The world will give you every reason NOT to workout, but only you can give yourself the reason you should take care of yourself.
Your family can be great. They can be loving, supportive and fun. But, they can make you feel too comfortable and wreck your best laid plans.
The first day of my vacation I woke up feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to get my workout in. I put on some workout clothes and headed to the family room. Turns out my dad was already up and ready to grab some donuts. Donuts are his special treat he gets his grandkids. When they are around it’s become “his thing” to try and put them in a sugar coma. So, he asks me to go along and I feel like I need to since we’re the only ones awake.
The donut place was amazing. You could custom order your type of donut, the coating, and the topping. Then once you ordered you could see them make your donuts fresh and hot.
Distraction #2. These look like damn tasty donuts.
We get the donuts back to our vacation rental and by this time everyone has started to get up and move around. So while I’m still not working out, everyone is ready to eat donuts for breakfast.
The world isn’t conspiring against you. There is just always going to be something else pulling you in a different direction than you want. You don’t have to be a superhero to resist distraction and temptation. You just need to be prepared and get lots of practice.
It’s an inevitability of life. You go on vacation, you have fun and you gain weight. You plan and dream about your trip for months. When it comes time and you finally get away from the 9 to 5, you have to let loose. You pack up the car or hop on a flight with all your bags.
The bad news is there’s also a study that suggests the weight won’t go away once you get back from vacation.
“We all hear the ads urging you to get in shape so you can be beach-body ready by the time your vacation arrives. There’s only one problem. You may start your vacation at your ideal weight but you are unlikely to stay that way. One study showed that adults gained about 3/4ths of a pound while on vacation, a gain that persisted even six weeks later. This was despite the fact people participated in more physical activity on vacation . Researchers believe increased calorie consumption is to blame, especially in the form of alcohol, which people consume at roughly twice their usual rate while on holiday.” Source: http://www.npr.org/2016/07/19/485142824/what-science-says-about-taking-a-great-vacation
So are you doomed to either be a fat slob or a super human protein shake drinking muscle head with no in between? Not exactly. With with right plan and mindset you can get through vacation with your waistline intact and the damage minimal. I mean come on…it’s vacation. You have to have some fun.
There’s just 3 things you need to do
- Get clear on your goals for wanting to achieve muscle gain or fat loss
- Carve out time for your workout
- Plan ahead what and where you’re going to eat
Refresh yourself on why you want to avoid vacation weight gain. Ask yourself why. Why is it important for you to continue improving your body? Where is it you want to end up? If you can identify what you want to change and where you want to be in 3 months, then you can start to prioritize your goals with the rest of vacation.
Take out a piece of paper and write down your top 3 reasons for staying on track. When you’re done take a picture with your phone so you can easily remind yourself during vacation.
Here’s an example of my top 3:
- Not letting my fitness hold me back for opportunities that come up. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca
- Being a good role model for my kids and nephews
- Having fun experiences with my kids such as hiking or swimming
Let’s get your plan together. How do you incorporate your healthy habits and what are your challenges? How can you make sure you get your workout in? Does the morning or evening work better?
If it’s the morning that may mean going to bed a half hour earlier. The important thing is getting started before everyone is up. It takes your family a while to get up and around. You can get a quick run in before everyone is even ready for breakfast. And if you did decide to hit the booze too heavy the night before and stay up late, it will make you feel like a badass to get up early and knockout your workout.
Also, don’t be afraid to incorporate movement into your day and recruit the rest of the family. No one is going to do Farmer’s Carries with you, but you could walk on the beach, go body surfing, rent bikes, bring your golf clubs to play a course. Do something without it being formalized. Be loosey goosey and have a little fun.
You will also want to think about what you will eat while you are on vacation. What will it look like? If you know some of the places you’re going to eat on vacation look at the menu ahead of time so you’re willpower and plan don’t fall apart at the restaurant.
Set expectations with your family ahead of time. You could use Yelp to find restaurants your family would like and get everyone on board for dinner. The earlier you plant the seed with everyone the more likely it is to happen.
If you are taking a long drive or flying to your destination plan for snacks ahead of time. Pack a cooler with some healthy foods you like such as baby carrots or sugar snap peas. You could also freeze a turkey and avocado sandwich or some individual hummus packs. It should thaw out by the time you are ready to eat. Have options so you’re not getting a cheeseburger on the go.
Once you are there you can also volunteer to head to the grocery store and make sure you have the foods you need to fuel your body. If that’s not an option sometimes there are delivery services in the area that will deliver your groceries the day you arrive. This has 3 benefits:
- You don’t have to make a trip to the store and it’s super convenient.
- You’ll be picking healthy items in advance and you can avoid the temptation in the store to let loose and buy a double fudge pie.
- You avoid that awkward moment in the store when you buy completely different groceries than everyone else. You’re buying kale and sweet potatoes while everyone else is getting Lucky Charms and potato chips
Let me know the ways you stay on track while on vacation. What are the problems you typically run into? Leave a comment below.
Again the world isn’t conspiring against you but it will give you every excuse to give up. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to keep showing up. I always ask my kids “What do you do when you fall down?” and I love it when they respond “Get back up!” (Thanks Batman!)