Don’t Wait Until After Vacation

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Today we return from vacation. It got me to thinking about my I’m Not on a Diet post.

Vacation was great. It was relaxing and enjoyable. I’m living life. And I’m happy.

I once had the mentality that, in terms of my exercising and losing weight, that I would “get back on track” after vacation. Or… after this big event or that stressful life situation. Or… on Monday. However, about a year ago, I finally realized that:

  • There will always be vacations. {Thank God!}
  • There will always be parties, weddings and big events.
  • There will always be stressful or unexpected life situations.

I had to learn to live healthfully despite all of those things, because they will always be there. I decided to change my habits slowly. I decided not to deprive myself. I decided to indulge once in a while, but not over indulge.

I’ve found that happy medium. And it truly is happy.

How many times do we overeat or eat something we consider bad and then feel guilty afterward? The food did not make us happy.

On the other hand, how many times do we start a diet with the intention of sticking to it, but then become anxious in situations where we encounter something we can’t have? We feel deprived. The thought engulfs us. It’s all we can think about.

Neither of those situations makes us happy.

Instead, happiness, for me, can be found on a line between the two. I learned that I can have anything I want in moderation. I’ve even learned that some things I think I wanted, I really didn’t. {Really, the thought of Oreos are better than Oreos themselves.} I don’t feel guilty, nor deprived. Sure, I may slip over to one end of the spectrum or the other from time to time. But I recognize how I feel when that happens and now know how to find my way back to the middle.

For me, happiness also means relaxation. I used to be believe that if I had a rough day that I “deserved” to relax. But I never truly relaxed sitting on the couch when I knew I should be working out or cooking something healthy. I felt guilty instead.

However, when I discovered that working out led to relaxation, the more likely I was to do it. After getting a run or workout in, I felt like I had accomplished something. I didn’t have to worry about it. I could sit down and truly relax. That kind of relaxation feels 100 times better than the kind where I tell myself I just deserve to relax and  do nothing.

For me:

Happiness in Health = Moderation + Relaxation

In the past year, I could have made plenty excuses to go off my path. I could have “started over” every time I made a mistake. I could have waited until after the next holiday, vacation or event was over to do so. And I could have inflated my Day 1 weigh-in every time with a “last meal” that I knew I couldn’t have on my plan. But I decided not to do that this time. I decided to do all of these things instead:

  • Go on a food tour of Northeast Minneapolis.
  • Take cooking classes.
  • Attend a Leadership Convention for the Traveling Vineyard. {Lots of wine and good food!}
  • Go to a Twins game and a Saints game.
  • Host friends and family in town.
  • Go up north.
  • Go to an out-of-town wedding.
  • Try new restaurants using Groupon.
  • Attend concerts and plays.
  • Watch numerous Packer games out.
  • Exercise on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Conduct in home Wine Tastings.
  • Go out-of-town and enjoy Christmas with my family.
  • Enjoy fondue with friends.
  • Play lots of Texas Hold ’em.
  • Start a blog.
  • Vacation in Hawaii.
  • And Much more…

What would my life last year look like if I decided to either:
Wait to get healthy until after each of these events was over
OR
Wait until I was “done” losing weight and getting healthy before I did any of these things or skipped them altogether?

I would feel guilty in either situation!

So, I didn’t wait until after vacation. I just started. I knew that I had to learn along the way and that I wouldn’t have all of the answers or be perfect. But most importantly, I knew I didn’t have to.

Was I considerably healthy this past vacation? No.

Did I overeat? Yes, a few of times. {Boy did I learn from that stomach ache!}

Did I incorporate some healthy pieces? Yes. {I actually craved good salads!}

Did I workout? Yes! While I wanted to do more, I did get my three proposed runs in.

Did I enjoy myself? Absolutely.

Did I learn what I can do next time? Without a doubt.

We’ll see what the weigh-in says tomorrow. I fully expect to have gained five pounds. But I’m not starting over. I’m learning and making changes every day from the day before. It reminds me of what Kate said in a cooking class: “Success is made from mistakes well-handled.”

You will always have vacations and weekends and parties to tempt you. The challenge is to learn how to deal with them now. If you are looking to get healthy, don’t wait until after vacation. Don’t wait until next Monday. Instead, do it now! Let yourself evolve and improve with each passing day…

Cheers~

Carrie

3 responses »

  1. Congratulations, Carrie darling. This is officially the sanest post about healthy living that I have read in over a month. There are going to be good meals and not-as-nutritious meals. There are going to be hard days and easy days. We get to choose to enjoy weddings/vacations/special meals or we can choose to make them hell for ourselves and everyone else around us. If it’s going to be a lifestyle, we have to live it and love it. XO

  2. Pingback: What I’ve Learned from Blogging « Season It Already!

  3. Pingback: Why not a 10k? « Season It Already!

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