Most people who have ever had to diet, or manage their own weight over the years, will agree that it’s easier to do when living alone, and cooking for one’s self. Once you add other people to the mix, things become a little complicated, and managing food allergies, appetites and tastes while staying healthy is a challenge many struggle with!

The question becomes then, how does one lose weight while living with other loved ones, and still try to enjoy life?

I always say that getting our personal health and fitness under control is much more of a mind game than anything else, so here’s how I do it:

* FOREWARN LOVED ONES: Let your friends and family know that the time is NOW for your health… Which may effect what kinds of foods you buy, or what types of activities you do with them, until you get things under control. Do NOT let them talk you out of making healthier choices. Often our loved ones think they “should” say something like “You don’t need to lose weight!” when in fact you do. Be sure and positive within your own mind and being (and with your doctor’s consent) that you must do this, and move forward!

* GET STARTED NOW: Determine that there is never a better time than now, and get started! Waiting until after a holiday or event is an indicator that you simply are not all “in.” If that’s the case, it’s okay. Get your mind and soul ready to do this and jump in when you are TOTALLY PRESENT and determined to take on your new “project.”

* PLAN FOR SUCCESS: Think about your triggers and PLAN FOR THEM. PLAN AHEAD SO YOU CAN SUCCEED. If you have dinner with friends coming up, bring the mixings for your favorite options (light salad dressings, alcohol free “mocktail” ingredients, whatever). If you must dine out, weigh-in heavily with family and insist on places with healthy options. For those times when you have no choice, carry your carrots or healthy snacks with you (secretly if necessary), eat a healthy meal prior to attending.. whatever it is, DO WHAT YOU MUST.

* STICK TO IT. Even if you falter, get right back to it the next day and keep going!! You won’t begin to see solid results if you allow every little thing to sabotage your success. KEEP AT IT NO MATTER WHAT, learn from your mistakes, and plan for success the next time you find yourself in a similar situation.

* IGNORE THE CUTESIES AND REMEMBER YOUR LONG TERM GOALS: The cutesies are one of the stages in weight loss or fitness goals, where people see some good results. They like the way they look, and decide they are free to go back to “business as usual”, or “diet” as usual. So, most importantly, do NOT see your small successes as a hall pass to revert to old behavior. Don’t allow the dreaded CUTESIES to cause you to over indulge or stop your fitness regimen! See the previous step. STICK TO IT. KEEP AT IT. Remember your long term goals and be ready with a plan to keep working toward your goal, and to maintain the new you — a way that fits into your lifestyle, once you get there! If you must, consult with a nutritionist or dietician to be sure you are setting your longterm self up for success.

Above all, just remember that the new you won’t be built in a day, but just like Rome, it can all come tumbling down pretty quickly!

Be vigilant. Be disciplined. You’ve GOT THIS! And I’m here to cheer you on.

Lisa Jey Davis is a health advocate, pilates and fitness expert, and an award-winning and best-selling author. Her eBook (“Ahhhhhh…Haaaaaa Moments With Ms. Cheevious – a Yoga Routine for All Levels,” is offered free to new email subscribers (normally sold for up to $4.95). A certified Pilates instructor, Lagree Fitness trainer and a yoga instructor, Lisa Jey is a go-to authority on health & fitness. Her workouts vary depending on the goals of the clients, but range from hard-core boot camp style, to classical pilates, as well as therapeutic pilates for post-injury or surgical recovery! For a more detailed bio click here.