Live your life and enjoy your next vacation
Last week while scrolling through Instagram I came across a post from @thefuckitdiet.
I often see clients begin to get stressed as the summer months or their vacation week approaches, constantly asking what else they can do to look their best for that moment. My response is always the same - keep doing what you always have been doing. In my opinion, if you eat well (mostly), exercise regularly, and manage your sleep and stress levels, there is no reason to go overboard prior to a vacation. In all honestly, it isn’t healthy for you mentally, emotionally, or physically to take an aggressive approach in such a short period of time.
Everyone has a different relationship and experience when it comes to their own body but I try to practice positivity with the mindset that life is meant to be lived. If all you can do to be happy is eat salads, work out every day, and constantly criticize and compare your body, are you really living? It is all about finding the balance between what makes you feel great and where you can still enjoy every moment of your life.
The same philosophy applies to vacations, celebrations, and special moments. Remember that food is not just used as fuel. We eat for social experiences and to support our emotional well-being. For some people that still may mean a really delicious salad, but for others they might enjoy indulging in a burger and fries.
It saddens me to know that there is a constant feeling that we are not enough or not worthy of our earned vacation time away because of how we perceive our bodies. Your physical self is just one component of who you are. Your energy, hard work, passion, love, and positivity, will always shine through, regardless of the physical. You can still 100% have physical goals of wanting to change but we need to recognize what they are rooted in. Do you want your body composition to change so your clothes fit more comfortably or because you are worried about what someone will say when they see your vacation photo on the beach? Recognize where those thoughts are coming from an work through it.
Now I am no expert in knowing what works best for everyone but take a look below at my tips for remaining in a positive headspace before, during, and after those vacations and celebrations. Take what might work for you and leave the rest. Let me know what I have missed from your own list!
Sleep lots. Leading up to holidays or late nights spent with friends, try to maintain a proper sleep schedule. We all know that when we are in new places or spending time with those we don’t get to see as often we tend to stay up later than normal. Coming into these moments well rested will hopefully help you feel energized to enjoy your late nights but will hopefully also not set you further back afterwards.
Stay hydrated. Whether you are drinking alcohol or eating food you wouldn’t normally consume, staying hydrated will help you to feel your best during and after the festivities. Especially in the summertime when we spend more time outside it is especially important to drink water during all of the fun!
Change the narrative. It starts from within…and what we are surrounded by. If we constantly tell ourselves we need to drop 10lbs before a trip, if your friends stress about their bodies before vacation, or if you are exposed to social media campaigns preaching the “best beach body diet” then that needs to change. Surround yourself with positive people and social media pages to encourage self love and compassion.
Come prepared. If you know you might want a few specific snacks or meals pack them with you. Maybe you want to options of veggies alongside some chips and dip? Or you have food sensitivities or restrictions. Always come prepared so that you can count on a few substantial food options amongst all of the celebration food you might not but used to consuming on a regular basis.
Stress less. Enjoy making new memories in new places with those most important to you. If it means indulging a little more with food and drink for a few days, enjoy every moment of it! Life is short and is meant to be lived. Have fun!
You are enough. I know this sounds a little cheesy but it is true. Going overboard because we think we need to look better in our vacation photos or because we are seeing people we only see a few times a year is ridiculous. Give yourself some more credit! And as I said above, if you are truly living a fairly healthy, active lifestyle most days then your body should be feeling its best anyway.
Yours in self-discovery,