I was way overdo for a vacation. It had been over 4 years (since our honeymoon) since I took a true vacation. Sure, I flew to FL for a funeral and went on a few long weekends, but a true vacation to me requires traveling in an airplane, shutting off my phone, disconnecting from the internet, and laying by the beach (a lot). This may not be your definition of a true vacation, but it’s what my soul craves.
My husband and I spent about 2 months (no joke) researching where we should go on vacation and where we should stay. We finally found the perfect spot, Secrets Marquis, an all inclusive resort in Los Cabos, Mexico. Some of the highlights listed on their website include:
- An unlimited luxury package
- Elegant accomodations
- World-class spa
- Unlimited gourmet dining
- Unlimited premium drinks
Uhm, yes and yes. I was sold. Now before I continue, I want to point out that this immediate YES would NOT have happened a few years ago. I would see the unlimited premium drinks and gourmet dining as a scary obstacle for me to overcome. How the heck would I have any willpower over the free cheesecake and wine that they literally throw at you? While I would have wanted to do it in the past, and probably would have, I would have fought myself the entire time. This time was different. Through my education, vulnerability, and openness to try new things, I no longer have to fight myself and my choices. I can make a decision and be satisfied with the choice. That is so refreshing!
It has taken me years to overcome the horrible relationship I had with food, but I am finally free from the hesitation. I cannot even tell you how amazing it is to be able to go to social events and on vacations without the fear of what I can or cannot eat. I am so excited to be able to share these strategies with the clients I coach. While this may or may not sound like you, do you ever feel like going on vacations or going out with friends can derail your best health efforts? It doesn’t have to.
I always have a plan and I always have my mission front and center. I would encourage you to strengthen these skills as well.
Having a plan means understanding what you are and are not willing to compromise on during vacations and social events. For me, alcohol is not something that is important to me AND it goes against all of my current health goals. I am 110% fine with not drinking or just having a few sips of alcohol, to taste. I know that having a buzz on vacation isn’t irresponsible, but it prevents me from having a clean, healthy body that is in optimal shape for pregnancy – if and when the time comes. That is my priority and I have that as a mantra to keep me grounded in what matters.
Did I drink the unlimited premium drinks? Absolutely, but only as much as I wanted and if it really called out to me. Just because a server was at my beck and call, didn’t mean that I needed to drink. There were many times that I ordered a drink, had a few sips, and called it a day.
The bottom line is: If something is really special to you on a vacation (such as a glass of wine on the first night, a signature drink you’re dying to try, or that incredible chocolate dessert you’ve never seen) go for it! There’s no harm in that. If, however, you notice yourself checking out the local McDonalds on vacation or ordering an endless number of Bud Lights, you may want to check in with yourself. Being brutally honest, just because you’re on vacation it doesn’t mean your goals and mission don’t matter. I never felt deprived because I knew the abundance that was coming out of my smart choices. Relax, enjoy yourself, and choose mindfully.
What were some of the strategies I used?:
- Drinks: Instead of a mojito, I ordered a drink with mineral water, lime juice, and mint leaves. Think mojito sans rum and sugar. It was just as delicious and was within my values. I had a glass of wine one night at a fancier dinner. I had 2 shots and a mixed drink when we went out the the club. I took a few sips of a Bloody Mary and a kahlua dessert drink that my husband ordered, but realized that after a few sips, I was satisfied. I think sometimes we finish things just because they are there. *It may have also helped that I was reading a few books on mindfulness as I was on the beach 🙂
- Food: Even on vacation, I refused to consume gluten. I kicked up my heels and consumed traditional corn tortillas with my ceviche and guacamole. Breakfast was typically fruit, smoked salmon, and poached eggs. Lunch was typically ceviche and a grilled chicken breast. Dinner was usually some sort of fish and vegetables. All 100% delicious, nutrient-dense, and I felt like I wasn’t missing anything.
- Activity: The first few days I was determined to recharge my batteries and relax. My husband and I actually packed our workout clothes, but decided that our goal was to relax and recover from our workouts (I usually get some sort of physical activity every day). I didn’t want to be stuck inside in a gym since the weather was beautiful, so I decided to take my exercise outdoors. I managed to squeeze in some yoga, walking on the beach, and water aerobics to make sure I got some movement 🙂
- Play: Besides the silly water aerobics class, my husband and I met a bunch of really cool couples! We hung out with them at the pool and even went out to a few clubs in Cabo together. As seen above, I had 2 shots and a mixed drink when we went out because I wanted to – not because I had to in order to have fun or because I felt peer pressured to. Since it was only one night, and I was really enjoying checking out the club, I made a conscious decision to have a little bit of alcohol. I think there is a huge benefit of cutting yourself slack and not shooting for perfection all of the time. Now clearly, if I was already pregnant this alcohol intake would not have happened! 😉
You can totally enjoy yourself on vacation, have some food/drinks that are outside of your typical plan, but just remember to be mindful and choose things that are special!
Now it’s time for you to share! What are your thoughts? What strategies do you use on vacation to stay healthy and true to your goals?