As a weight loss coach, something I can always count on is that new clients will get nervous about attending social events that include food. They worry there won’t be any healthy choices for them to eat and that if they do eat, they won’t be able to stop themselves.

This is when we talk about pre-paving.

Worry is actually one form of pre-paving, but it’s the un-intentional kind. It’s fear based thinking that unfortunately comes natural to a lot of us. Without realizing what we’re doing, worrying is like telling the Universe this thing we’re worrying about is what we want to happen.

We may think we’re telling Universe not to let a certain thing happen, but we’re forgetting Universe doesn’t understand the word No.

So when we think about a buffet of delicious foods and see ourselves uncontrollably stuffing our faces, the message we’re not aware we’re sending is “This is what I’d like to happen.” And often it does.

While it may not come natural to us at first, some intentional pre-paving can help work things in our favor.

The way it works is instead of letting fear-filled worry take over when you think of attending an event, allow yourself to feel better by thinking of other possibilities. (Note: it helps to get creative here and not judge yourself based on past experiences. It also helps to see yourself being the confident person you want to be, making the choices you want to make.) For example,

See yourself at the event and see all that great-looking food. There’s tons of it and it smells amazing. Feel how you trust yourself completely. You tell yourself you can have any foods you want but you’re being drawn to other things you find more interesting than the food.

See yourself having fascinating conversations with people. Is there someone there you hope to talk to? Is there a certain topic you’d like to discuss with anyone in particular? What questions are you asking? What questions are you being asked? How do you respond?

Notice how fast the time goes by and how much fun you’re having. See yourself navigating the entire buffet, finding tasty fuel foods to eat and then leaving some on your plate because you felt you were no longer hungry. Imagine how good that feels. And imagine how you’ll feel after the event when you realize that most of what you pre-paved actually did happen. Notice how you were in charge – not the food. And as an added bonus, you had an awesome time.

I’ll continue the pre-paving for you. I’m pre-paving the email you’ll send me after giving this a try. I won’t spoil it by sharing the details of your note, but the subject line reads something along the lines of “Pre-Paving Is Magic!”