Here are the last of my 12 Tips for Eating at Special Occasions for Savory Satisfaction, Fun and Health – Part III.  I do hope that you have found this helpful and useful.  Enjoy all of your special occasions with joy, peace, happiness, fun, and fulfillment in mind, body and spirit!

9.  Do a closet project.

Go through your closet and remove all of the clothes that are not current—that don’t fit, don’t feel comfortable, or are not currently in season.  Put them in storage, or give them away.  What good are they sitting in your closet?  Do you ever find that you talk down to yourself about your clothes that no longer feel good or fit you?  Do you ever feel as though you have a closet full of clothes and yet you can’t find anything to wear?  Remember, it is these kinds of thoughts that can lead to obsessing about food and weight and disordered eating behaviors later (a minute, an hour, a day, or
a week later).  Now take a look at what is left in your closet.  Are there gaps?  Do you have attractive and comfortable clothes for any occasion this season?  If not, give yourself a gift!

10. Don’t weigh yourself before, during or after special occasions or anytime!

Scale weight measures only net weight. Your body water content can change several pounds in a day depending on hormonal changes, consumption of sodium, caffeine or alcohol, among other things.  Scale weight cannot measure the water content or whether weight changes are made up of fat or lean tissue.  Do not rely on the scale to tell you if you have been “good” or “bad”—your weight does not determine your character, nor your body composition, and your weight can’t tell you about the quality of your eating.  Remove the scale, throw it away or decorate it, but don’t use it for weighing your worth.  See my BLOG on Weight Science!

11. Listen to your intuition and your body regarding exercise, relaxation, sleep, and “downtime”.

The holidays are often a time of rushing and to-do lists.  Planning to slow down, and getting enough rest as well as physical activity can help you to be more resilient against stressors. Outdoor walking can be a great stress reliever and can help regulate your appetite, too.  Learning to say no to things you don’t want to do, to set limits with others, and to anticipate stressful events in advance can help you to make a “Plan B”.  Invite a friend or family member to be a part of the plan so that you feel you have support.  Schedule time for yourself and commit to it.  Find ways to nourish your soul, what makes YOU happy—fun, love, connection, comfort—and you won’t be looking to food to fill the void.

12. So, when you are at a special occasion party, buffet, sit down dinner, a friend’s home or your own home…

Put the above strategies to practice, and you may find you are better able to enjoy the warmth of friends and family at special occasions and celebrations.  You can have choices, you can have fun, and you can honor and respect yourself—first of all—as well as others.  There are ways of showing your host or hostess you care about their efforts, other than feeling like you are obligated to eat everything put in front of you.  You also can learn to eat without fear, by listening to your body’s messages of how much food it needs, and remember that you can have more of that food (or something similar) later when your hunger returns.  Communicate to others what you need, take good care of yourself, eat well and enjoy!



Dr. Barbara Birsinger is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters Degree in Public Health Nutrition and a Doctorate Degree in Spiritual Healing and Energy Medicine.  She works as a consultant in private practice at the Integrative Medical Clinic in Santa Rosa, The Body Positive Institute Counseling Center in San Rafael, and at Riverside Counseling in Petaluma.  Barbara offers her workshop, “Decoding the Spiritual, Symbolic and Archetypal Meaning and Purpose in Hungers, Food Cravings, Body Language and Weight™”  as both a live event and as a live Webinar Weekly Series with Group Coaching.  Barbara also offers a Continuing Education Program (27 hours) and Certification for Licensed Professionals called, “The Behavior Decoding Method™–Advancing Transformation and Recovery From Disordered Eating and Weight-Related Behaviors“, which also includes live Consultation and Supervision with Barbara as well as Guest Clinical Psychologists and other professionals who contribute to the program For more details, click here to contact Barbara personally.

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