I just got back from St. Maarten with my Dad on Sunday. When I was younger, my Dad used to travel a ton for work and we didn’t see him as much as we or he would have wanted to, so he started a tradition of taking each one of us kids on a father/daughter or father/son trip every 3rd year.
My first father/daughter trip was when I was 10 years old, and every few years I get the chance to go away with him for a few days. These are some of the most special times to bond with my Dad, and over the years we’ve created so many fun and meaningful memories.
This year it was my year to go away with him, and we both decided that all we wanted to do was chill out for a few days. We’ve both been working a ton and we both hate the cold winters, so we decided to do a relaxing beach weekend in the Caribbean.
Here’s some pics from my trip:
A gorgeous treetop restaurant/bar at the base of the mountain:
One of our many soufflés:
One of our many bottles of wine that we shared:
Roasted camembert cheese… to die for:
The cutest menu at our favorite happy hour spot:
Watching the sunrise:
As we headed home yesterday, I felt “puffy”, as I often do after spending 3 or 4 days eating every single meal out, drinking lots of wine, and having extravagant desserts every night.
I loved every moment of my trip and enjoyed every chocolate soufflé and glass of wine without guilt, but I was also craving vegetables, moving my body, and lots of water.
In the past, I used to freak out after vacations like this one and I would immediately go on a diet or restrict myself for the week after a vacation. However, this always ended up backfiring – I’d be cranky and have no fun in order to “get back on track” (<– I hate that phrase) which often times caused me to overeat anyway. Vicious cycle!
These days, I know how to start feeling more like myself after a vacation that left me feeling “puffy”. I approach it completely differently and with much more love, respect and care for my body. Here’s what I do now:
1. I watch how I talk to myself: There’s a big difference between saying “you shouldn’t have eaten all of that, your ass is fat” vs “I feel a little puffy from all of this eating out, I’m excited to get home and take really good care of myself this week”. Watch how you’re talking to yourself and make sure you’re seeing your puffiness with a sense of gentleness and kindness.
2. I inject humor: Humor really helps dissipate whatever you’re upset about. Rather than letting feelings of “my ass looks bigger” fester inside of me, I’ll often times just get it out there in the open and joke about it. I’ll jokingly say to my boyfriend “does my ass look bigger”? He will roll his eyes at me, laugh, I’ll laugh, and you realize it doesn’t really matter. Humor is the best.
3. I plan a couple of fun ways to move my body in the upcoming week: I usually whip out my calendar on the way home and look for a couple of open spots where I can plan a spin class, a walk outside, or some fun form of movement. I get them on the calendar so that I know I’ll do them. The key here is that they are FUN activities, not ways to punish myself.
4. I’m patient and realize I didn’t actually gain 20 pounds: I used to freak out about weight fluctuations, but then I realized that this is totally normal and okay, and that it only takes a few days for me to feel better in my skin after a vacation. There is no need to completely overhaul my diet and exercise regime and go nuts over it. I just make small bits of effort and after a few days, I feel great again. Doing it this way feels a million times better than freaking out and coming up with a master plan about how I am going to restrict my diet, workout every day and make myself crazy.
5. I incorporate those relaxing and fun vacation vibes into my upcoming weeks: When you’re relaxed, your body burns more calories than when you’re stressed. So the last thing you want to do is stress yourself out with a rigid diet and exercise regime when you get home. Instead, I’ve learned that one of the best things I can do for my health is to strive for pleasure whenever possible. When I get back from vacation, I always make sure I’ve scheduled a couple of fun events and plenty of little things that I’m looking forward to in the coming days.
6. I grocery shop & surround myself with healthy food: I am NOT a proponent of restricting or telling myself that I can’t have any more soufflés or wine, but to decrease that extra puffiness, I make sure I surround myself with plenty of healthy options. We go for what is most easily accessible, so it’s your job to make vegetables, whole grains, fruit and whatever else makes you feel good easily available. On the way home from vacation, I always like to grab a magazine to read on the way home that is filled with delicious looking recipes. It gets me excited about cooking a couple of wholesome home-cooked meals in order to help my body feel energized and healthy. Once I’m home, grocery shopping and stocking my fridge is one of the first things I do.
7. I Drink lots of water: When you’re eating out all the time on vacation, your body retains a ton of water because of the sodium. During the days after vacation, I make sure to drink a lot of water in order to get things back to normal.
And that’s it! Small little tips, but they have a big impact. And they’re much more enjoyable than putting yourself back into diet-mode, don’t you think?
In the comments below, I would love to hear…. what do you do in order to feel more like yourself after an indulgent vacation? What tips do you have for us?
I can’t wait to hear!