How To Handle Food & Body Anxiety Around Social EventsFeb 23, 2021
Maybe you know the feeling: A friend invites you to a party, you say yes. But then immediately start panicking about what it actually means for you. You think of ways to cancel if you’re not feeling good enough about yourself by the time the event comes around. You start planning how you can quickly drop a few pounds before it. You dread the judgement and comments from people. You already know you’re going to rush home afterwards to binge.
Ya feel me?
Yea, this was me for years. I cancelled on so many events. Worse, I just made up excuses on the spot immediately to back out of them. And, wow, did I miss out on a lot! It’s sad!
And so many women go through the same thing!
What else does this anxiety look like?
Stressing about the event for days before
Freaking out about the food on offer - maybe you have no control over a set menu. Or maybe it’s a buffet and you just know you’ll over eat.
You might be worried about other people seeing you eat so much. Oh the judgement!
Or worried about what they might think about your weight gain - “Why is she so all over the place?”
Even worse - maybe in your culture, people just straight up tell you to your face - “Oh wow! You’ve gained weight, huh!” (Yep, I’ve had that!)
Of course, all this means you hardly enjoy the event itself at all! You’re not present.
Maybe you skip on “empty calories” like alcohol while everyone else lets loose. Definitely me for years!
You lose out on memories and opportunities! Your lack of confidence is obvious and it squashes the ability to make deep connections with new people.
You’re just not totally open with others, you’re not your true self because your mind is clouded in anxiety.
Can you relate?
OK! Now that we’re all in agreement about what this social anxiety looks like, what the hell can we do about it?
I’ve got 7 handy tips for you today, let’s get started!
1. LEARN TO NOT LET YOUR ENERGY GET ENMESHED WITH OTHERS
It’s hard at first, but do your best to not let their words have such effect on us. If someone makes a mean comment, remind yourself that it is their own issue being projected onto you. It’s their problem, not yours. Of course, it’ll ping your system. It’ll hurt. But don’t let it be absorbed so deeply - release it. It’s them, not you.
2. CALM YOUR ANXIOUS SENSATIONS BY DOING THESE STEPS
Acknowledge the anxiety. It is there and there’s nothing bad about that!
Resist the urge to escape it. We want to process it instead of try to suppress it. Because anxiety just builds up if not listened to.
Thank it! Yes, seems weird but the anxiety is there to protect you. It’s trying to warn you, to keep you away from something it fears will hurt you.
Ask the emotion what it really needs and action that! Maybe you need a bit of a moment to breathe. Maybe you need a mini pep talk from yourself!
Finally, breathe. And even bring your attention to a part of your body that feels no anxiety. Maybe your toes! Literally, focus on your toes for 1 minute! Notice that the anxiety isn’t ALL of you. It’s a scared part of you. Not all of you.
3. PREPARE YOURSELF!
Make sure you’ve eaten substantially throughout the day. As tempting as it can be, don’t skip meals prior in an attempt to look skinnier for the event. This way, you won’t be dying to eat, you won’t be fighting off hunger and urges. You won’t be trying desperately to hold yourself back at the buffet!
4.GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO EAT WHAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT AT THE EVENT
Otherwise, again, you’ll be fighting off your true desires, you’ll be fighting off the urge to binge all night. And will likely give in as soon as you get home, eating the things you really wanted in peace.
5. SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
If the people you spend time with tend to comment on weight, dieting, praising weight loss etc - let them know you no longer wish to discuss those kinds of topics. Let them know it’s harmful for you, it’s keeping you in a low place and you’d rather pass on those conversations. If they still wish to chat about it, let them know you’ll leave the conversation physically.
6. HEAL AT THE ROOT OF THE BODY ISSUES
What’s the deeper issue here? So far, many of these tips are helping at the surface. Until the next event comes along though! So go deeper to heal from the root. Maybe you’ve gained weight and feel uncomfortable in your own skin. How can you give yourself permission to actually be ok at this size? It doesn’t mean you’re giving up. It doesn’t mean it’s your goal state. But how can you enjoy your life in this moment too. Instead of putting life on hold, putting your confidence on hold. Can you spend a few moments imagining stepping into the same scene but feeling so free and comfortable and safe. Allow yourself to imagine this possibility. To try it on for size. And then for even just one minute during the actual event - embody that version of you. Allow yourself to live that way. And notice how it can actually be done!
7. HEAL AT THE ROOT OF THE BINGEING
The bingeing got you to this place. It led to weight gain that you didn’t plan for. Do the work to heal at the root of the bingeing as well. Obviously the ‘how’ behind this is a biggie and is what Free With Bríd is all about so I won’t go into detail here. If you are completely ready to heal at the root, DM me on Instagram and let’s figure out how I can help you!
Those are the 7 tips! My advice would be to definitely tackle it from both sides - at the surface, short-term while at the event AND at the root too.
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