Mid-life fitness

Yes, I am now 3.8 lbs from my goal.  I’m excited, but a little nervous because I’m leaving on vacation Saturday and will be gone for a week.  One of my sons in law has researched numerous restaurants to try while we are in Destin, so I will be eating out frequently.  I know that eating out does not have to equate to weight gain, but it can make it more difficult. I have a decision to make about my weight before I leave. The way I see it, I have 3 options available to me where my weight loss progress is concerned. I always tell clients they have choices about what happens with their weight when they are on vacation. It feels better when you decide what outcome you want ahead of time.

Option #1

I can decide that I want to lose weight on vacation.  This will require me to do the best I can to make entrée choices that are the lesser of many evils on the menu – no fried, no covered in cheese, no white sauce,etc. If you ask a waiter/waitress for dressing on the side, and have certain condiments held from entrees and sides, etc. your requests will usually be honored.  One just needs to speak up.   I’ll need to ask for a “doggy bag” up front so that I can bag up some of my order before I even start to eat.  Now that I think about it, like Kim I will have someone with me who loves to clean other peoples’ plates, so maybe the doggy bag wont be necessary.

I’m bringing some 100 calorie bag microwave popcorn and I’ll stock up on fruit and other low calorie foods when I get there.  

Option #2

I can decide that I want to maintain my weight.  This means that I will need to do a lot of what I mentioned in option #1, but I will have a little more flexibility in what I order.  I should be able to do a couple of meals that are “splurge” meals and maybe a special dessert or two without any damage done.  Of course, keeping regular cardio workouts in the plan is a given for all 3 options.  We will be near the beach, so walking/running on the beach with my daughters will be my choice way to get in cardio workouts.  I plan to spend a lot of time doing fun activities with my granddaughters as well as reading on the beach, so as always my cardio workouts will be shorter in nature, but high in quality.  I will miss my training with Matthew, but one week might be a welcome break to my muscles.

Option #3

I can give myself permission to gain a little weight on vacation. This is knowing that I will need to be patient and get back into a solid routine when I return so as to get my weight loss efforts back on track.  Making a decision to allow a 2 – 4 pound gain and to plan accordingly gives you control over the weight gain.  You are less likely to do major damage by abandoning all your hard earned healthy eating habits.  This option simply means, you do alot of what I mentioned in option #2, but give yourself more flexibility with choosing entrees, drinks, or desserts.  It doesn’t mean anything GOs!  Portions are critical and making trade offs at one meal to have what you want at another is necessary.  However, this option does allow you to actually take a short vacation from your regular diet while not having to stress each day that you are undoing everything you’ve worked so hard to do with your fitness program. 

One option is really no better than another.  There is no judgement.  The point is, regardless of whether you are on vacation, it’s a holiday, your birthday, etc. etc., manage your fitness program.  It’s called making it a lifestyle.  Unfortunately, many of us set up unrealistic diet & exercise expectations for ourselves on vacation or special occasions.  We jump into that “all or nothing” attitude and we continue the yo *yo  game rather than establishing a lifestyle.  It’s so much nicer not to have to stress over food and exercise and just enjoy life.

By the way, I’m going to go with option #2 * Wish me luck. 

Beth Pirtle


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