It’s summer, and that means that it’s time for the big family reunion. Are you ready? Date and location set: check. Potluck invitations sent out: check. Matching green “Family Reunion 2016” tee-shirts for all 245 of you: check. Got all of the ingredients lined up for your family-famous “Bacon Ranch French Fries Alfredo”: Umm, maybe not this year. Getting together with family members, or anyone, who you haven’t seen for a while is pretty fun. It’s even more exciting when you’ve recently started making some healthy changes in your life, and you’ve got a healthier appearance or attitude to prove it. However, challenges can arise when your family is counting on the same old you, the same old eating habits, and the same old less-active lifestyle. We’ve got some tips to help this year’s family reunion to be as fun and meaningful as always, and also one that supports the improved, healthier you.
- You look marvelous. Even if you’re not quite at your goal size/strength/weight yet, your lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise shines! You feel better, look better, are thinking more clearly, and are even happier. Your family members might be wondering just what your secret is. You’re working hard. Wear your body and healthy mind frame proudly.
- Now eat marvelously. This is no small order at a family gathering, where it’s every chef in the genepool’s time to shine. Whether it’s a mayonnaise and cheese-fest disguised as a salad, or the death-by-butter pecan squares, there is plenty to shy away from as a healthy eater. What to do? You can certainly bring your own healthy dish, but frankly, that’s a mere drop in the sherbet punch pool when there are so many foods to contend with. Instead, maybe limit yourself to two or three unhealthy treats, and then seriously load up on the veggie tray, watermelon slices, and bean salad. Don’t be afraid to fill up on healthy snacks before the picnic, too. Turkey and cheese, beef jerky, carrots and hummus, or a mixture of nuts are all portable and quick to eat, and will satisfy the “I’ve-gotta-eat-cheesecake” monster within. Also, be sure to stay hydrated! A thirsty body will often tell you that it’s hungry, even if it’s not. One last idea: Why not throw out the idea of having the event catered? (And YOU offer to pick the restaurant, and the healthier choices).
- And move marvelously. Eschew the 3-hour lawn chair sit and come prepared with a few all-age games to play. (Need ideas? Look here: http://fun.familyeducation.com/outdoor-games/party-games/74905.html?page=1 ) Believe us – Aunt Carol will say that she doesn’t want to play, but she does. Besides, what better way to keep from being cornered by Cousin Wyatt’s “I spent my winter as a junk yard attendant” stories, than to be busy helping the kids re-build the giant Jenga blocks?
Chances are that there are more than a few of your family members who have taken the plunge health-wise, or are at least trying to eat a little bit healthier. Be the brave Family Fitness Fiend to start the smart-eating and be-active trends, and you’ll likely gain a few more like-minded, appreciative allies in the family tree. Not only that, if you can make a difference in the attitudes of at least a few loved ones, you’ll have done a good deed that can have decades of ramifications. Talk about some great family values.