Lets face it. When it comes to following a diet and you are on vacation with family, it’s not easy. You are out of your normal routine, your mind tells you it is a special occasion so diets don’t count, and the stress of extended time with family can push you over the edge and straight into your plate of food!
And sometimes when you are around family of origin, old family patterns of eating surface. Your mother insists on your having a second helping, or makes your favourite meal and you can’t resist. Or sometimes time with family of origin brings up a lot of emotions, and you find yourself eating for comfort, to cope. Here are three strategies that can help:
Make a plan for your meals: Decide ahead of time what are your ground rules for eating. Maybe you won’t have second helpings, or you try to avoid dairy or wheat, or you will eat lots of vegetables. Maybe you will keep a record of your food intake each night or decide to weigh yourself daily so you can keep track while you are away.
Take some quiet space and time out alone to take care of you: It can be great to spend time with parents and siblings, but it can also become intense fast! Suddenly you find yourself feeling like the child you once were, instead of an adult with different choices open to you. You don’t have to put up with behaviour from others that upsets you. Taking time out to do things you enjoy, or quiet time to meditate, read or journal will help you stay ‘in your own skin’, instead of getting embroiled in family arguments, rivalries etc.
Do your best but don’t be hard on yourself: Sometimes you fall off the wagon despite your best intensions, and the best you can do is survive your visit with family. You may have to wait until you return home to get back in the saddle, and that is OK. Tomorrow is another day.