Why I Don’t Gain (and more typically Lose) Weight on Vacation
I’m into my second week of vacation with my family at our home away from home on Hiltonhead Island. This is where I come to reboot and reconnect breaking away from the usual day to day routine of life. I’ve been spending my days building sand castles and biking with the kids where the biggest decision to make is should we start the day at the beach or just hang by our pool. Such a contrast in normal life you might say where I’m all about sticking to my healthy eating and cooking schedule and regular exercise routine. So what’s the deal health coach you ask? Such indulgence makes any weight loss or maintenance progress impossible right? Amazingly, the answer for the last 7 summers since we’ve been vacationing here is nope.
Here are My Three Secrets of Vacation Weight Loss:
1) Eat Clean Delicious Food and Just Relax – I enjoy cooking even more on vacation without the usual time pressures so its super easy to eat lots of local grilled seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables. I still avoid gluten, dairy and most grains as much as I can but even when I decide to have the occasional hush puppy or fried soft shell crab, I just don’t worry about it – I even enjoy a summer cocktail at lunch and drink wine every evening! On vacation, I just find that I am even less worried about what I eat, every meal is super yummy, slow, leisurely and amazingly satisfying. I eat more intuitively really feeling into the sensations of being truly hungry and feeling full so I never feel over hungry or overstuffed. I enjoy eating with the whole family at almost every meal which is a real treat compared to back home and I find myself literally filled up with the laughter and warm connection at meal times.
2) Be Active in a Relaxed Atmosphere – I start most days on my mat with a 45 minute yoga routine that includes deep breathing and simple pilates exercises. This beats any of my fitness gym classes back home – no time limit, no rushing to be somewhere next – it’s just me really moving and listening to my body without any distractions. Next, my family and I bike everywhere within our beach side resort, to and from and on the beach everyday. It’s fun and exhilarating to ride around in this tropical paradise. Then there’s standup paddle boarding (love!), pool volleyball, pool races and tag in the ocean. It doesn’t get better than that – it’s the best “exercise in disguise”. No “shoulding” yourself required.
3) Honor Yourself – Being on vacation is a perfect time to really focus on nourishing and replenishing your whole self – nothing like a walk on the beach, after dinner boardgames with kids or a magical sunset to practice the healing power of gratitude and relaxation. Vacation is an opportunity to really give yourself permission to slowdown, quiet your mind and get in touch with what truly matters – without the roles, rules and routines that keep us from being human beings and instead more like “human doings.”
Over the years, I’ve learned that vacation is less about escape and indulgence and more about awakening to presence and self compassion. It’s about waking up to our experience of life without judging it, exaggerating it or ignoring it. In other words, allowing more of our attention to go where it really needs to be with a gentle understanding. From this place we can take steps to be healthy out of a genuine desire to feel nourished. When we slow down, bring mindful attention to ourselves, we open the door to healing from the inside out. I say it all the time, if stress puts weights on, relaxation takes it off. Simply put, being lighter happens when we let go of all the stuff we’re not even aware that we’re hanging on to. It’s just how were designed – our bodies and our minds exist on a single continuum and we thrive best when we align them in the chemistry of pleasure and relaxation. So give it a try my friends – enjoy those warm summer days and nights in the spirit of play, wonder and gratitude and experience the endless possibility for your health and happiness.
Hope to see you soon! For those of you who want to dive into more integrative health and weight loss strategies in a warm supportive group setting check out my new Fall 2016 Group Coaching Program here: https://yourdeliciousbalance.leadpages.co/fall-2016-integrative-weight-loss/?es=PAx2a7UAfwwK5srmuEYh4N