You’re getting ready to pack for this awesome vacation you’ve been looking forward to for literally forever. You worked overtime and maybe even took a second job to get the upgrades. The tickets are paid for, hotel confirmed, early morning Uber scheduled for the airport, and you are hours before sitting on some exotic location living your best life.
You pull out your extra large suitcase and start to pack for this dream vacation. Upon entering your closet this all gets even more real.
What is going through your mind is one of two things….
Option 1: You are deeply regretting that you didn’t quite work out as much as you intended in order to feel more confident in that new bathing suit you bought. You’re secretly beating yourself up for indulging in two pieces of cake last week too. Maybe you can just “suck it in” and no one will notice. For sure you will avoid the camera because you don’t like how you look. Before packing you try on everything and realize nothing is fitting so that means another shopping trip for the dreaded bigger size. Thankfully the tags are still on the one you bought.
Option 2: You’ve worked out hard for months, ate salads to the point the thought of another one makes you shiver. The results though are spot on exactly where you want to be going on this vacation. That 2 piece bathing suit looks fantastic on you and you are looking forward to showing it off on the beach. You’ve lost so much weight that even you suitcase is lighter so you pack some extra fun things because you are feeling confident you may need a second black dress. The sacrifices were worth it for how good you will look in the vacation photos.
In both cases, I can promise you that what you eat on vacation is going to be top of mind.
Regardless of what you have done to this point in preparation for this vacation, food will be a topic that you will immediately have an emotional and mental response on that may not be the healthiest for our well-being… in either case.
Will you deprive or indulge in the umbrella alcoholic drinks, desserts and high carb meals?
Will you tell yourself it is enough you are there and eat little, perhaps they have different kinds of salads, drink water and skip desserts?
Will you go all in and “pay” for it after vacation?
Pre-Vacation Weight Mindset
It is natural to want to look your best when you have some big event coming up. Maybe it’s a class reunion, your best friends wedding you’re the maid of honor in, or an exotic vacation. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be at your best in these situations but where we falter is in our approach to achieving that state.
We are programmed to believe hard core dieting, deprivation and high intensity workouts with a screaming trainer are the best route for results. We are told it will be worth it because we will reach that vision we have for our body and can be proud of our efforts standing in that moment. Some do achieve this level and should be proud of their hard work. Was it worth it? Well, that is personal I guess. For the majority of us though, we may start out with strong determination and willpower but it wanes and we find ourselves not reaching greatness in this approach.
The larger question is are the results achieved, regardless of extent reached, sustainable? Or have you just set yourself up for regaining all that back plus some when you stop being so cruel to yourself?
I believe it is wonderful to have health goals that empower us to strive to feel and be our best. If we don’t however, work on a mind, body, spirit level we are only addressing one part of our being.
Without the other two parts the results cannot be long lasting unless we stick to strictest of living. For most of us that is not sustainable because it is not pleasurable.
The truth is, yes vacations are pleasurable but every day life is also meant to be that way. If you only see your diet as a sacrifice to look good, you miss out on the connected way of living every day that is beautiful and pleasurable. Health is immensely important but it not health if we only work to manage the physical aspects of it.
So, back to this awesome vacation pre-plan. How then do you achieve the right mindset to achieve great results to look your best on that vacation?
The answer is quite simple. You set realistic expectations of yourself and build a personalized plan that is right for you. The plan is actually inclusive of what you need in mind, body and spirit that supports not only a big event but long lasting sustainable results that promote every day living of feeling your best. Hard core willpower and determination combined with restrictive dieting do not achieve that.
Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels.
This was my daily motto leading up to my wedding. I skipped meals, ate more lettuce than a rabbit and had two different personal trainers. You better believe I was the best looking bride to ever walk the flower littered aisle.
When we got to our reception, I couldn’t eat or drink. On our honeymoon, I barely touched the exquisite dishes at our romantic beach resort. Months later, I couldn’t explain why weight was slowly climbing back on my body. Granted, I was still eating the restrictive diet the trainers gave me but was not working out as hard. I was a new bride setting up her home, having fun and focusing on the other parts of life. The stress of the big day long past and I had to get into real life now. My body didn’t understand what was going on.
What happens when we only focus on physical aspects means the body is left without support. Just because you work out hard and restrict eating, if you don’t combine that in spirit and mental work then your body is doing all the work. Sooner or later it can’t keep going because you were not designed to pull the cart one legged.
Working to achieve health balanced in mind, body, spirit is not as easy as it sounds. Mostly, because we don’t understand what that means or where to even begin. – Amy Kramer, Dragonspit Apothecary
When I say mind, body spirit most of us think about yoga and complicated pose we’re trying to hold our breath in while balancing on 1 leg. While yoga helps us to create the physical space to support mind, body, spirit alignment that is but only one way to achieve this result. The point being establishing this balance is the first very vital step in developing a natural health plan that gives results and that are sustainable.
It would take me years to find my own balance in mind, body, spirit. Every day I need to work on it too.
What if I don’t make the goal in time for my vacation?
The fact that you have a big vacation planned, booked and paid for is exciting. NOTHING should derail you from having the best time of your life. NOTHING.
Not the fact you are size 16 rather than a 6.
Not the vision of what you think you look like versus what you imagine.
Even if you do reach your goal, I say this is still true. Why are we focusing on what we look like rather than the beauty around us and the fact we are on this incredible experience?
You worked hard for that opportunity and gave up a lot to have it. Do not let what the number on your pants size dictate the level of fun you can have in your vacation or life.
Yes, it would be fantastic to lose weight, wear a smaller size or even a bikini but you know what is more important?
How you feel about yourself. What your health actually is. Let me tell you friend, health is definitely more than what size you wear.
Get in the picture and make memories.
Why we tie big things in life to our body
Life is full of big moments and events. We have this vision that everything is perfect in those moments. Things we worked hard for are reality, our wildest dream came true, and we’re standing in the limelight for it.
Do you look back at those big moments and regret what you looked like? Most of us don’t, except for when we see the pictures. Julia Roberts had the perfect lines for this in the Eat, Pray Love movie.
When a man is making love to you, do you think he cares what your pant size says? Most men, real men don’t. They love you. Why then can’t you love yourself?
It really does come down to that. Loving ourselves, regardless of size and meeting ourselves truly on the road where we are in this very moment. We can make the best choices of what to do from that point when we are one and at peace with who we are. When you work from this perspective, it doesn’t matter the setting, event or mission you are on because it will be the right path for you.
Tying big events to the tag size of our clothing seems a poor measurement to the quality of life we could be living. – Amy Kramer, Dragonspit Apothecary
This does not mean we don’t care about our health or how big we are. It means the opposite. It means we care so deeply that we’re willing to consider all of who we are and what we need beyond just the physical appearance of our body. We move united in that doing what is best for ourselves.
The very shape of our goals change when we do this too. No longer is our goal to fit into a bikini sized 2 for vacation. It is to look our best, feel our best and be our best so we can enjoy the experience of that vacation. See the difference? Your approach is now wildly personal for what you need most in achieving that state.
It is focused on nutrition, moving in grace and building strength in our mind, body and spirit collectively. One is not more focused on than the other. That is how you not only have an awesome vacation, but don’t find yourself crying in your closet among new clothing that doesn’t fit the night before your vacation.
Then you eat whatever the hell you want, freely and without guilt before, during or after.
You’re on vacation!
To work with me on defining your personalized plan for improving health and weight in your mind, body, spirit, schedule a consultation at dragonspitapothecary.com