We have all been conditioned to turn to food for comfort, for celebration, for our feelings. Food was designed to fuel our bodies and not our feelings. Don’t get me wrong, food is enjoyable and should taste good. There seems to be this perception that we need to punish ourselves with bland food in order to lose weight. That isn’t a sustainable practice for a healthy lifestyle. Celebrations can include food, but shouldn’t be countered around the food. At family parties, create new traditions involving games and crafts, instead of desserts. Meeting goals, especially weight loss and health related should be a pedicure or new shoes. (My favorite quote is You are not a dog, do not reward yourself with food) It even filters down to our children. It may seem like not a big deal now to give them a sucker for being good at the doctor, but that kind of reward behavior is what put us in our current adult positions. As you create healthy, new habits, you won’t feel as ostracize by family land friends not on the journey with you. You won’t find chips and crackers kind of junk food in my house. My children are not deprived, though. When we are at someone else’s house, I let the kids indulge in moderation to whatever is offered. I do not say that cake is for “special occasions” though. I try not to encourage needing foods, like cake, to celebrate special times. What do you do to celebrate special times? How are you making lifestyle changes?