My family goes on a vacation every couple of years to St. George Island with three other families. We spend a week eating, drinking, relaxing, eating, drinking, swimming, eating, and drinking. Now, the pace has changed slightly over the years. The first trip was five years ago and included eight adults and one baby. When we were there two weeks ago, there were eight adults, one six year old, one four year old, one three year old, two two year olds, two one year olds, and one three month old. Letting loose is somewhat relative, as our late nights have been traded out for early mornings and the relaxing by the pool is more of a constant headcount of all the children. Nevertheless, indulging is inevitable. Vacations and the winter holidays are my biggest excuses to stray from my normally pretty healthy routine. It’s fun while it lasts, but I still have to heave myself back on to the bandwagon once it’s over. Here are some tips if you find yourself in a similar predicament.
- Don’t beat yourself up. You work hard to get yourself swimsuit ready. Enjoy a little day drinking and some yummy seafood knowing that the week will come to an end and you’ll get back to your normal routine (ready or not). Guilt is sometimes hard to avoid, but is unproductive and unnecessary.
- Think lifestyle, not diet. I don’t do fad diets. They’re just not my thing. My thing is trying to eat real, healthy, minimally processed foods and exercise on a regular basis. I also believe in moderation. I’m looking for a long term plan that makes me feel like the best me, not a short term fix that I’ll be burned out from in a month. Thinking this way allows me to enjoy a little splurge here and there without feeling like I’ve blown some restrictive diet.
- Pay attention to how you feel. By the end of vacation week, my shorts were definitely fitting tighter than they were upon arrival. The culprit was bloating brought on by the extra alcohol and processed carbs that I wouldn’t usually have indulged in (looking at you, late night Doritos). It’s amazing how you can physically feel the difference when you’ve been eating things that aren’t good for you.
- Ease back into your routine. I’m not going to lie, leaving the beach can trigger a mini post-excitement slump. You’ve waited so long for this trip and then blam, it’s over and you’re leaving. You drive nine hours and are starving and exhausted by the time you finally get home . Pizza and a glass of wine are the obvious dinner choices as there’s nothing fresh in the fridge. The next few days are spent catching up at work, doing laundry, and adjusting back to the real world. There’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself a couple of days grace if you need to get organized and re-acclimated before getting back in the zone.
- Remember it gets easier. The worst thing about getting off track is getting started again. Sugar is the worst culprit. I can go weeks without eating anything sweet and then as soon as I’ve had something, my body will crave it. There will be a short period of mini de-tox as your body gets back into the swing of things during which you may have to test the limits of your will power, but then it gets easy again. The same with exercise, once the regiment is restarted, you’re golden.
Any tips for adapting back to your healthy lifestyle after a speed bump??
Top photo by George W. Hales