I just came back from a quick weekend getaway because my sister got married! Yay! I was only out of town for the weekend, flew out Friday, and came back Sunday. But even with this short trip, staying on my diet plan was a challenge. Whenever you give yourself a schedule whether it be for work, or working out or eating, you start to depend on that routine to keep you on task. And when you disrupt that routine sometimes it can throw you for a loop.
So you have a choice. You can deal with the disruption in the moment or you can make a plan. Me? I am a planner. If I can carve out a strategy ahead of time, why not? Such was the case with this weekend getaway. I’ve been to a dozen weddings so I knew what to expect there and I was staying at my parents house so I knew what to expect there. Normally I would bring dvds and squeeze in a workout or go for a long walk but the weather wasn’t having it and the weekend was packed with wedding type activities so there was no room for working out. When I can’t workout it means really being careful with my eating.
As I look toward the not too distant future, I see myself having long months where I am homebound (i.e. I want to have a baby) so in anticipation of that different time of my life I am trying to have as many adventures as possible this year and that includes a bunch of fun weekend trips while I still have the time. This past weekend reminded me that if I want to do this and still lose weight, I must make a plan.
No one wants to have fun at the expense of their goals. But how can we have a good time and go away for a fun weekend but still come back without any regret and the following week. Ideally you want to pick right back up where you left off with no backtracking. How do we do that?
Here are five tips I’ve come up with to help me stay on track while skipping town for a few days.
5 Ways to Keep Your Diet On Track During Weekend Getaways
- Make a plan ahead of time. I’ve talked about this in a previous post but basically you want to plan your weekend getaway as much as you can and then envision the obstacles that could come up. Ask yourself, will I be able to get in a workout? If not, can I get in some natural exercise like walking to the events I’m going to or taking a walk near the hotel I’m staying at. Close your eyes and see yourself in this upcoming weekend and call out the points at which you might fail at your diet. Do you see unexpected drinks or desserts? When would might that occur?
- Control the meals you can. Often during weekend getaways, you’re not completely sure all of what you’ll be eating. At this wedding, I had no idea what was being served at the meal. But I knew there would be good cake and I knew I wanted some. So, I had two things going on – calorie consumption and my lactose intolerance. So, I said no when my mother asked if I wanted ice cream at home the night before the wedding because I knew I had to save both the calories and the lactose allotment for the big day (I can have a very little amount of dairy if I take pills with it and keep it at a minimum). I also made sure that I had lean, protein filled breakfast the morning of the wedding as well.
- Commit to full engagement in the events. Ask yourself this question: Why did you want this weekend getaway in the first place? You’re going away to get into some adventures. Whether it’s a hiking trip or a wedding or a party – you’re going to have fun. I mentioned this in several posts, more memorable the post I called – Get a Life! If you’ve been reading this blog you may recall my profound thought that perhaps all of us overweight people just need to get better social lives and then we’d have better things to do than eat. Well so goes my theory about weekend getaways. Why are you getting away? To have an adventure. So have one! I’m not saying it can’t involve good food but I am saying that if you’re excessively snacking while you’re on this vacation, then perhaps you missed the point. You should be so busy and so fully engaged in your weekend activities that you………..dare I say it………….almost………….forget to eat. I said almost. I know, insane. But let that be the goal. Get so involved and engrossed in what you’re doing that food is secondary.
- Don’t waste calories on things you can eat anytime. On the day of the wedding/weekend getaway we decided not to skip lunch because we feared dinner would be pretty late since it was an evening wedding. I ordered an Apple Fuji Chicken Salad with no cheese but I got the chips as a side. While I was eating the salad I made the conscious decision to not eat the chips. The logic that helped me make that healthy choice was this: “You can have that anytime”. Seriously, think about it. Sometimes we, as overeaters, we get into this “must have it” mentality and it can seem like such a strong force in our lives. But take a breath and think about it rationally for a minute. Panera Bread Kettle potato chips – I can literally have that every single day of my life anywhere in America if I choose to. No matter what I’m doing, where I am, I can have that every day. It’s not special. What is special is my sister’s wedding cake that she picked out and made sure was delicious. That is not something I can have every day and I can’t have both – so which one do I choose today? This thought process worked great for me on Saturday and I know it will work for you too.
- Start with the End in mind. Finally, each day of your weekend getaway, remind yourself of the end. Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel on Monday morning?” Do I want to feel light and energetic and ready to tackle the new week and happy from the fond memories I have of the past weekend? OR, Do I want to feel heavy and slow and totally regretful of the past weekend’s behavior? You know as an overeater, nothing tugs at our emotions worse that regret of overeating. It is the worst feeling for us. And what’s more, it clouds your memory of the fun you had that weekend. Suddenly, it’s all you can think about. The eating plagues you and takes over your thoughts. Don’t let that happen. So remember that and keep that vision in your mind –“ A Happy You Monday Morning” – that’s what we want.
On this weight loss journey so many things will come up that can be seen as obstacles and reasons why we can’t lose weight. If we never had these obstacles then it wouldn’t be called life. Standing in some perfect bubble where we are allowed to follow our eating plan and exercise plan perfectly without interruption is not living. That is a fake illusion that will not happen and wishing it so will get us nowhere.
So, instead, let’s embrace these obstacles and reframe them in our mind as fun opportunities to flex our healthy habit muscles and get creative about how we adapt. That is truly living. So the weather is getting warmer and fun opportunities are ahead of us. Make a plan for a great fun weekend getaway and enjoy yourself with no regrets. You deserve it. IT’s your life, it’s your body, treat them both with honor and love. Have a great week!