Have you noticed that we tend to celebrate with food?  Celebrations are a powerful, culturally-sanctioned trigger to eat, over-eat, and even binge-eat.  For many over-eaters, food-centered holidays are a dreaded challenge and a source of post-holiday rumination and self-dissatisfaction. 

Here’s a new paradigm to try: have a fiesta without having a feast.  The word “fiesta” originates from the word festus which is Latin for “joyous.”  The essence of a holiday is celebration.  Eating is but one way to celebrate.  Try to experiment with celebrating a single holiday in a way that is not food-centered, in a manner that is joyous but not necessarily gluttonous.  Pick one of the many calendar holidays or personal events, and make it a fiesta, not a feast.  For example, instead of going out to eat to celebrate your birthday, have a picnic.  Eat, commune with nature, throw a Frisbee.  This way you’ll have a celebration that will involve some eating but will not be primarily food-focused.  With Thanksgiving coming up you have a perfect opportunity to try out this kind of celebration mentality.

Start simple:  if a particular heavy-eating event has been a long-standing tradition (such as a family reunion), then it is best you leave it alone, as it is (at least, for now).  Practice this fiesta-not-feast mentality on a more personal occasion in which your wishes for the format of the celebration are fundamentally your prerogative.  Relational anniversaries and birthdays are perfect opportunities to experiment.  Aim to develop a standing tradition of celebrating some of the calendar and personal events in a non-food-focused manner.

 


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From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (November 13, 2009)






    Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2009). A Fiesta, Not a Feast. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 26, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2009/11/a-fiesta-not-a-feast/

 

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Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. is the author of The Lotus Effect, Present Perfect, The Smoke-Free Smoke Break, and Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time.


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