The Healthy Vacation Primer

It can be hard to focus on healthy living while on vacation.  There is so much temptation around to relax and eat foods that you may not normally indulge in, and that is fine but it is also important to stay active and make good choices (most of the time).  So here is a glimpse at some of our vacation – when we #wycwyc-ed our way into a fairly balanced and healthy trip. #wycwyc stands for “What you can, when you can”

Step 1: Plan for success, so you don’t get buried by temptation later on.


Step 2: Prepare some of the meals on your own.  We had a kitchen at the beach which we used 90% of the time.  (No E2’s were cooked).


Step 3:  Make sure you take time for healthy snacks and drink plenty of water.  The sun is tiring, you need to stay hydrated!


Step 4:  Make the most of the rainy days by becoming sight seers.  It turns out that battleships are great for stair workouts!


Step 5: Try new activities.  E1 and I took a rented kayak across the waterway and explored the sandbar one day.

Step 7: Choose activities that the whole family can enjoy!  Mini golf isn’t exactly a workout, but it is not lounging around either!

 Step 8: Remember to get some good sleep too!  This is a time to rest. (as much as your children will let you). 

Our week at the beach was amazing and it went far too quickly.  I wish I had an accurate measure of my activity each day but my fitbit isn’t waterproof so I know none of my surf running, playing and kid-wrangling got counted.  Still every day was swimming, fun, and very little sitting still.  We ate breakfast, lunch and 4 of 5 dinners at the beach house.  There was fruit galore and very few sweets.  It was easy to make good choices.

I claim no perfection – just tonight back in town before we head home we met some Fitbloggin friends for some authentic Carolina BBQ – which was amazing.  But I also took the kids swimming again today.  Progress not perfection.

I feel like I’ve gained some perspective and some momentum on this trip and I am preparing a plan to hit the ground running when I get home.  I’ve come too far just to give up because life feels hard.

On the beach

Today was our first full day at the beach.  The weekend was a lot of travel and extended family meals and hotel rooms that left the whole family stretched too much.

Today was leisure and activity in perfect measure. Slow morning, a few hours on the beach, lunch, swimming with Mr. Goat and E1 in the canal, games, homemade dinner, and now I am typing on the phone in the dark waiting for E2 to sleep.
It was lovely and restful.  I was active both at the beach and swimming later.  I ate when hungry, and made balanced choices.  There was coffee and water aplenty.

It was lovely.

My own thoughts are not always so lovely.  I felt each of those pounds I’ve gained today climbing sand dunes with a toddler.  I am afraid to be in pictures, especially in my suit. I don’t want to see what I already know.

But I am trying to see this trip and me through my kids eyes.

Where I see a woman in ill-fitting swimsuit, they see a mom playing in the sand with them.

Where I see flabby arms, they see arms that hold them tight and catch them when they jump in the waves.

Where I see the size of my clothes, they see the batman shirt I wear to match my son.

It goes on but I think you get the point.

And here is the thing: Both ways of seeing are true.

But I like my kids view a whole lot better.  I am going to work at seeing myself through the eyes of the people who love me this week.  Vacation is not the time for beating yourself up.

I am active. I am aware of my choices.  I am in control of how I respond to food, to myself, to others.

Besides.  The beach is fun.

Welcome Back Dawn!

Just popping in late after a truely “Griswold Family Vacation” sort of day.  Lots to share and write, but it is nearly 2am and my 6 year old just fell asleep.

So withour further stuff to say tonight you should all go to this post and welcome Dawn back to the PFG blog family!

Time to sleep!

Feeling Fat

There is no way around it…I am feeling fat.

The weight gain, the mental limbo, the emotional eating, it all combines to a general ickiness that I am feeling acutely. I feel it in my joints, I see it in the mirror, but mostly I feel it in the way I move and hold myself. Things aren’t as easy. Clothes are tight or don’t fit entirely.

I own my eating, and my binging, and my struggling. I am working hard to avoid the judgment that so often comes with feeling fat, but the truth is that I feel fat. Even staying kind to myself I cannot seem to avoid the fact that I have gained weight and my body is out of sync.

The other dilemma is what to do about this feeling. I am working hard with the pit crew to regulate my thinking and understanding of food. I am focusing on mindful eating and on making sure my meals are balanced to try to satisfy my nutritional needs and promote satisfaction. At the same time, I am trying to relax about eating too – to remind myself that there are other meals and other opportunities to eat. To remind myself that not everything is good every time.

But what I am not doing is counting calories or points. And what I am not supposed to be doing is actively reducing what I eat to try to lose weight. There is a thinking that if I work on weight loss in the midst of this disordered food time then I am going to keep the cycle of weight loss-binge-weight loss-binge going indefinitely. I understand in theory but it is hard.

What I can do, and need to get back to now that work is calmer, is to get back to regularly working out. It helps my mental state and my physical strength. Even at this weight I know that I feel better when I stay active. I need to start to schedule the time for myself to work out. Easier said than done, but it needs to be a priority.

All of this doesn’t help the immediate feeling of fatness, but at least writing it down reminds me that I am working hard, that I have options to add to the routine and that I am in good hands and doing good work that will have benefits in the long run.

Patience, young Jedi, patience.