On Vacation, My Diet and Exercise Program Stay Home

beach_sizedI recently finished an eight-week series for Momtastic on my mission to get healthy and lose 50 pounds. Although my weekly posts are finished, my fitness challenges are not. Today, I’m checking in with this update:

 I thought I was prepared. I knew I was determined. It was the biggest challenge I faced in my weight loss journey: going on vacation with the kids.

We started off well. I ate the breakfast I’d packed, I stocked my backpack with nuts and jerky. Then, quickly, I realized things were going to go downhill fast. Although I knew I’d be fine when I traveled on my own with the kids, I hadn’t taken into account the food being served at the homes at which I stayed. If there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s not being a high-maintenance house guest. I make sure I fold my towels, make my bed, and clear my toiletries from the bathroom counter. Most of all, when I’m lucky enough to be hosted by friends and family, I never turn my nose up at what’s served for dinner. Even if it violates every known rule on my program.

By the end of the second day, I’d had potatoes and bread and, yes, half a cupcake. I noticed a few things. First, I got full much more quickly. For lunch, half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich filled me to the point of being ill. At dinner, two roasted potatoes expanded in my stomach until I thought it would burst. And my half cupcake tasted sweeter than I’d thought possible though. But, yes, it was delicious. Four days into my vacation and my stomach rebelled. I lost most of my appetite, and my stomach felt like a rock. I wasn’t surprised to come home and discovered I’d actually lost weight.

It definitely wasn’t a balanced healthy diet. And worse was the exercise. Instead of getting up early and doing my 25-minute HIIT program, I found myself sleeping in and then waking up to sip a cup of tea while chatting with our hosts. Even when we were on our own on the edge of an island, we spent more time sitting on the beach digging for sea glass than hiking or canoeing — two of my fail-safe exercise options. 

My big concern with my return home was how to climb back on that healthy wagon. Thankfully, Debi Silber — my fitness coach — was only an instant message away. “It’s all about when you jump back on after a slip. The sooner you catch it, the better-that’s lifestyle changes. There’s no diet you’re on so negotiating and navigating different situations are all part of the learning process.,” she wrote. Her words snapped me out of the beginnings of a downward spiral of negative “diet talk”.

I’m learning to live with this lifestyle change and remember I’m a work in progress and eating a slice of pizza while sitting on a remote island with my two children as the sun sets or sharing a dinner and bottle of wine with good friends are part of my life. So it doesn’t mean I’ve fallen off the wagon. Because maybe, just maybe, there is no wagon.


Photo: Getty