Last week I took a road trip with my son from North Carolina to my home state of New Jersey. It was my son’s spring break, and I figured it was a great time to visit my family and give us all an opportunity to spend some time together. My father is currently going through a health hurdle, and I wanted my son and me to be there to lend some support.
While I was there I wrote the following that was shared with a Facebook group that I am involved in. I wanted to share it as a blog because I think it can offer a different perspective on some things. So here it goes………
The topic of how to keep living the fat-loss lifestyle while away from home and our normal surroundings is always a hot topic. There is always quite a bit of chatter on tips to help navigate the situation…what to do, what to pack………
So I thought I would share with you what I packed….
I packed “permission”. Permission to allow myself to enjoy spending time with family and the food that comes with it. The first night we rolled into town I was met with homemade red wine and a meat pie. A meat pie is a traditional Italian speciality only found around Easter time. It is basically a Quiche on steroids! It is the most dense piece of deliciousness that I only get one time a year, and in fact it has been years since I have had it. So I have said on many occasions that if we are going to splurge – do it on the things we can’t get normally or are special to us in some way. The wine and the pie was worth the splurge! As I am typing this – I just wolfed down a couple of pieces of Taylor Pork Roll. If you are not from the Jersey area you probably won’t know what that is. Again – I don’t have this but maybe once a year – if that. It brings back wonderful memories of my family spending every summer at the Jersey shore eating pork roll sandwiches. And right now I will bask in those memories, and I will cherish that time and the time we have right now.
I packed “forgiveness”. I will forgive myself for the less than stellar food choices I am making, wipe my meat pie off my mouth and move on!
I packed “understanding”. The understanding to know that this is not my norm, and when I get back home – I will get right back on track (which I did, BTW). I am making new memories, and sometimes in my Italian household that involves food and wine. I am okay with that!
I packed “acceptance”. I will have to do a lot of accepting on this trip. I have to accept that my new reality involves my father fighting this health hurdle. I will accept the fact that long road trips, loved ones with illnesses, and not being in my own surroundings can lead to more stress which leads to defenses being down with food choices or motivation to work out. I accept that.
I packed “flexibility”. The ability to be flexible in this circumstance will be helpful. No matter where we go to eat, I can find something I can eat and will not freak out. This will give me a chance to off-set the meat pie and pork roll….maybe….just a little bit. Ha!
I packed “the power of choice”. I am making these choices! No one is forcing me to eat or drink anything I don’t want. I am fully aware of the choices I am making. When asked if I wanted another piece of meat pie last night – I said, “no”. The one was enough to satisfy me, and I had expressed my power of choice and chose no. I chose to go the deli and order a Sloppy Joe sandwich – again, something that I haven’t had in years! Granted I had to remove the bread (no gluten for me), but I was able to enjoy the taste just the same.
And finally… I packed “a lot of love”. Love to give to my family and especially my dad who will need it at this difficult time…love for my Italian heritage and all the traditions that come with it (even if they are not fat-loss friendly)…love for my hometown where I grew up…love for old friends that even when we see each other so rarely it is like no time has gone by….and love for myself so that even when I am not making the best choices, they are still MY choices, and I will love me just the same.
PS – I did pack some of my individual protein packets so that at least I had something that was aligned with my goals. 😉
We tend to focus on the physical things to pack when we are going to be away from home (such as workout gear, mini blenders, various foods…) that can keep us better aligned with our goals, and that is a wonderful strategy to have. I do encourage that, and most times when I do travel – I make a conscious effort to pack those physical things too! But I wanted to put a different spin on travel and focus more on the mind-set piece of all of this.
No matter what we do or don’t do – the key is to be kind to ourselves, forgive and move on!