Detours are hardly ever fun. We don’t usually cheer, “Hurray! A detour! Now we’ll get to see some great countryside and maybe find a great Mom & Pop restaurant along the way!”
No, usually we inwardly groan, chafing a bit at the delay this will cause. We’re not really interested in an unplanned “road trip” when we’re focused on a destination. Unless, of course, you have a tv show that highlights out-of-the-way diners and small towns!
If you know the detour is coming, you can plan accordingly. Whether using your GPS to find a way around it or figuring out how to get through it as quickly as possible, or even mentally preparing yourself that the trip is going to take longer, knowing ahead of time is definitely preferred!
But whether you get a heads up or not, you don’t have to let a detour in healthy habits derail you!
Last spring I started making small changes to my eating. I knew it had to be baby steps in this area to work for me and for my family. By June I was doing better than I expected to be at that point! But then—
Our county fair was coming up in July. I knew we would be at the fairgrounds every.single.day. (We are heavily involved in 4H, we bring animals to the fair and have chores to do.) I also knew that staying totally on my new eating plan was going to be difficult–well, impossible, really. Oh, I could plan ahead and make food ahead, bring coolers, etc…..but I also knew reality was, it wouldn’t happen. There were other variables (keeping it cold ALL day long, finding a way to reheat things, etc.) that would make it tough.
What’s a girl to do?!
I made a plan for the detour. I knew it was coming, so I gave myself grace.
Yes, that means I planned to eat elephant ears, lemonade shake-ups and milkshakes. And probably a few “fair food” suppers.
But I also prepared baked chicken, made a salad, bought fruit and brought a salad with the chicken added to eat for lunches. I brought plenty of water, and even added fruit to my water for a true flavored water!
Yes, I ate the “fair foods”, but I also had healthy foods.
Often we fear that if we allow a “detour” it will totally derail us–we’ll slide right back into old habits and either have to start over with the healthy choices, or we just give up.
I get it, really, I do!
But I have found that our mindset is often more key than the food we eat!
If I had the mindset of, “Oh well! Fair week is coming up and I know I’ll blow it. What’s the use?!” then that is exactly what would happen. I would probably eat/snack my way through less-than-healthy choices throughout the rest of July and part of August and then berate myself for losing control, then try again in the fall, but with even more fear of failing.
Instead, I decided to tell myself, “Look, you can have ‘fair treats’. Enjoy them! Savor them, enjoy the time with your kids. Take a salad and fruit to help offset the sugar a bit, be sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Then get back on track after fair is over!”
And that’s EXACTLY what I did!
Next week, in part two, I’ll share more details and my FAVORITE resource that has made eating better FUN!