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Does This Sound Like YOUR Family Reunion?



Whew...summer has officially arrived.

Not just because it's in the 90's and
oppressively humid (at least here in the
Northeast U.S.)...

Not just because the ice cream man is
making his rounds each evening and you can
hear the whirr of lawnmowers at the most
inconvenient times possible...

But because it's time for family reunions
and summer vacations!

We just hosted the second annual "Leonardfest',
a family reunion on my dad's side that is
now an amazing fun-packed weekend.  I have four
brothers and four cousins, so you're talking
a lot of kids, a lot of noise, a lot of laughs
and a LOT of food and drink!

As you might know, one of the bonuses to my
"Real People Don't Diet" program is "Real People
Go On Vacation".  It's a quick guide on how to
eat for fun and not gain weight.

I'm thinking of doing another bonus, just for
family get-togethers.

Why?  Because holy should have seen all
the food.

We had dogs and burgers both days, of course, as
well as veggie platters, macaroni salad, pasta salad,
chips, dips, pizza and wings.  Our main meal was
a catered Italian dinner with meatballs, chicken
marsala, baked ziti, sausage and peppers, Italian
bread and house salad. (You'd never know we're
totally Irish.)

Then there was soda, beer, other forms of adult
beverages, water, seltzer--you name it, we probably
had it.

Both nights we had homemade cake for dessert.  The
kids had freeze pops.

Sound familiar?  I think our menu was pretty typical
for most family gatherings.

I found myself more tempted than usual to overeat,
probably because I was hosting and a little more
stressed than usual, thanks to the FIVE thunderstorms
on Friday, despite the weatherman saying there was
only a 30% chance of rain.

(But I'm not bitter.)  :-)

Fortunately, the habits I've picked up over the last
year while eating the "Real People Don't Diet" way
served me well.  

Here are the things I did that kept me from overeating
and my clothes fitting just the same--if not looser--
than before:

-I took large portions of meat and vegetables and smaller
portions of high-carb items.

-I always drank water or seltzer just before eating and
while eating.

-I ate dessert separately, not right after a meal.

-When I was full, I stopped eating--even if it meant
throwing away a plate with food still on it.  (PLEASE
do not tell my grandmother this.)

-I didn't overindulge in alcoholic beverages.

-I set up soda and dessert as two opposing items--can't
have both, but can have one without guilt.

-I didn't sit near the snack table.

-I focused on conversation and visiting--not the food.

You may be thinking, "Well, I can't do those things."

At last year's Leonardfest I couldn't do those things,
either.  So what's the difference now?


If you make small changes in how you eat on "regular" days,
you'll find it a lot easier to eat the same on
"special" days.  It's just second nature.  

Wouldn't it be great to go to one of your family reunions
or parties next year and hear everyone tell you how great
you look?

Well, you can.

You won't have to go on a diet.  You won't have to exercise
all the time (although you should have some sort of activity
program just for overall health).  You won't have to eat
like a rabbit or give up dessert. You definitely shouldn't
weigh yourself, buy special foods or do anything out of the
ordinary--because it can't be sustained for more than a few
days, weeks or months at a time.

What you will have to do is make very small changes in how
you eat and drink, each day.  Make those changes automatic,

unemotional, and very small.  

I am convinced that this the only way to success for a
majority of people.

You can choose to do it the "Real People Don't Diet" way, or
make up your own plan.  

All I hope is that you'll do something, because I know from
personal experience how great it feels to control your food,
and not the other way around.

And now...back to summer!

As always, if I can answer any questions for you, please drop
me an email at cate AT  

Keep it Real,

:-)  Cate

Some helpful family reunion photo hints...

P.S.  We use Snapfish to share all the digital photos we take.  
Everyone uploads their shots, and then we pick and choose to
create our own unique album and make prints.  

Use coupon code SNAPYFRSH07.

P.P.S.  Easily organize all those family reunion photos so they
don't stay in the print envelopes.

Organize Your Photos


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Copyright (c) 2007 and Cate Brizzell

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