- Family traditions are important to me. Many of our get-togethers are centered around food. You don't have to give up your favorite dishes but you can make some small changes. Add healthier alternatives, start new recipe traditions, or modify existing recipes. Use your bonding time to be active rather than to just eat. Better yet, get out and play together and then reward yourselves with something yummy that is good for the body.
|Shot Put-Cheese Ball Champions|
|See you can have food at a family event and not eat it. This was so fun.|
- Work parties can be celebrated with things other than just food. Don't get me wrong, I love food but don't make things hard on yourself. Recognize a birth, an accomplishment, a reached milestone, or a farewell with praise or fun activity not just food.
|We rollerskate at our work parties.|
- Beware of your snacks. They are too tempting and the calories add up. Desktop candy dishes enticed the typical office worker into eating nine pieces a day or an extra 225 calories; however, stashing the jar in a desk drawer lowered the daily candy intake to six. Moving the jar a mere 6 feet away reduced intake to just four candies per day. (Painter, Wansink and Hieggelke 2002) How about setting out healthy choices like carrots and hide the goodies.
- "Your diet not only influences which friends you tend to pick or hang out with, but your friends also influence your diet." I have heard this quote many times before, "You're no fun any more." Yikes. Surround yourselves with those who support your choices and your influence may even promote better choices from your friends.
|Rainier-to-Coast Running Relay Team.|
- Find a workout buddy or a class where you can meet people who have similar goals. You can motivate each other to be consistent, push each other to progress and share encouragement.
|Just a couple of workout buddies. See you on Monday:)|
- Just say no. There are a lot of food pushers out there. I know they do it out of love but their "love" can eventually show up on your backside. You don't have to explain just say "No Thanks." Use your your gathering time with people as an opportunity to visit, share stories or even offer a welcome hug. It is hard to talk and hug when you are sampling everything and you are busy holding a beverage in one hand and a plate of food in the other.
Multiple studies confirm that enthusiastic friends and family are essential to developing and sustain healthier fitness habits. Dieters can lose more weight if partnered with supportive friends, and exercisers get more motivated if paired with positive pals (Bell & Pliner 2003, Hogan, Linden & Najarian 2002; Verheijden et al. 2005) Life is too short. Enjoy it and surround yourself with those who can help you find that happiness.