A New Way to Celebrate Special Occasions

The holiday season is long since passed, with its stuffed turkeys and pumpkin pie, and thankfully the lure of Valentine’s Day chocolates is behind us. But, just because we are entering the “slow season” as relates to sweet treats doesn’t mean that we are free from temptation. In fact, many people who struggle with excess weight find that old habits are hard to break when it comes to celebrating special occasions with food.

If somebody is having a birthday, we’re inclined to bake them a cake. A coworker gets a promotion? We might bring homemade cookies to say congratulations. Anniversary coming up? Preparing a rich and sumptuous dinner often seems an appropriate way to celebrate. But after weight loss surgery, big meals and baked goods are no longer the best choices if you want to achieve your weight loss goal. Here are three suggestions for how you can say “thank you,” “congratulations” or “I love you” while still watching your waistline:

1. Carry the Load
Want to show your spouse or significant other how much you care? Offer to take over a task or chore they dislike. Your willingness to do the dishes ever day for two weeks or to take over laundry duty for the month is like a gift that keeps on giving! You’ll put a smile on their face more than once, and you won’t even have to open your wallet.

2. Get Crafty
With the increasing popularity of Pinterest, you can find hundreds of ideas for fun and easy crafts that you can create as gifts. From hand-painted wine glasses to homemade wall art, you can let loose your inner artist and make something unique and memorable to commemorate any occasion.

3. Color Their World
Flowers are a fail-safe option for just about any event. Whether someone is celebrating a birthday, anniversary, job promotion, housewarming, or their first 5K, handing them a brightly colored mixed bouquet is sure to put a smile on their face. Flowers too frilly? You can also opt for a potted plant. Just make sure you find a kind that’s easy to care for, in case the one you’re celebrating with has a brown thumb.

Of course, you don’t have to forgo food entirely as part of your celebrations. After all, holidays like Easter and the Fourth of July focus heavily on sitting down to share a meal together–whether around the dining room table or the picnic table. After bariatric surgery, you want to prepare for these types of events by planning in advance what you will eat. If you are doing the cooking, put together a healthy menu that can help you stick to your new post-op diet, and include a couple of indulgent items for your guests that you know will be off-limits on your own plate. If you are eating with friends or family at someone else’s home, ask in advance what the menu will be, and don’t be afraid to make a special request or offer to bring your own dish if what they are planning doesn’t align with your dietary guidelines. The extra effort is well worth it in the long run, because reaching your goal after weight loss surgery is really something to celebrate!

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