Vacations are meant for FUN
Updated: Jan 4
Last week I posted about going on vacation and how this time it was going to be different. I was going into this vacation with a totally different mindset than I ever went into a vacation with previously.
First, I want to paint a picture of how I would approach vacations in the past. Vacations are designed to get away, to explore a new town, have fun, eat foods you might not get to experience back home, relax in a warmer climate, to get away from work/life. Vacations should not bring on stress and anxiety or obsessive thoughts. Sure, there will be a little bit of stress with traveling, but the kind of stress I'm referring to is particularly towards food-- overeating, gaining weight, losing weight before a trip to look good, etc.
I don't know if I ever experienced a vacation without the intentions of wanting to lose weight beforehand from the time that I was in high school until a year ago (2019). The plan was to lose X number of pounds before going on vacation because I wanted to look and feel good, eat whatever the heck I wanted to while away, and then of course when I got home I would plan to "get back on track" with restricting food groups, counting calories/points, measuring out foods into little containers, etc. This vicious cycle played out for as long as I can remember.
Of course I enjoyed myself to the best of my abilities while away, but there was always that little voice in the back whispering "You won't have this food at home, so enjoy it while it lasts." I would eat the forbidden foods until I felt physically sick where my stomach would be in pain and my chest tight every day on vacation. Oh my God, that was soooooo good! Right?
What happened each time I returned back home? Guilt, feeling sick as I recounted what all I ate, ashamed... Not once can I honestly remember recounting that actual vacation! I mean, I remember going to Disney (as a whole), or going on a cruise (as a whole), but what I actually remember is the amount of food I ate and the guilt I brought back home. And then how long it took me to stop beating myself up over what I did, how bad of a person I was, how stupid could I be for letting myself go and how much harder it was for me to "get back on track".
What?! You're probably reading this and shaking your head and wondering, "Are you serious right now?"
Yes. Yes I am. Dead serious.
Even when I went on vacation while I was a health and fitness coach, I had to "get back on track"... My mindset was much kinder, thankfully, but that was still that urge to do a 180.
THIS vacation was different. I went to Nashville with a plan. HAVE FUN!
Have fun, enjoy the foods, the live music, your time with your boyfriend, get veggies and water whenever you can (because it helps with digestion), but most importantly... HAVE FUN
I did just that.
Day 1- My boyfriend and I walked around the downtown area, grabbed a few beers, hit up BB King's for some blues music and my top place for BBQ!
Day 2- We stood in 30* weather for a freaking hour for Biscuit Love, which by the way, really was worth the wait. I was nervous the whole time I was going to get frostbite on my toes, but we finally made our way inside and enjoyed a great, big breakfast. Afterwards, we hit up the Country Music Hall of Fame and walked around A LOT. For dinner we drank, ate pizza, and chips. (Not my typical meal but I had to eat.)
See the thing about vacation is that you can be more active than you are during your regular life. Every day I logged 6,000+ steps. Back home, I log an average 4,500. And you can eat healthy-ish while traveling, you just have to look for the opportunities (at the airports, restaurants, hotels, etc) and take advantage when they present themselves.
Day 3- My boyfriend unfortunately came down with a cold so he laid low the rest of the trip. This day we did the Nashville Bar Bike after stopping at Panera for a late lunch. Using my Panera knowledge to my advantage... I got the hearty chili and ate the bread. It was way too cold for a salad although I should've ate more food considering It was a long day. There was adventure and maybe less food than what was really needed with the hours of drinking, but we all managed to survive and woke up to McDonald's breakfast sandwiches.
Old Amanda would have been annoyed, moody, no fun, and pissed that these meals were not 'up to par' with her meal plan and her mood would've affected the rest of the trip. Present day Amanda went into this vacation with a plan, with a more positive mindset, with more tools in her tool box to survive the lack of veggies, routine meal times, and water to get by and just have freaking fun.
Day 4- After the McDonald's breakfast sandwich and 2 hash browns, I guzzled water like it was my job. I relaxed, showered up, had some trail mix, some popcorn and eventually we all made it out to the downtown area again for food. I was starving! We went to Rippy's for BBQ and enjoyed a large salad with pulled pork on top, a side of ranch and curly fries. Yes, my friend, I got curly fries. I enjoyed all those veggies with fries. I demolished that salad, too. As I got closer to feeling more stuffed than I wanted, I offered up my fries. It's OK to resign your Clean Plate Membership.
So what did I do when I returned from Nashville? Start a new diet? Start restricting foods or calories? Start a detox?
I did absolutely nothing.
I actually made a waffle and some eggs the morning I got home. I ate plants, protein and a little processed fun foods with plenty of water. I went grocery shopping and bought the 'normal' foods I usually buy.
Nothing relieves stress and anxiety around food and body image than working on your mindset.
I can't wait for my next vacation to have more fun!