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Tips for Staying Fit & Fabulous While on Vacation This Summer
(Wednesday, August 6th, 2014)

Tips for Staying Fit & Fabulous While on Vacation This Summer

The character in this scene is made up, but I’m sure many can relate.

A few weeks before her scheduled vacation Sally decides she wants to lose some weight and she goes on an extreme diet.  She wants to look good in her bathing suit, so she cuts carbs, sweets, you name it. She lives on lettuce and chicken breast for a few weeks.  The result – Sally loses weight.  She feels better in her skin and off on her island vacation she goes.  Once she arrives all bets are off when it comes to eating and drinking. She deserves it, she tells herself, she has been “good” for so long.  She happily indulges in the all you can eat buffet, huge breakfast plates and desserts. She has it all.  She consumes more than her share of frozen fruity drinks and other island temptations.   She awakes on more than one occasion with an aching head from too many cocktails the night before.  After her week vacation is over, Sally has gained back the weight she lost before she left and then some to her frame. She swears she will go back on her diet as soon as she gets home.


Does that sound familiar? Many people go on vacation and take it as an open invitation to overindulge, overeat, drink to excess and let themselves go.  Why?  Why would you do that to yourself? It’s not as if you will never have another meal again or drink another cocktail.  Why would you pay good money to make yourself feel bloated, unhealthy and hungover?  Personally, I just don’t understand it.

It all starts with your mindset.  When I met my husband and we started traveling, he joked with me that for the first time in his life he was losing weight on “Holiday” because we were eating so healthy and staying active.  He is my British love and I rather fancy his use of the term “Holiday”.  He confessed that before he met me a vacation meant that he would overeat and drink and come home more than a few pounds heavier than when he left.  He had this as an expectation in his mind before he even left for “Holiday”.

So I thought about it and realized that I had created a very different mindset when I set off on vacation.  My mindset and my goal while on vacation has always been to maintain my weight within 3-5 pounds.  I know that I am going to eat and drink possibly more than normal, but I have made it a habit to pay attention and to be mindful of how my body feels while I am eating and drinking.

Now I confess that I don’t even own a scale and the only time I weight myself is on my annual doctor’s visit, but that is because I have made it a habit to listen to my body.  I don’t need a scale to tell me if I’ve eaten too much.  I know what being fit feels like in my body.   When I am mindful, I find it is impossible to go overboard too much and too often.  When you eat mindfully and tune in, you too will know when to stop.

When it comes to drinking too much, I ask you….you wouldn’t walk up to a wall and start banging your head endlessly against it until you had a splitting headache, would you?  Then why would you drink yourself into that state?

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t treat yourself while you are away, but I do suggest you honor your body with limits.  Have the rich and creamy dessert on one or two nights of your vacation.  Toast the sunset with a dreamy cocktail, but stop at two.  Pay attention to your own personal limits and know how and when it is time to stop.

Here are my ideas for feeling fit & fabulous all summer:

MAKE THE DECISION TO MAINTAIN YOUR WEIGHT

This is a mindset, simple as that.  If you set this as your intention before you leave, you are more likely to achieve it.  If on the other hand you take the attitude that vacations are a time to jump off the deep end, that is exactly what you will do.

EAT AND DRINK MINDFULLY -LISTEN TO HOW YOUR BODY FEELS

To eat or drink mindfully means to slow down.  Taste each bite of your food and pay attention to how it feels in your body.  I know that when I overeat it puts me in a food coma.  I just want to lie down and not move.  As for drinking, I hate the way I feel in the morning after having had too much to drink.  So I finally had to ask myself, why?  Why was I doing this to myself?  I found that if I paid attention to my body, listened to its cues and gave it what it craved, it worked for me and I could enjoy my vacation.  When you eat and drink mindfully, you will never overeat or drink again. This habit works at home too.

SHARE A DESSERT

If I have a craving for a dessert, I know the entire portion will often be way too much for me and all I really need to be satisfied is a taste.  When I share a dessert with a friend, I know I won’t over eat.  If I share a desert with Gary, I know he’ll eat most of it.

PRETEND YOU ARE HAVING A COCKTAIL

I will admit that I have never been a huge drinker, but I am a very social person and the two go hand in hand. It was always a struggle for me to be out and be social for hours without drinking too much.  I have paid for that many of mornings. When you are out for 4-5 hours, you have the time for way too many drinks.  My solution for this is to drink seltzer and cranberry juice.  I either drink these all night, or I alternate them between alcoholic drinks. The cool part is that it looks like alcohol and I get to be social at the same time.

KEEP MOVING

Find ways to stay active on your vacation.  Take a walk, explore your surroundings, swim and dance.  I like to lay on a sandy beach as much as the next person, but get out of your chair once in a while and move around a bit.  You will be glad you did.

DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP IF YOU OVERINDULGE

Don’t let falling off the wagon one-time give you permission to blow your whole trip.  If you overeat or drink, be kind to yourself.  You are on vacation after all.  Tell yourself it’s ok, but that you vow to be better starting right now.

If you are like most people, you worked hard to get fit, lose weight and be healthy for your vacation.  Don’t let all your hard work be for nothing.  Be kind to yourself and your body.

Love & Light,

Michele