Getting the Right Balance

This weekend I am staying with my sister, just outside of Swindon. I know, 2 weekends in a row visiting family. I’m either a good family man or I have a desire to escape London at the moment!


I have noticed that my eating behaviour changes when I visit my family. Sometimes it feels that I am being dragged back to the eating rituals of my youth, and at other times I am faced with totally different eating mentality compared to the one I have proudly worked so hard to achieve.


Yesterday I ate my evening meal at 6pm! A snack would have done before my usual dinner time of 8.30-9.00pm. It was no big deal, as I enjoyed a light snack later in the evening. But I was aware of that moment of ‘ooh, that’s not how I do it.’


For many of the clients I see, it is their lack of mental flexibility that snags them at moments like this. Instead of allowing a change to their routine, it will cause heightened levels of stress, which may trigger habitual negative thinking about ‘being out of control’, which in turn may lead to overeating to reduce the overwhelming feelings of stress and uncertainty.


There are times when we all travel to visit family and friends, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner. For people who struggle with their weight and eating, this can be a time of panic and great anxiety. ‘How will I cope’ and ‘there are too many temptations’ are what my clients cry.


The solution is to plan ahead. Family dinners and celebrations are not going to disappear, so you must learn knew ways of dealing with the situation. What things will be different in your new environment compared to your normal daily routine? How can you be relaxed so you can enjoy the dinner, but still keep a watchful eye on weight maintenance during this period?


As I leave for London later this evening. Sure I ate some things that I wouldn’t normally eat, but is it a big deal? The answer is no. Tomorrow I will go for a run and enjoy eating in the way I choose to eat. And for sure, I’ve had a great time with my family.


Get things in perspective. Get the right balance with your thoughts and behaviours. Food is a social thing – enjoy!