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My home, my food

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

On Sunday night, I was back from a 4 day visit back at family for Easter.
It was a great time, however, for healthy living...

Family + Holiday = Healthy Lifestyle Challenge

"If you love me, you eat!"
"You look so lean, OMG, are you all right?! You should put on some weight!"
"A good cookie is fatty!"
"Why don't you go by car? It's so far away, it's rainy, you shouldn't walk!"
"It's holiday time, why are you doing exercise? You should rest!"
"Are you sure breakfast was enough? There's cookies on the table, ham in fridge, cookies in the box, banana and oranges in the basket!"
"You really want to log your food? For what? Are you crazy? You should feel if you are hungry or not!"
"I prepared some cookies, ham, eggs, [long list] for you for the trip back in case you get hungry!"
"You don't eat more... you don't love me?"

No wonder, I put on ~0.5 kg (1lbs) during the 4 days.
I used to gain more, now I'm happy I could resist, and only have 2-300 kcal/meal, or 6-900 kcal in excess per day.

I like to be in family, but healthy living wise, somehow my message doesn't go through. Especially when it's holiday time, it's green light in families for all kinds of crazy over eating. With some emotional blackmailing of "if you love me, you eat a lot of my food" type.
After the 4 days, I was emotionally recharged with the family love, and being surrounded with close people.
And in parallel my healthy lifestyle batteries went down to zero. It's tiring to constantly say no for the flux of food flowing in front of me, to say in myself that I look good and I shouldn't put on weight (on the contrary), to neglect naysayers when I want to do exercise.
I told them countless times. If they love, they should support me in living healthy, and not promoting with words, actions, messages, and the whole environment on getting overweight and lazy.

Now, I'm back at my home.
I go into my kitchen, and all food is packed away in the fridge, and the closet.
I open the fridge, it's full of healthy food.
Snacks are 100 kcal each.
There's filtered water.
When going for a long walk, there's nobody nagging around me, even if it's rainy.
My running shoes are on display.
My computer is only a click away to log my food.
There's no TV, so no TV during meals.

It's already 3 days that I'm back at home, and finally, I'm getting back on track. Because it's not just like I'm back at home, and I turn a button, and everything goes again well. I wish it would, but it takes time.

Easy to meet company in the countryside in Austria....

How you deal with family gatherings healthy living wise?
Any tips, ideas, suggestions?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Way to go!
    Fortunately my family supports me on healthy habits, my coworkers though... and that's who I spend the most time with
    1864 days ago
    It takes those experiences to keep give us renewed focus, wouldn't you agree? Sometimes I think we all wonder what it would be like if we "went back". Now you know and have chosen wisely!

    Since my brother became diabetic my mom doesn't question our diet choices anymore. Oh, she'll tell us what she eats, but she's stopped telling us what to eat and giving us the guilt approach into making us eat.

    Have a super week, Oliver!
    1901 days ago
    I hear you loud and clear. It has taken DW a long time to accept my decisions to live healthier and her family still tries to "help" me get back to a "healthy" weight when we visit. It's funny because she wants me to be a good role model for Junior to make healthy choices but then finds way to undermine my healthy choices. Lot's of conflicting messages. I am encouraged to do some healthy things but other lead to grief - riding my bike to work is the biggest challenge but I am slowly winning that battle.
    1903 days ago
    I just read all the comments below trying to find some useful tips!
    I'm sorry I don't have any to offer, either! But I can hear you on this one loud and clear! My family have been giving me this weird look when I only have a small piece of dessert on holiday feasts.
    But you did great so you should be proud of yourself! Not only because you gained only half a kilo but also because you found your way back on track so fast afterwards!
    1903 days ago
    I can so relate to you! It is the same with me and my typical greek family! Congratulations on your gaining ONLY 1 lb! I have no tips. I am fighting everyday with this family attitude towards me and my trying to lead a healthy lifestyle so I have no advice. They can't change their way of thinking even when I tell them that they should eat more healthy as they have to deal healthy issues themselves. So I need some useful ideas, as well. I am so glad I was of help to you!!! hahaha! emoticon
    1903 days ago
    I can relate. But things are changing with my mom. She is starting to see how her lifestyle has led to so many of her medical problems. She's now very worried about my sisters who are very overweight.

    When you get the "you don't love me if you don't eat" diffuse the situation with humor. Give a HUGE hug snd say "I love you this much!"

    Its hard for people who are not health conscious to understand people who are.

    1904 days ago
    I am glad you managed to gain only 1lb and that you are back on track now. Good for you!
    1904 days ago
  • KCLARK89
    I feel the same way! I know I definitely used to be part of it and I would eat whatever and not be SO focused on nutrition and exercise as I am now. Now that I live 1,000 miles away, coming back is a huge ordeal, so it's EAT THIS it's your FAVORITE! I baked this for you! Definitely hard to resist, but if you keep reminding them that you are doing this because it makes YOU feel better, they'll (eventually!) understand :)
    1904 days ago
    There's nothing like family to make it seem like good food is the answer to all our problems!

    My mother is famous for giving you a look if you don't have seconds on everything she makes..."Didn't you like it?"
    1904 days ago

    I got shoved into SparkPeople the last time I went home to visit family. I don't know how challenging it will be the next time I go, but I don't expect to have as hard a time as you did.
    1905 days ago
    No tips. Just a couple of messages.

    Yes, you are a mature, intelligent person, capable of making valid and important choices and decisions for your own life.

    It's ok to decide where your barriers are, and to choose where to draw the line between intrusive, inappropriate input, and when to compromise for the sake of family relationships.

    Keeping the weight gain under control was a victory.

    Isn't it nice to get back to the environment that you've created for yourself, to live the way you choose without taking a lot of flak for it?

    Thank you for the blog, and for being a friend.
    1905 days ago
    I applaud your self-control! Unfortunately, mine lasts only on the road trip of three days, and then I'm shot! As a result, I put my last ten pounds back on for Christmas vacation, but then, one does get to go home! I have family who knows better, but cares less to make the changes than I do, so I am kinda thankful we don't live too close to one another! Fortunately, my husband knows better and is willing to make the changes when he's around me, but does not always have the willpower to remain on track when he's away, so I consider myself mostly lucky! I hope you are able to get your life back into harness rather easily and maybe, someday, the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" will be de-mythed! emoticon
    1905 days ago
    I love this blog - and especially appreciate your decisions and methods for getting back on track! Thanks!!
    1905 days ago
    It's always difficult to navigate family gatherings when you've made changes that don't fit the traditional family dynamics. Congratulations on navigating the holiday so well! As much as I enjoy visiting family, coming home is often my favorite part.
    1905 days ago
  • FIT4MEIN2013
    It is time for you to wrap your head around the idea that Love does not equal food! Then you need to teach your family that. My family, rather my husband's had a very difficult time learning the lesson. I just repeated the mantra that I love them, and I was there for the people not for the food.

    My eating habits have nothing to do with the people I am with! When I started back to work my hubby started making dinner. The 2nd day he fixed something that he knows better then to fix. "My feelings are going to be hurt if you don't eat some of this'", he said. "Prepare to have your feelings hurt, then" I replied because he KNEW that it was something that I don't eat.

    Don't get pulled into the guilt trip. It isn't a fun one and has only negative results.

    1905 days ago
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