Contrary to popular belief, my life doesn’t revolve around weight loss.
While my newfound commitment to healthy eating and exercise has radically transformed the way I live my life, there are times when work, family, friends, vacations, sleep, special occasions, and a long list of other responsibilities and daily demands can throw even the best-intentioned person slightly off course.
Yes, that includes someone who has already lost a significant amount of weight, and purports to have it all figured out (ahem, yours truly).
In the past three weeks alone, I have traipsed up and down Las Vegas Boulevard on a week-long vacation trip in celebration of my boyfriend’s 25th birthday, spent Easter Sunday with his (very Italian) food-pushing family, sipped martinis with my sister on her 22nd birthday, and accompanied my mom to a delectable buffet brunch on Mother’s Day.
Up next: a weekend getaway to Atlantic City in celebration of my sister’s college graduation. Yikes.
There are times when I’m on my best behavior, and I truly embody the monikers of “health nut” or “gym rat” that friends have so kindly bestowed upon me. The scale is moving because I’m monitoring every morsel that passes my lips, and I’m on a first-name basis with everyone at the gym. I have a specific objective in mind (e.g. lose the last 10 pounds by the end of the year), and everything I do seems to be motivated by that goal.
But then there are other times when once-in-a-lifetime special occasions like a loved one’s graduation or wedding, or a long-anticipated (and much-deserved) vacation, temporarily seem more important than weighing X number of pounds or slipping into a certain dress size.
Meanwhile, there’s no avoiding the daily responsibilities that can interfere with anyone’s best efforts to eat well and hit the gym regularly, from long hours at the office to mountains of dirty laundry. Sometimes the need to meet a work deadline or squeeze in a few extra minutes with your kids before bed can prevent you from preparing a nutritious dinner or making it to the gym.
If there’s one lesson I’ve learned in the past three years, it’s that there is nothing that’s more important than my health. However, when you’re committed to living as healthfully as possible 99.9 percent of the time (okay, okay, more like 75 percent) I see no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy a slice of cake on your significant other’s birthday.
My little sister is only going to graduate from college once, and while there are certainly more important aspects of this special milestone than a post-ceremony lunch (and cocktails!) together as a family, we live in a society where food is an integral element of just about every occasion — whether it’s a wedding or a funeral.
While it’s unfortunate that special occasions and the many demands of daily life have a way of piling up all at once, and it seems I’m currently “off” my Weight Watchers program as much as I’m “on,” I still think giving into the occasional indulgence or skipping a workout is better than being the person who nibbles on salad while everyone else enjoys a holiday feast, or who forgoes the entree you really want at an incredible restaurant on vacation for fear that you might tote an extra pound or two back home.
Sometimes it’s okay to let life push you ever-so-slightly off the wagon…just as long as you eventually hop back on.
How do you deal with special occasions or daily responsibilities getting in the way of your weight loss efforts?