Memorial Day has come and gone and summer is upon us! Time away from home, time away from our routines, bbqs, vacations and food, lots and lots of food. For many who have spent the year reclaiming their routines and healthy food practices, the thought of summer and all it can bring in terms of weight gain or regain can be a real stressor.
So on this week’s HealthBite, I discuss how to mindfully navigate our vacation without obsessing about food and dieting, here are some highlights.
Number 1 Let it Be Joyful:
Let’s remember, this is vacation, people, VAY-CAY-SHUN! Vacation is about not following the norm, doing something that you normally don’t do, letting go of routines, rules and regulations, and bedtimes. So just do that and let it be joyful. BUT…
Number 2: Manage your Expectations:
If we have decided that we will do things that we don’t usually do; dessert, wine, the bread basket…then the expectation should be that we see a few extra pounds on the scale when we return. If we expect that there are consequences to our actions (and I don’t mean the word consequences in a negative way) then we are not grieving our unrealistic expectations. We can direct that energy towards what needs to be done when we return instead of feeling insulted, or upset.
Number 3: Let go of ALL or NOTHING:
OK, but all of the above does not mean that we need to flip the switch and practice all-or-nothing behavior. Just because you are on vacation does not mean that you have to go out of your way to do everything. In fact, if you slow down and notice, you may not want to finish every last bite, partake of every dessert opportunity, overeat just because it is there. Sometimes when we are faced with novelty, like on a vacation, we feel the pressure to do all the things. What if we do it only if it matters. Like if it really really matters. And if not, perhaps you will pass. We can be on vacation and still be mindful and choosy.
Number 4: Don’t catastrophize-
OK, so you gained 5 pounds or maybe you gained 20. BFD! It is NOT the end of the world, it is only the end of the world if you let it be. And if you catastrophize, you will never get back in the game. How could you? You are too busy hating on yourself. THIS is why you blow your routine. Not because you ate pasta in Italy and gained weight, but because you are so busy catastrophizing that it is all you can do to not self-soothe and double down on your weight gain.
Number 5: What will you do the Moment After?
And so here is the thing. It really doesn’t really matter what you gained. It only matters what you do the moment after. Reflect on your time away with joy. Remind yourself that you expectedly diverted from your routine and it was gooood. And you gained some weight doing so (BFD, that was expected) Now it is time to get back to routine. So hold yourself with accountability and kindness and get back to it!
I promise you it’s all gonna be OK!