The start of vacation season doesn’t mean you have to take your eyes off your journey!
Most people jump through hoops to get in shape for vacation season and then fall off track once they hit their vacation goal(s). However, when your journey is focused on a lifestyle change, you are learning and implementing “forever behaviors”, therefore there is no falling off. Instead you recognize the potential derailment vacation can cause and you re-affirm your commitment in order to find ways to stay on course.
In April 2015, just 3 months into my journey, my hubby and I went on vacation for a friend’s destination wedding in Mexico. While exciting, it also brought stress because of the timing. The stress mounted as I thought about how staying at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico with all its perks could potentially sabotage all the gains I had made thus far. In my mind I imagined all the food, alcohol and desserts I’d be tempted to uncontrollably consume as I inactively lounged on the beach or by the pool! Ugh!
In that moment, I said to myself I AM GOING TO SUCCEED! The next step was to to define what success meant to me and how I was going to get there:
WHAT, is SUCCESS?
- Keeping up with my healthy eating habits 100% of the time. Loading up on fresh veggies and fruits and minimizing everything else. We went to Mexico and I love avocados, so endless bowls of guacamole with veggies (instead of chips)!
- At least an hour of planned physical activity first thing in the AM (yoga, Pilates, running, etc.) and countless hours of unplanned physical activity enjoying my time with friends throughout the day – walking, swimming, snorkeling, biking, etc. I met and took a class with a fabulous Pilates instructor, who was also a wedding guest! NICOLE SWEET, the CO-FOUNDER of Fitness + Foolishness
- Limited alcohol consumption, especially the sugary mixed drinks. My specific goal was water most of the day and red wine in the evenings!
HOW, do I SUCCEED?
- Plan, Plan, Plan! Focusing on the long term success not short-term gratification!
- Accept full responsibility for your success by always being prepared with the tools you need to be successful and not leaving the responsibility to someone else (i.e. the hotel, etc.).
- Enlist accountability partners by communicating you eating and physical activity plan. For me it was my husband, the hotel staff and social media!
- Speak up, don’t be afraid to be different and ask for what you want/need! After all you are paying for the vacation! People would ask me why I was eating something different then everyone else and I would just explain that I was on a special eating plan – when they see my results they completely understand!
- Re-defining “vacation”. Usually centered around lounging and consuming calories but I now see it as spending active quality time with friends/family and minimize the emphasis on eating.
With a WHATEVER IT TAKES mentality, about two months before the trip I contacted the hotel and asked them to send me their menus. After reviewing them I decided that in order for me to be successful I needed to maintain more control. I emailed the hotel again and explained that I was on a specific eating plan and that I needed to have specific food items on a daily basis. Because of the language barrier it took a few email exchanges, but the hotel agreed that they could accommodate my request. Since the hotel had plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, I boxed up some other non perishable food items that were on my healthy eating plan and shipped them to the hotel. Along with the box, I emailed specific instructions for the kitchen staff on how to prepare each item and the exact time of day I would be needing each item.
As soon as I arrived and checked in the staff immediately knew who I was and referred to me as the lady with the special shakes (my daily protein shakes)! It became a competition among the kitchen staff of who could make my shake and oatmeal the best!
As part of the wedding festivities, the bride and groom had meal plans for some events and for each, the hotel staff would find me and ask what special accommodations I needed from my special box and the kitchen. When we had plans outside of the hotel, I called the kitchen staff and asked them to prepare some items I could take with me. In most cases this was freshly made guacamole and salsa with sliced vegetables instead of chips.
I say all that to say don’t be afraid to ask, you’d be surprised how accommodating people can be!
In the end, I exceeded my definition of success and ended up with a net weight loss and over 7000 calories burned in physical activity in 4 days! Being able to stay on my journey during this vacation, set the bar high going forward but it also made a clear statement of how important this was to me and my dedication to being SUCCESSFUL (as I define it) with NO EXCUSES!
Make it your goal this vacation season to stay on track and let me know your plan for success by commenting on this post!
Living Transparently on Purpose