I see these titles all the time. Summer is the time the diet trap can pull in a lot more people because pretty much everyone indulges on vacation. That extra ice cream cone, grandma’s buttery rolls, slowing down the exercise, take your pick. What people don’t get is that absolutely nothing needs to consciously change once you come home. If you eat intuitively, your time on vacation really wasn’t that different after all. Vacation is a part of life that is so sweet and the body adjusts by lowering stress levels and becoming open to new food that you might not get at home. You probably slept more on vacation too which does wonders for our hormonal regulation. If we stick to our hunger and fullness cues our body can deal with the rest. You know what? You are probably metabolizing the food you ate on vacation much better than you would be in the stressful day-to-day buzz of life!
(Jeni’s Ice Cream– a must have in Chi)
I’ve been gone from the house for about 2 weeks and I’ve also had a knee injury that has prevented me from doing step classes, zumba, my toning classes, and for a while there, walking for abut a month. Low movement coupled with a lot more fun food than I’m used to lead me to be curious about how my body would react to everything in this “vacation” stage of life.
To my surprise, my clothes fit the same, my hunger levels are much better than they were during a horrible week of stress a few weeks before camp, and I’ve been able to enjoy my food even if it was camp food and I wouldn’t have chosen that in the first place. I found myself at lunch two days ago with May and Addie craving kale and I welcomed that. The dinner before that involved lots of tater tots and mac and cheese. After my kale I also wanted nothing more than a cold apple so that’s what I did. Of course later in the day was my cousin’s birthday and I welcomed the home made sangria and lots of great food including a gooey chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake that hit the spot!
(Blue Door Farm Stand in Lincoln Park)
In the past week I’ve been eating on the go. Nothing planned, just getting to the restaurant menu and seeing what was offered and what looked good. I get to do this maybe 2-3 times a week at home and doing it every day in Chicago has been fun! Grandma’s house had a lot of ice cream involved and a lot of napping. Chicago had great brunches and family BBQ’s!
I’ll be honest, my body has lot a little of its tone (especially in the tummy area) from not being able to get in my favorite gym classes since the knee injury but that doesn’t mean I am any less worthy of indulgent food. I still honor this point in my life and listen to what I’m truly hungry for. Who knows what I’ll be craving this week at home. Maybe its salads and whole wheat pasta or maybe its order in pizza and cookies.
The point is, nothing needs to change once you get home from vacation. Our bodies regulate themselves, and if we listen to them the highest and lowest points in eating and fitness and whatever else it will all even out in the end. Think of your weeks away from home or on vacation as an average. If you look back and your week was filled with burgers, fries, and ice cream, you probably will be getting some cues for some veggies some time soon. If your week was pretty balanced with fun and nutrient dense food but you lacked movement, you will probably feel the itch to get some meaningful movement in soon. See?
If we take the mental “I should be doing this workout and eating this food” game out of the picture, we allow ourselves to look at our weeks as an average and our bodies will tell us what we need to pull that average up or down, not our mind and not society. If it were up to society and magazines oh gosh we would be going on a juice cleanse and double soul cycle classes as soon as we landed back at home! What sucks about that media message is that it’s not sustainable, nor healthy for the mind or body. We are great how we are whether that’s on vacay or off.