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By Lisa Shaker-Knopp (
I had many conversations with my clients last week leading into this “holiday weekend” about strategies that might work to keep them on track. I heard about all of the plans for the beach, parties, backyard BBQ’s, boating, theme park visits etc.…. and here is my take on all of these potential diet fails: if a person was diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease or cancer right before a holiday are they going to WAIT to start their treatment plan until after the weekend?? Or are they going to start right now to get better faster? Disease does not care that you have plans for Labor Day, or any holiday!
I had to get tough with a few clients and put their journey into perspective. I asked a few of them, “if the doctor told you today that you had diabetes, are you still going to overindulge during the weekend?” Their eyes got big and they said “of course not”. Okay, then why do we wait for the doctor to slam the gavel on the desk before we get really serious about our health? How many times do we say, “If I only knew”? Or, “I wish I would have made better choices”.
In my experience, and I have had a lot, my best advice is to be prepared and have a goal.
I just returned from a wonderful weekend at our friend’s beach house for Labor Day weekend, and I brought all of the food that I NEEDED and WANTED to eat, and I made enough to share.  IT IS NOT AS HARD AS WE MAKE IT!  Also, I have found that my friends like my food and it keeps everyone feeling good as well. In other words, why do we feel embarrassed when we choose to eat healthy, but we don’t feel bad choosing to eat poorly?  It is just as easy to cook and eat clean, staying on your mission towards better weight and health, than it is to eat the bad/fun foods. I always say, “not today, not now, no thank you, maybe next time, maybe later” when I am asked to participate in food or drink that will take me off my goals. Those words go over much better in a crowd than “I can’t, I am on a diet”. When those words come out of my mouth, it’s a recipe for disaster, and the food pushing begins.
I just got some blood work back that is not as good as I want it to be, and is concerning to me due to my familial history of Diabetes and heart disease. So, I am not willing to deviate from my preventative eating habits while I am trying to change my chemistry, and I really don’t care what everyone around me is doing, even if I want to eat or drink what they are. It’s not worth a bad diagnosis. Use this attitude when you are faced with the upcoming holiday season, and I promise you will be happy you did. Make sure if you choose to participate in todays activities, that you get right back in the saddle and keep pressing. In the end, if we can prevent major illnesses, we will be pleased that we made the sacrifices today, for a healthier life tomorrow!


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