Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Change It Up Tuesday: Derailers

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I’m a big believer in having the power to choose and change.  A lot of the time we get into autopilot and don’t think about what we are doing – it may not even feel like we are making choices in our lives.  And sometimes we get in a rut or a situation that happens over and over again, and we don’t know how to change it.  I thought we could share with each other things that are negatively affecting our lives, and challenge ourselves to do something about it.  Take the power back, people!
Road block!
Let’s start by talking about those things that derail our healthy lives.   The things that stop us from making decisions that promote and help our health.  We all have them.  And then maybe we can think about what we can control and therefore do to stop getting off track.  I’m going to look at a couple each week that I have personally been dealing with, but please let me know yours so I can share your experience!

1. Out of the norm drinks and meals 

So we are coming up to the festive season, which means after work drinks, work lunches, brunches with friends, barbeques on weekends and celebratory dinners.  It also means we get super busy – attending events, planning for events, or shopping for events.  So much more to do each day!  I always think that the Christmas holiday break doesn’t really start until after New Year’s Eve, because it is all go, go, go until then.  With so many functions to go to, and our society’s culture of celebrating and socialising over food, we are faced with the challenge of trying to keep our food and drink intake in check every day.

Advice:  Have a plan of attack when you go to a social event where you don’t get to dictate the food and drinks.  Maybe you choose to make every second drink a water or mineral water, or nurse one glass of wine all night.  You could eat a healthy snack like a salad before you go, so you don’t gorge yourself on finger food.  And I’ve found that you can actually say no.  People may look at you a bit funny, but most won’t say anything, and after awhile they get used to you turning down food.

2. Work.  Period.

Still here ....
 Work can really mess with your healthy living.  We all have crazy busy times, where you feel like you never leave the office.  Or it could be that apparently weekly occurance of having morning tea for someone’s birthday, which always includes sweets.  You might even just find you have lunch meetings which means by the time you get out to grab some food, you are ravenous and stop at the first place you see – it just happens to be food court Chinese.

Advice: For me, the only thing that really helps remove the work factor from my life is planning.  I take breakfast, lunch and snacks to work each day.  I even have a stash of a few healthy backup options (fruit, yoghurt, rice cakes, or nuts) that I can turn to in a pinch.  When I go to a morning tea, I make sure I have a hot drink to keep my hands busy, and not feel the need to take the piece of cake offered.  I’ll often have a healthy snack beforehand too.  And for work lunches, I often check out the menu of the restaurant online before we go so I can browse for the healthy options, and choose beforehand, avoiding be swayed by the burger orders from everyone else.  And I exercise in the morning before work, to avoid getting caught up and not having the energy or time to make an evening session.  Oh, and find the local healthy eateries around your work, so you know where you can quickly grab a healthy bite.

3. People around you

Oh, I have to eat it all?
Most of your family and friends mean well, but they can assist in perpetuating activities and habits that are no longer in line with your healthy goals.  One of the biggest: expecting you to finish all the food on your plate.  Unless you’re eating salad, a big plate of food is usually more than you need (obviously if you’re lots of exercise or are trying to weight gain this may not be the case).   If you stop when you’re full before your plate is finished, Grandma gives you a look and asks if there is something wrong with her cake.  It’s hard not to do what Gran is asking.  But if you take a piece every time you are offered one ... well, it's not going to end well.

Advice:  If you can, dish up your own meal, and pile on the vegies, and go easy on the heavy carbs.  If not, tell the person serving that you had another lunch / meal before you came and that you’re pretty full.  For some friends and family you can talk about your approach to healthy eating, and they will more than likely be supportive, and even maybe want to join you, or at least try a few new things!  And to keep it real, take the cake / sweets if you really want it!  But just make sure that you are choosing to have a slice (because you probably don't NEED two slices), and not just feeling obliged.

What is something you’ve stopped from derailing your life?  And how did you do it? Share your success!


  1. Work can be tough on healthy living! Between the hours and the sweets you really have to have a plan and stay strong.

  2. Work has always been tough for me, but I feel good about it lately! My work involves a lot of meals at restaurants or ordered in- so I just be mindful and watch my portions. That way I don't feel like I'm missing out. I also block out time for workouts, even during my busy season. My workouts keep me sane!

    1. Workouts are a great way to manage the stress of work, aren't they! As you say, you just have to block the time - and commit to it. They are good suggestions for when you have to eat out a lot - portion size has such a big impact. Thanks for sharing!