Staying True to Myself and My Goals on Vacation
(aka The difference between deprivation and discipline.)
We just returned from a delightful vacation, complete with equal parts adventure and relaxation. It may have been the best balance for us as a family, so far.
During the winter I definitely took my eye off of my goals and slipped back into some old patterns.
My solution was not to “go on a diet.” When I think of going on a diet, the things that come to mind are: temporary, punishment for previous decisions, and deprivation.
I don’t want any parts of ANY OF THOSE!
>> What comes to mind when you think of the word deprivation? Giving up the things you like, punishment, not being allowed to do/have/enjoy something…right?
Discipline may even have some similar feelings tied up in it. Firm boundaries. Set rules. Hard and fast limits. Those can make people feel uncomfortable and even triggered especially when it involves food choices.
The difference is with discipline, YOU HAVE THE POWER.
You get to decide. You have all the information, and you can choose the path that will get you where you want to go. You know which choices will get you to your goal faster ( if you don’t, let’s schedule a call and get that clear for you!) and can feel empowered with the ability to make the decision for yourself!
Using that information, which do you pick? The thing that feels good right now, but will ultimately make you feel crummy, or the one that maybe is a little less exciting now but with consistency will feel amazing when you look back a few weeks/months from now?
I personally don’t love to have many boundaries or limits, unless I set them for myself, and even then am tempted to push... (Five year old version of me never left - “You can’t tell me what to do!”) but that’s for another day haha!
But just before we left for this last-minute vacay, I started re-focusing on discipline. And I wasn't going to let my progress and momentum be interrupted by something that was supposed to be rejuvenating!
For some people, vacation is the perfect reason (read: excuse) to put off making a commitment to themselves.
It’s incredibly common to hear, “I’ll start after Spring Break” or, “I’ll start after vacation” or “It’s too hard during the summer.”
And that’s really no surprise! It can create a lot of anxiety, thinking that you will be missing out while on vacation, at a friend’s house, or having to make changes when you’re outside your normal routine.
However, I decided to switch my mindset and offer myself an alternative:
What if it’s EASIER to change your routine when you’re already off your routine anyway?!
If you want to make a change, no matter when you decide to start, it might feel scary. So why wait?!
(Photo of an amazing salad I had while dining, waterfront - we saw dolphins swim by as we ate!)
Re-committing while on vacation was simple for so many reasons:
- I wasn’t cooking for myself much (easier to order a meal that supports my goals when I don’t have to cook something different for 3 other people) See photo above - I'm not often making something like that for myself!
- A clean slate without feeling like any food was being wasted. I didn’t have the temptations of all of our usual “junk” in the pantry.
- Distractions! Scenery, activities, and the ability to truly relax were all new and different - I wasn’t even thinking about snacking half the time.
- We were able to pick up a few energy boosting, healthy and healthy-ish snacks, and were limited in what extras we could bring in, since we weren’t there that long.
- There were so many opportunities for gratitude, recentering, and movement that it filled me with positivity and motivation to continue! Who likes to spend their vacation feeling foggy and sluggish?
That does NOT mean that I didn’t enjoy myself, eat some of my favorites, or try new foods. (Like the nitro-bites pictured above - you can blow liquid nitrogen smoke/steam from your mouth as you crunch on them! So fun!)
I still ordered my own ice cream one night while we were out - dark chocolate peanut butter swirl, for anyone wondering!
And I had “tastes” of the kids’ treats when they had a treat almost every night; but didn’t feel the need to do it every single time. My body has a predictable response to eating ice cream, super sugary or heavy foods every day and night. The momentary enjoyment would not be worth the discomfort.
Getting to know which foods are my energy-stealing culprits has empowered me to decide when the momentary pleasure is payoff enough for the after effects! I've also learned which simple swaps or modifications I can make to avoid the discomfort AND still have the fun stuff!
Seriously. Sometimes, it’s just not worth it. The pleasure is in being able to make the choice. To know that if you skip this one thing after evaluating your options, you WILL NOT regret it in most cases.
One simple tool I use often is: Will this _____ taste or feel any different than the _____ at home/in the next city/at the next event/on the next vacation?
If the answer is “yes,” then I am certainly going to enjoy it then and there!
But if the answer is no, and it’s something I could have anytime, then why bother now?
It was soooo nice to be on vacation and not feel sluggish, bloated, or foggy from over-indulging in foods that don’t make me feel my best.
And not feeling like I need a full detox after vacation is the sweetest reward for staying disciplined without being deprived.
Actual evidence that I was sitting, relaxing and enjoying the (shaded) sun while we were away. And look at that powdery white sand!
If you are interested in learning more about how you can make some sustainable lifestyle changes, without feeling deprived, schedule a call and come away with some clear action steps to help you feel your best so you have the energy to do all the things without feeling sluggish or weighed down. And for a limited time, we're offering a discount on our 100% customized, personalized monthly meal plans that include your preferences, and your goals!