I enjoy my family visits and share the struggles and relapses because I never want my readers or my clients to feel guilty about indulging now and then; we all do it!
But it's time I address the other side of the coin. It's NOT OK to use every small win to eat poorly or skip your workout.
You need to be brutally honest with yourself about how often you are using celebrations as an excuse as opposed to an exception.
If you find yourself saying "it's ok, I never eat like this" or "it's ok, I deserve it" more than once a week, you are indulging a little too often.
I'm not here to lecture you - kidding myself about where my habits had ventured was the reason I embarked on the Whole 30. I found myself reaching for crackers or processed snacks and foods too often.
I was headed down a slippery slope to relapsing and I want to help you avoid doing the same!
I chose the Whole 30 because I NEEDED something to get me on track and make me feel accountable. I ended up feeling better than I have ever felt and even determined that the inflammation in my body was likely due to too much dairy.
But it doesn't take a drastic dietary change (unless that is what you WANT to do). You don't need to invest in a health coach, a personal trainer or even a nutritionist to review your eating habits. You just need a pen and a piece of paper.
Log every single thing that goes into your mouth (even breath mints). I logged every single thing that went into my body for the 2 weeks following the Whole 30. It's amazing what I learned about my eating habits. I did not log after that - those 2 weeks were enough for me to identify changes.
Other things that have helped me through rough times.
Avoid unnecessary celebrations. The company I work with gives retirees the option to have a company-wide party - complete with cake, snacks and wonderful anecdotes about their tenure. At times there are a few monthly (it's a large company). If you work in a similar environment, don't use every party as a reason to eat the cake. No one is saying you can't go, but maybe your treat come from the fruit platter instead.
Reward good behavior with a treat. Some might argue this undermines your hard work. I say it keeps you on track and out of the pantry. If you stick to your meal plan Monday - Saturday, treat yourself to your favorite snack on Sunday. But be sure it goes the other way, too....if you miss your goal through the week, you can't have that Sunday treat. Note: this is a one-time treat, not the famed "cheat day".
Share your goals and plans with family or roommates. When I did the Whole 30, I posted my food restrictions on the refrigerator, ate lunch with Michael more often and avoided going out as much as possible for dinner. It wasn't easy, but it helped to have someone looking out for me and helping make it easy to say "Yes" to the good stuff and "No" to the bad.