We love our families and want to visit with them...but so many times we find when we do our willpower and best intentions regarding our health, fitness and weight loss goals fly out the window. Is it impossible to successfully stick to your weight loss plan while spending time with our parents? Are we destined to pack on pounds along with our suitcase?
For many of us it is much easier to keep to our plan when we are in a controlled environment. We may not be at the Biggest Loser Ranch, but we are in our own domains and have some level of control over the food that is in our cupboard and our daily routine including our exercise.
When we travel, or have others visit us, some of that control vacates. Not all of it...even though it may seem like it. Wherever we go we have choices that we can make...choices that can keep us on the weight loss success path or down the road to weight gain.
What is the secret to maintaining our health and fitness goals while visiting family?
The secret is in your mindset. Mindset and weight loss go hand in hand, especially when we are out of our normal environment. It is easy to believe that losing weight is impossible while you are "back home"...or even that it is inevitable that you will gain weight while there. If that is what you believe, then you will struggle during the visit and more than likely prove yourself right.
Before you leave on your trip, pack a positive mindset along with your clothes. Decide that you can have a different outcome this trip. Every day you are a different person than the day before. You are learning new skills, making new choices, laying the path for weight loss success one brick at a time. So this visit will be like no other visit.
Having that positive mindset is the first step and it is crucial to your success...but your positive mindset can be sorely challenged when you are around people who push our buttons, or whose health habits are less than stellar. That is where the second step comes in: planning ahead.
What is it that has tripped you up during past visits home? What are the weight loss challenges that you recognize you have faced in the past? Write down the three biggest obstacles that you fear will get in your way and how you will handle them if they arise. Give yourself at least 3 distinctly different ways to address your feelings in each case...it may be a physical response (like leaving the room or going for a walk), a mental response (perhaps a phrase that you will repeat to yourself over and over or allowing time for a mini meditation break). The goal is to have a list of things you can do that will help you feel positive about yourself and reinforce your healthy habits and goals.