I too just got back from a vacation and know how hard that can be. For the first time we planned ahead, we brought paleo/primal snacks and food to eat. And when we ran out of food we stopped by a whole foods to restock. Could you do something like that?
[QUOTE=HeatherW;1237441]I've been living the primal lifestyle for the past 2 months. I feel great, my moods have regulated, no more extreme highs and lows plus I've lost 20 lbs. (prior to going primal I lost 120lbs through standard calorie restriction and chronic cardio) So to date, I'm down @ 140 lbs.
So here's the dilemma - I just arrived at my family's lake house to spend the next 11 days on vacation hanging out with my family. I visit them every year for a few weeks around the 4th of July. It's tons of fun, but also involves tons of unhealthy food. All day long there are donuts, bagels, cookies, brownies, crackers, chips, candy, smores, beer (lots of beer) all just sitting out.
Every year (even through my weight loss) I always fall off the wagon while I'm here. I have the best of intentions, but it's like making an addict hang around in a crack house for 11 days and expect them to stay sober.
This year I want things to be different, I really do. I know that eating that way will make me feel awful, and will make me gain 5-10 lbs, but I feel this awful pull, it's like a tractor beam pulling me in and I don't know how to stop it. I've been here for 12 hours. I am barely hanging on. Help![/QUOTE]
I went to Europe with my in laws last year for 2 weeks and honest to god I had trouble eating paleo. I did my very best to avoid anything in sight that were not considered paleo food. As soon as I came home I ate clean and actually dropped 3 lbs.
My advice do your best to eat paleo at least 80% of the time. As far as the alcohol goes, I don't think you need to be drinking everyday. I think you also need to start letting your family know that you have taken on this new lifestyle and hope that they do understand and they do not pressure to eat something you do not want to.
Visiting family is also my biggest non-primal pig out. Fortunately, it's mostly good quality stuff, even if way too much sugar and wheat. I find that I gain 5-10 lbs per week and then lose it at almost the same rate once I'm back to my usual diet. It's very bizarre, but it's happened 4 times now, so it's not some fluke.
My only requirement of myself is that I pay attention to what I'm eating. Does this really taste good? Do I really want more? Is there some thing better for me that would make me just as happy? There are a few things I don't bother eating any more and a few that I can't imagine ever turning down. The first time it took me almost a month to get myself back together. The last time I just hopped right back on the wagon like it was nothing. I think it gets easier.
Will there be grilling? If so, try to fill up on meats and salads. Insist on having bacon and eggs. Tell family your doc said to avoid grains, sugar, and dairy.
You might indulge a little bit with potatoes, processed meats like hot dogs and brats.
As for all the sugary stuff, you'll just have to exercise willpower, if you still get cravings after filling up.
Heather, these are all good suggestions. You might also try re-defining yourself: "I am a person who does not eat unhealthy food." This is an internal mind "game", a decision. Once you've decided that's what kind of person you are, it makes it easier to avoid eating things that aren't good for you. When everyone else also accepts the new definition of you, the social food situations get easier. My family has never been a problem, and once my coworkers found I was serious about my nutrition, they've even made efforts to accommodate me by bringing veggies and fruit salads to work pot-luck lunches.
It's also good to mentally practice what you'll do when those unhealthy choices come up. Planning to say gracefully, "oh, I'm sure those brownies are delicious, but if I eat one I'll wish I hadn't" (or, "tomorrow I'll feel unwell") makes it easier to actually say that, and doesn't make the brownie-pusher feel rejected.
I've also found that saying something like "it just doesn't agree with me" and pressing my palm against my lower stomach while grimacing tends to defuse difficult food-offering situations!
[QUOTE=HeatherW;1237441]... I'm down @ 140 lbs...
...all day long there are donuts, bagels, cookies, brownies, crackers, chips, candy, smores, beer (lots of beer) all just sitting out....
First off, hope you feel *really* proud of that 140 lb loss. In fact, keeping the time and effort required for your progress in mind during this time may be helpful.
Second, while we all know we are responsible for what we eat, are you getting implicit pressure from family members to eat in quantities or types that you do not want? I ask, as your starting weight combined with the food offerings makes it unlikely you are the only member of your family who has weight issues, and sometimes those who are not working on their weight unintentionally sabatoge those who are in an effort to make their choices seem valid. Not saying this is going on with you, but if it is, it is something to attend to and make sure you are prepared to dissapoint someone else in order to be true to yourself.
Third, as mentioned above, hard to think of a lake house without there being a grill around and meat in the fridge / freezer. It may not be grassfed, but I'd not hesitate to fire the grill up for breakfast, lunch and dinner if need be. Hopefully there are salad fixin's around as well. If you have to eat a tomatoe like an apple, salt shaker in hand, so be it.
Fourth, any chance there is some red wine, bourbon, scotch, etc. around? Likely better choices than beer.
Last, if you follow the 80/20 idea, 20% of 11 days is roughly two days. Have you considred staying strickly primal for 9 days and picking two days (Independence Day being one) where you let your hair down?
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Stop with the woe is me victim mentality. You're in charge of your life; no one's making you do anything. You've made it this far with weight loss; suck it up and make good choices even if it's tough.
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Bring lots of fat with you...cut up sticks of kerry gold in 2TB chunks and eat one or 2 with every meal or brinng some mac nuts in baggies, cheese...if you make sure to have enough fat, you will feel sated and will be in a better position to walk away...also bring lots to drink...tea, coffee, mineral water, etc and drink a huge glass of water whenever you feel the urge...I'm about to spend the night with friends for the next 2 nights and spent the morning cutting up butter, measuring out nuts and cheese...I'm also bringing some frozen potroast left over from a previous night'ls dinner in case everyone decides to order pizza or something else I don't want to eat for dinner...worst case scenario, I'll just skip meals that are not edible...I am also going to focus on the social aspect and playing with the kids as the enjoyable part of the vacation not the foodfest.
You have an opportunity, although small, to seize the initiative. Your mirror is your ally. When you first get there, everyone is going to talk about how great you look with the weight lost. And the "what are you doing" question will come up. 'Splain it to 'em at a summary level -- and let them know that continuity of the plan is important and you will be sticking to it while you are there. Then talk to the head cook about what you are not going to eat, and for him/her not get offended if you pass on the bad stuff, and stick to it. Check that mirror for positive reinforcement as needed. At two months into the program, hopefully you should find that the bad stuff does not have that super high "eat me" factor when you see it. Remember, with donuts, home made breads etc you are OK until you eat the first one, then your "won't power" goes down dramatically.
Best of luck, and let us know how you do.
The key for me in a situation like that is not to have even one bite of the unhealthy food. When I'm being primal and keeping my carbs low, I sort of lose interest in food and have no cravings for sugar and am not tempted. But if I actually have try to have a little bit of something with sugar, then my body instantly starts craving more and it's harder and harder to stop. I can't do half-measures, it's all or nothing.