Living Graciously through Labor Day
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Living Graciously through Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is coming upon us quickly, quicker for some than others.  Friends and family gather together for one last summer hoorah causing angst for those trying desperately to lose weight. Almost everything centers around food and sitting around chatting to catch up on whose done what over the summer. Well intentioned- and not so well intentioned- people try to lure you into eating the goodies with them or discourage you from taking a walk after lunch. " After all", they say, "We don't get to see each other very often".  Here are some strategies you can use to help yourself through any possible sabotage moment:

1. Take your own food with you!  Pack enough to share, but make sure you have a full meal for yourself that you know won't bust your efforts. Healthy, low calorie, and delicious can go together. You might have people asking you for your recipe!

2. Before anyone can speak up to nay-say your walk, invite them to come walk with you.  Pick a path that is beautiful and make a big deal about it-- with a smile.

3. Don't talk about your diet or the weight you've lost.  Some people will subconsciously be jealous.  Instead, let someone take notice and compliment you.  Simply say, "Thank you very much!"

4. When someone tells you to lighten up and eat the goodies, use distraction. Change the subject to a topic they are very interested in. Ask a question that requires an answer of more than 2 words. If they are persistent, turn the tables on them by asking them to politely let you make your own choices. This puts the spotlight on them.

5. Not feeling bathing suit worthy?  Not to worry.  Wear a nice flattering one-piece with a cute pair of shorts or cover-up.  You still fit in, but feel better about how you look.  By the way, navy blue and black suits DON'T really camouflage what you want to hide.  It is more about the cut and design of the suit that hides things you want to hide.

There are regular times of the year when friends and family whose "won't power" is stronger than their "will power" and may submarine your goals.  God bless them! Here are some helpful things any time of the year:

1. Help set up fun get-togethers with friends or family members that aren't food related.  Fun things such as a sporting event, a trip to the museum or park, a concert, a walk for charity or an activity that all will enjoy are a sure hit. 

2. Steer clear of buffets and other areas where food is sitting out for everyone to eat.  The further away the better.

3. Ask to stash.  If a  family member such as a spouse insist on having certain foods in the house that tempt you, ask them to eat it when you aren't around.  Also ask them to stash it in a secret place where you won't find it.

4. Limit the amount of the offending foods coming into the house.  Let everyone know when its gone, its gone! This will help them meter how much they eat and how fast it disappears.

5. Keep fresh fruits and veggies available for snacks at the front of the fridge. Put other things that you shouldn't snack on in the back.  Watch out! You might have to compete for the carrots!

6. Have cute, tactful comebacks for your nay-sayers.  Work buddies can be mean at times.  Do your best to not hurt them, but make sure they would look bad if they try to argue with what you say. Saying that you are watching what you eat because of the heart disease that runs in your family can be helpful.  Ms. Nasty would look like she wants you to keel over from a heart attack if she argues with that.

7. Be passionate about your  health, but not a fanatic!  A person passionate about health and fitness can share what they love and accept that other people may not agree. A fanatic tries to pressure everyone into conforming to what the fanatic believes and is doing.  The only person you are in charge of is you! Share, live healthy, and let others make their own decisions. Who knows, you may influence someone to make much-needed changes.

May you have a blessed Labor Day weekend!

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