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By Lisa Shaker-Knopp(LowFatLowCarb.com)

It’s the summer time, and there are many activities that are all about food and drinks! I know it seems difficult to be on a weight loss journey in the middle of all those initiations and events; however, you can participate and not feel left out. The key is being prepared and having the right attitude.

Losing weight is hard and a super sacrifice for sure. It is never easy to give up your favorite foods and drinks in the midst of others having fun around you. However, you can be in the middle of it all and have fun, too. Why can’t you? Why do we think we have to avoid these situations? I have found it is because we are scared, and we don’t have a plan before we go out. That is the trick.

We have a boat, and we live in Florida, so we have many months of the year that we take it out. We have a ritual of packing many coolers with food and drinks. When I am on my protocol, I make sure to pack a bunch of crunchy foods, like celery, red peppers and cucumbers. They are refreshing and give me something to eat when the others on the boat are crunching on chips.

I also pack sparkling or flavored waters to drink, while others may participate in adult beverages. I have learned to be okay with that because I am more excited about getting my weight off and feeling good. I also realize that this is a temporary situation and not permanent. I know I will participate in the future, just “not now”.

There are always cook outs and other events that take place in the summer, and of course, vacations. All of those seem overwhelming to navigate when you are being picky about what you are eating. Frankly, what is the difference? Meaning, why does it matter so much that you want your burger without a bun or cheese? Or that you are drinking an unsweetened tea instead of a beer? Or that you show up with a vegetable platter instead of potato salad? Don’t make a big deal about what you are doing, just have what you need to eat and drink and it won’t be so difficult for you.

Focus on what you CAN do, not on what you are choosing NOT to do. And, there is no reason to announce you are “on a diet”. Once you open that door, you might be pushed into making poor choices due to peer pressure. You wouldn’t announce that you are going to eat everything in site so why announce that you won’t be eating everything? Right? Why does it matter. The less attention you draw to yourself, the more comfortable you will be.

And, lastly, remember that you are living life and enjoying the people you care about. It is not about the food and drinks at the end of the day. It’s about the experience of being with the people you care about, laughing and creating memories. Memories are more precious than anything else. No one will remember if you ate, what you ate, what you didn’t eat; they will just remember you came and participated. Make a plan, and stick to it. You will be happy you did and thinner, too!

What have you done to stay on track, even at parties or on vacation?