VACATION – a word that my clients love and dread. It means they get a chance to relax from routine and work. But, it also means that they get out of their workout groove. They are left to make good choices ‘on the go’ – far from their pre-packed home cooking and me asking them ‘So how are your food choices going?’.
Vacation can be a scary thing when you work so hard to stay focused on staying active and eating right – and you get rocked off course. So how do you stay on track with the temptation of new restaurants, and 10 am wake up calls? I have asked myself the same question when I travel up north to Sacramento to visit my dad.
But before I begin, I want to mention that a positive mindset is above and beyond the most important thing, if you wish to accomplish anything. If you think that you are going to splurge and gain ten pounds while on vacation – you will. Simple. Don’t go into this with an attitude like that – you have already lost the battle. Think about the reasons why your body is important to you and the reasons why you work so hard when you are not on vacation. ‘Splurging’ is all mental anyways. Nearing 100% of the time my clients feel more sluggish and guilty after a vacation binge, then joyful and full of energy. Okay I focus on 3 things…
1. Physical activity:
On Vacation, exercise will be the thing that takes the back seat – so if I can – I walk. Easy. Physical activity doesn’t have to be a chore. If the airport terminals are far apart – I walk. I don’t even think about using those people mover machines. They are bringing this world one step closer to the reality of the Pixar movie Wall-E. I have watched this movie and learned from it. If you need some ideas on how to move in tight quarters – watch this video:
I believe the number one reason airports have tons of tiny junk food stands is because people are BORED between flights – and will do anything to fill their time. SO I do not become a victim to snacking because of boredom. I put a magazine or book in my hand and stay away from the Cinnabon stand. If I must have something – I purchase a hot tea and sip. This keeps my hands and mind busy. Also, since vacations are usually centered around eating out – I am cautious, but I don’t stress out. I don’t want to back peddle all of my hard work away. I run from these menu descriptions: fried, beer battered, breaded, creamy, au gratin, and sautéed. I look for baked, steamed, and grilled. I have a glass of wine and resist acting like I just turned 21 – I’m mindful.
A myth that I used to fall into was starving myself all day so I could splurge on dinner ‘events’ with family and friends. This thought is silly and illogical. The food always tastes just as good without fasting. Anyways, by the time I’m ready for dinner my body is starving. Before I know it I have gobbled up everything from the breadsticks during cocktail hour to the chocolate mints at the front door. Situations like these set me back two days worth of calories.
I bring a water bottle that I fill up at each water fountain. Airline security doesn’t allow you to bring bottle water in anymore, so outsmart the TSA and bring an empty one and fill up after you go through security. It also gives me the option to mix small packets of green protein powder with my water and make a healthy snack. I often misinterpret myself for being hungry when I’m actually thirsty. So I am sure that I maintain hydrated. I strive for drinking half my body weight in ounces – about two 30 ounce canteens worth. During my flight, getting up out of my seat and squeezing into an airplane mini bathroom gets somewhat annoying, but my body thanks me.
Behaving perfectly while on vacation is sometimes hard. But, I know that as long as I don’t lose my commitment and focus completely, I will have an easier time starting up my fitness routine when I return. Time and time again I hear clients complain about how “Bad” they were while on vacation. I want to see people come back from their vacation rested and rejuvenated – not guilty and bloated.