 23: Thanksgiving: I am feeling confident about this event. I will not skip meals, focus on the guests, not eat as I cook, and keep my Thanksgiving meal to a small plate.  I do plan to allow myself a small slice of pie though..YUM.
Friday, Nov 23: My 30th Birthday Party:  This will probably be the easiest of all the events. As of today, we have had 20 people RSVP which means I will have a ridiculously crowded house.  I spent so much time playing hostess that I generally don’t even see the buffet table.  My biggest worry will be the alcohol. I need to come up with a reasonable amount which will allow me to have fun but not cause my waist line to expand. 
Monday, Nov 26: My Birthday:  This will deceptively be one of the harder days.  Because there is no big event and no guests, it would almost fly under the radar as being a day to watch out for but that is why it is so sneaky.  Because it is my birthday, my favorite meal will be made and probably a cake.  Because it will seem like most other days it will be so much easier to over fill my plate and not be conscious about what I am putting in my mouth.  I am not sure how I am going to handle this day yet…
Let the experiment begin!!!!

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