For years, I’ve had a little saying about weight gain that has helped me feel better about wherever I was on the scale at any given point in time. “It’s weight. It comes on. It comes off.” That is true, but at some point I started living by that mantra. And then, instead of being a comfort to me, it quickly became an excuse.

So what if I went on a trip and gained five pounds? I had fun! I’ll go home and I’ll lose it. Except for when I went home and didn’t lose it. I got busy and comfortable carrying around those extra five pounds, and let that became my new norm. Before I knew it, Christmas came around and I added another five pounds drowning myself in Egg Nog, but still told myself that the New Year is coming. I’ll just lose it then. Because, hey, “It’s weight! It comes on. It comes off.”

It wasn’t until last year that I realized this mantra was starting to cause me more harm than good. “It comes on, it comes off” is not a mantra. If I’m being honest with myself, it’s actually nothing more than an excuse. It’s basically a hall pass to let my health decline. Why do I want to put myself in the position where I have to take extra weight off? Why not learn how to enjoy myself in moderation, while also making good choices that don’t lead to weight gain? The problem with letting weight “come on” is that soon you throw the “come off” part out the window and it spirals out of control.

I just recently went on a vacation to Florida and, for the first time, I packed a different attitude determined not to screw up several months of progress. Normally I would spend the majority of my trip vegged out on the beach (or the couch) with a cocktail in one hand. I would be eating out breakfast, lunch, and dinner while planning meals for the next day. Now, please understand, that dining is VERY important to me. I’m not often willing to give up a great meal out when the opportunity itself. HOWEVER, I could totally cut out the cocktails (or just have one with dinner instead of five). So, that’s what I did. And, instead of grabbing a handful of my kids’ Goldfish every five seconds on the beach, I drank a Shakeology or had a Quest Bar to curb my cravings. And perhaps, most importantly, I made the commitment to workout 30 minutes a day consistently while I was out of town. I still had a stellar dinner at The Grand Marlin, enjoying the heck out of Grouper Picata with a Pineapple Habernero Mojito.

I wasn’t quite as disciplined as my best friend, Kelley, who ordered a plainly grilled tuna steak and steamed vegetables. But, like I said, dining out is a love of mine and so that’s where I’m going to loosen the reins.

I also went out to breakfast at IHOP with my kids, but then exercised in the park with them afterwards. I absolutely relaxed on the beach, but I drank water and saved the cocktail for a dinner treat. I took a few naps, but I did my 22 Minute Hard Corp on Beachbody on Demand first so I’d be nice and tired when I laid down on the couch. This trip was all about balance.

Let me tell you – the craziest thing happened. I came home and stepped on the scale. No weight had come on. And guess what? No weight needed to come off. I think I’m on to something! From now on, the mantra is “No weight comes on, no weight has to come off.” Now those are words to live by!

If you are being truly honest with yourself, what mantras do you have that are just disguised excuses? Comment below and let’s figure out how to change that into something positive.

Written by Jaime Fox