Q&A with Dr. Carletta N. Perry — Celebrate without food

Published 7:02 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Q. We celebrate a lot with food. What are healthier ways to celebrate?

A. You are right! We certainly do celebrate a lot with food. It is a significant part of religious and family traditions internationally and since the beginning of time. Therefore, it is likely we will continue to celebrate many traditions with food.

However, here are a few ways to change our thinking about how we celebrate. First, we all have experienced the “I deserve it” attitude. For example, we say to ourselves “I ate healthy all day, so I deserve this triple-chocolate brownie sundae for dessert!” Here’s another favorite example: “It’s been a stressful year, I have worked out a little, and it’s the holiday, so I deserve to eat bad just this once!”

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We deserve to celebrate our hard work. We deserve to celebrate new healthy lifestyles; just don’t do it by gaining 10 more pounds. Trust me, that won’t make you feel good.

Second, know you can celebrate with healthier eating choices. When you go out to eat or even when you are eating at home, replace unhealthy foods and snacks for new delicious healthier options or smaller portions. This way you can enjoy celebrating with food without the guilt.

Third, we should celebrate life, not the food. There are so many ways to celebrate with family and friends, including getting together to just talk and laugh, playing fun games, going bowling, having a weekend spa getaway or committing to run or walk a 5K race.

On your next big celebration, I challenge you to plan a celebration that is fun but not all about the food. Let’s celebrate life, not food.

Dr. Carletta N. Perry is a professor of psychology, a therapeutic life coach and relationship expert, as well as author, radio and television host and entrepreneur. Catch her new television show, “It’s Life Changing with Dr. Carletta Perry,” Sundays at 7 p.m. on Charter channel 191 and on YouTube. Email your own questions for her to contact@drcarlettaperry.com.