So it’s summer and a lot of people are thinking about heading off on summer holidays to places near and far, or enjoying an increasingly popular ‘staycation’. Holidays are one of the occasions that people use as a target deadline for getting into shape and weight loss, especially if the holiday involves peeling off the layers of baggy clothes worn throughout most of the year and showing a bit more of our skin and body.
As I prepare to go off on my summer holidays, things are a little different this year. I’ve been away for the summer before, which usually meant over indulging on local delicacies, fast food, ice cream, alcoholic drinks and lots of lazing around. My way of thinking was that I’m on holiday so I could let loose and slip back into my old unhealthy habits, forget about weight loss, it didn’t matter if I put on weight. In previous years I’ve returned home to find that I had gained 13lbs, on another occasion it was 9lbs. This additional weight would come off once I’d got back to normal, eating sensibly and exercising, but the weight would take twice as long to come off as it did to go on. During my last long abroad I found that quickly got tired of the high fat and sugar food I was eating. I longed for the home cooked dishes I’ve become accustomed to eating, so much so that I wrote a list and meal plan of what I was going to eat when I got home.
This year I have a different mindset. Something has finally clicked in my head and even though I’m going to be in a different country, I know that I’m still the one who is in control of what I eat and what I do. What I love and prefer to eat most has finally become the healthy option. Fortunately for me, this is a self catering holiday. I’m doing my own food shopping and cooking. The knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the years will help me to make healthier choices. Things might be a bit different if I was staying at an all-inclusive resort for a couple of weeks.
Don’t get me wrong, life doesn’t revolve around weight loss. I’m certainly not saying that I’m going to deny myself the pleasure of enjoying my absolute favourites of what the local culture has to offer, but the portion sizes will be controlled. And once I’ve had it, that will be enough to satisfy me. Quite often it is the memory of a particular food or drink that makes it so appealing.
Now that I’ve incorporated activity and exercise into my lifestyle, my attitude to just leaving that behind when I step on the plane has also changed. My Fitbit will be accompanying me on this trip and I’ll be getting out and about to make sure I get those flashing lights and wrist vibrations by hitting my daily Fitbit target. I’m a tourist at heart, which goes well with subconsciously racking up steps while seeing the sights.
There’s a lovely beach where I’m staying with a long stretch of sandy shoreline. An idyllic setting to make footprints in the sand and walk to the sound of the waves lapping at the shore. Followed by a cool refreshing swim in the sea. I’ve found my paradise where I can relax, refresh and revitalise, mind, body and spirit.
To be honest, this all sounds really quite amazing to me, I never imagined that my way of thinking would change this much. It has taken several years for me to reach this place in my life, but now that I am here, it feels right. Going into a situation with a plan, gives me a sense of control. Even if things don’t always go according to plan all the time, I can be flexible enough to make adjustments when I need to. Going on holiday has always been a major challenge to my lifestyle change, this year it is one that I fully intend to conquer.