Being “on vacation” looks a lot different these days than it did in the past.
Previously, vacations would include feeling the need to wake up before everyone else to go on a 45 minute run so that I could attempt to “burn off” what I ate the night before, or to justify the choices I was going to make that day. I thought running was what I “should” do….even though I never really enjoyed it (at all) and never felt that runners high that most people who actually like to run, feel.
These days, I’m rarely up before anyone else, (mostly because my children don’t sleep past 6 am :)) and there are no 45 minute exercise sessions I feel pressured to get in before starting my day.
I pack my kettlebell, foam roller and mini-band because I feel my best when I move my body the way I actually *enjoy* moving my body.
Some days it’s just rolling and band work, others it’s swimming, walking or doing a quick kettlebell complex…but it’s never to “un-do” what I ate, to punish myself, or because I think I “should”.
Now, I’m not one to say that I eat the same way on vacation as I do when I’m at home, I don’t. I want a lobster roll when I’m on the Cape, ice-cream and cheese while visiting Vermont, and chocolate chip pancakes at our favorite breakfast place on Long Beach Island. The difference is that NOW having those things doesn’t send me into the all-or-nothing mindset trap that it had in the past.
Before, eating chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast while on vacation would set off the thought process that I already ruined my day and I should should just enjoy myself and continue eating all the foods I viewed as “bad”.
It took me a long time to recognize that by doing so, I actually wasn’t enjoying myself. At all. I would feel heavy and bloated and gassy and just plain yucky. I would eat things just to eat them. Basically, “getting it all in” because I had already begun planning the diet I was going to start once vacation was over.
We are traveling quite a bit this summer (going on 14 out of 22 days with a few more trips planned) and what I’ve found is that keeping the majority of my day as automated and as normal as possible really helps me to feel my best as well as not punishing myself for indulging every now and then.
For me, like the majority of my clients, planning is key. So, I pack my protein powder for shakes in the am (because that is what I do at home a few mornings a week), protein bars for snacks or lunch (especially if we are somewhere that doesn’t have the best choices), my BCAAs because they help me to drink more water, and when we get to where we are going, I buy what I would normally buy at the grocery store, focusing on lean proteins and lots of vegetables.
I wanted to share some of the tips that I use because I know how challenging this time of year is. I love to drink wine and get together with friends. My husband could live on cheese and crackers and my kids could survive on cheez-its, so those types of foods are constantly around. My friends (who include my awesome neighbors) love to have impromptu get togethers that include lots of appetizers and snacks a couple times per week. So I get it. It can be challenging to say no to things, especially when everyone around you is eating and drinking whatever.
For me, I had to take a bit more responsibility for my choices and stop blaming them based on the fact that I was “on vacation” or that everyone else was doing it and I really, REALLY had to be aware of the excuses I was making for the choices I would later regret.
If I want to fit into my clothes after the summer, there is going to be a lot of give and take going on. If I have the beer, I’m going to practice skipping the bread. If I just ate my bodyweight in cheese and crackers at happy hour, I may decide to skip dinner, or at least wait until I’m actually hungry again to eat again. If I had pancakes for breakfast, I’ll probably aim to have a lighter lunch or at least skip the beach snacks.
It all comes down to making some choices.
Good luck making yours and please let me know if there are any tips or strategies that you use to help you navigate kids, friends and parties!