A while ago I talked about how much negative impact traveling and vacations have had on my weight loss journey in the past. Last year, for example, I was doing awesome getting healthy and then went through a string of back-to-back work trips which resulted in me falling off track for 6 months and gaining all my weight back.
As a result, I’m really trying to approach every trip with more mindfulness so I know how I’m going to keep myself on track. Next week, I’ll be going home to Colorado for a full week, so this is my planning session for getting through that week.
Before getting into my plans, I have to preface everything by saying I expect this trip to be rather difficult for several reasons:
- I lived in Colorado most of my life and was unhealthy the majority of that time. I worry that it’ll be easy to slip into old bad habits.
- I’m visiting family who are, by and large, unhealthy – which means they may be inclined to suggest food/activities that go against my weight loss plan.
- The family members I’m staying with are also not extremely healthy, which means the food in the house has a high likelihood of being unhealthy.
- It’s a vacation, pure and simple, so I expect a lot of eating out and temptation to be lazy instead of active.
All that being said, I’m determined to at least maintain my weight and come out the other side of this vacation still on track and happy to be so. 🙂
So, with that in mind, I’m starting my planning with my minimums. These are the items I want to hit every day of the trip:
- My normal 12,500 daily steps
- My current 500 calorie deficit
- The normal 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies each day
I’m trying to start incorporating some HIIT so if I can do small doses of that daily I’d be happy, but I’m not going to consider it a minimum requirement.
So, in thinking of those goals, my next step is to think through the resources I can use during the trip:
- My Fitbit
- Running gear
- The family we’re staying with has a basement with a TV/DVD player, if I want to use the space for working out
- I’m familiar with the area we’re staying in so I know I have sidewalks/parks I can run in.
- Since we are staying with family I’ll have access to all the normal household items, like a stove, refrigerator, microwave, etc.
- Colorado itself – it is, after all one of the healthiest, most active states primarily because there are so many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Considering all of that, along with the challenges I anticipate facing, here is my plan:
- Work in a minimum of a 3-mile run, walk, or hike every day. Some of our plans – visiting parks, hiking in the mountains, etc. – will already account for this so I just need to work it in to the less active days. I chose 3 miles because I think that, combined with just regular activity in a day, would get me to my step goal.
- All food gets tracked in MyFitnessPal just like normal – no slacking on vacation! Whenever possible, restaurant food should be entered in advance to avoid inadvertently eating more tha I should.
- Our first day there I’ll get the scoop on what kind of food is in the house. If need be, I can go to the store for items I know I’ll want.
- I normally make fruit/veggie shakes to get my daily servings in but I don’t think I’ll have access to a blender. So I’ll replace this with low-sodium V8 since I can easily pick that up at the store.
- If my family wants to do dinner at home, I’m going to come prepared with healthy recipes I think they’d enjoy. If I offer to cook as a thank you for staying with them I’ll have a little more control over what I eat.
- I’m going to look for the active things associated with Colorado and suggests those over lazier activities.
In all honesty, I’ve been mentally preparing for this trip for some time, so I think I’ll be ok. But going through the steps above helped a lot with my last trip. I think there’s a lot to be said for having an established plan that’s written down for reference. And, of course, I’ll periodically check in through my blog to remain mindful and course correct as needed.