In recent years, my husband and I are taking blended vacations. We do some sightseeing, eating out and relaxing. We also look for ways to explore the areas where we vacation by biking, hiking, kayaking or whatever exercise strikes our fancy.
In the past, I’ve found eating out while on vacation a challenge. I want to splurge all the time, especially if we’ve been exercising. But if I’m listening to my body, that’s not always what it wants.
The two important takeaways from The Checklist Diet by Rebecca Clark that I keep going back to:
- Eat when I’m hungry
- Stop when I’m full
Following these two steps makes eating out much less difficult for me.
With our blended vacation, we do a lot of mountain biking and hiking. It’s easy for me to think that since I’ve done all that exercise, I can eat excessively.
And I probably can and not gain weight. But if I do that, then I’m not listening to my body and what it needs.
In Dr. Michelle May’s book, Eat What You Love and Love What You Eat she asked these questions about exercise and eating that really resonated with me:
- Do I use exercise to earn the right to eat or to punish myself for eating?
- Do I have rigid exercise patterns?
- Do I do exercise I enjoy?
Before I lost the weight, I exercised religiously, and then rewarded myself with extra food I really didn’t want.
Now, I still exercise regularly, but at a level I find enjoyable and much easier to maintain. I’ve learned that after an intense workout, I’m not excessively hungry.
While on vacation this year, I have become more in tune to what my body needs, and I have eaten more in line with the signals it gives me.
These days, I’m exercising for the joy of exercising versus exercising to eat more food. This has made exercise more enjoyable because I’m doing it because I love it. I’ve also seen some beautiful country that’s entirely different from the seat of a bike versus the seat of a car.
I have a goal—to love to exercise the same way my ten-year-old lab, Bandit, does. In her opinion, life doesn’t get any better than running uphill at 5,000 feet. Her tongue may drag and her body is stiff the next day, but she’s raring to go the minute I open the door. I want to be like that when I’m seventy.
What are your goals for exercise and vacation? What have you done and seen?