When Super Bowl Sunday rolls around, chances are that wings and drinks are at the top of your must-have list. But what you might not realize is that you should also be prepared to bring your body-positive mentality to the table. As one of the events with the highest average caloric intake of the year, the Super Bowl can come with food-related pressure or judgment. That’s why it’s even more important to create a body-positive environment so that you and your guests can sit back, relax, and enjoy the game.
So whether you’re rooting for the Pats or the Rams, here are 5 ways to make Super Bowl Sunday a touchdown for everyone.
1. Leave food comments at the door.
Phrases like “I’m so bad” or “I’ll have to hit the gym extra hard tomorrow” add unnecessary value to what we eat and can make people feel uneasy. Try to avoid commenting on food altogether—that is, of course, unless you’re just complimenting someone for the delicious seven-layer dip they brought.
2. Plan activities to take the focus off of food.
At Super Bowl parties, food is put on a pedestal—figuratively and sometimes literally. When you add activities other than eating, less focus will be placed on what and how much people are eating. Introduce party games or organize a pool to guess the winner of the Super Bowl. When a fun time is being had by all, it’ll take some of the pressure off of the situation.
3. Make it a potluck!
Not only are potlucks a great way for guests to show off their cooking skills, but having everyone bring something to eat creates a sense of shared responsibility around the food at the game. People are less likely to criticize what’s on others’ plates if they’re the ones who brought it!
4. Be proactive instead of reactive.
As your friends come into your home, put out a sign welcoming everyone and letting them know (gently!) that food comments and body-shaming won’t be tolerated. You can try something like: “So happy you’re here! Eat, drink, root for your team, but please leave any body-negative comments at the door.” And, of course, shut down any body-shaming the second you see it happening. This doesn’t need to be in front of the whole party or made into a spectacle—just pull them aside and let them know that everyone is there to have a good time. And if they persist? Throw a flag on that play!
Have your own tips for creating a body-positive environment? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!