I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I get a little nervous when going on long vacations because I feel like I will suddenly gain twenty pounds, lose all of my muscles that I work so hard on toning during the year, and come back hating what I look like. Of course, in reality, this never happens, especially when you have a good relationship with food and with yourself, but I know it’s something we all struggle with in some way.
This Summer, after eating way too many croissants and cones filled to the brim with gelato, I came back from my month long trip in Israel and Europe with a body better than when I left and I thought I’d share with you all exactly why.
First off, my relationship with food has strengthened and grown tremendously (which you can read about in my previous blog post). I make sure that whether at home or on vacation, I listen to my body, eat consciously, eat when I’m full, stop when I’m hungry, and view both food and my body with love.
I also made sure to meditate every morning when I woke up by simply closing my eyes and repeating to myself “I will not gain any weight on this trip. I will love my body and treat it with the kindness it deserves.” This helped a LOT, since your mind is the most powerful thing about you, and your body will always listen to it. What you believe is what you will attract- remember that.
One of the most powerful forces when it comes to weight gain is stress, which is another reason most of us automatically lose weight when on vacation. When you don’t have to deal with all of the daily pressures that come with life, you are instantly less stressed and can focus more of your energy on enjoying your meals rather than rushing through them. You can also dedicate more time to listen to your bodies cues, rest your over-worked body, and live in the present moment.
Letting go-another super important part in avoiding weight gain in any circumstance. When you let go and simply let yourself eat without over-thinking your food choices, your body will automatically feel lighter. If you are carrying around negative energy and thoughts in regards to your food choices, you will FEEL heavy. That’ just how it works. You also won’t enjoy your life if you curse yourself every time you eat a piece of chocolate, and what’s the point of living if we aren’t actually feeling ALIVE?
Now, when I say let go, I don’t mean that you should start stuffing your face with twenty croissants, five bags of chips, and ten glasses of wine. That definitely is NOT healthy either. Letting go means trusting yourself and your body; loving your body enough to trust that it knows exactly how much fuel it needs. Trusting that you can treat yourself and your body with kindness. When you truly let go and feel at peace with yourself, you will realize that your body will never NEED or even want an insane amount of junk food. If you really LISTEN to your body (I keep saying this because it is SO damn important), you will see that most of the time it craves nutrients, and the rest of the time it’ll crave a croissant, a bag of chips, or two glasses of wine.
Another thing that helped me was walking, a LOT. I didn’t need to visit a gym or plan a workout in my hotel room because I walked 5+ miles a day. In Europe that’s just how it is, which is one of the reasons I love Europe so much. In Israel, I don’t walk as much because I don’t really need to (my family drives me around everywhere), and because its crazy hot, so I usually try to stretch or do some yoga in my room, go to a pilates class with one of my Aunt’s, or go to the gym with my cousins. I don’t do any crazy workouts but I try to move my body in some way.
The food in Israel and in Europe is simply just healthier than here in the U.S.- It sucks but it’s true. I ate pasta and pizza every day in Italy and felt amazing, but honestly if I did the same here I know I would feel sick to my stomach. I don’t like to eat out more than twice a week when I’m home, just because restaurant food isn’t very healthy, no matter what you decide to order. In Israel and in Europe, portion sizes are smaller and everything has a homemade feel to it. So even if you order a pasta dish or some pizza, it doesn’t feel gross and heavy. You can tell it’s all natural and just feel better about eating it.
I like to eat authentic food from whichever country or city I’m traveling in, because to me that’s part of the whole cultural experience. Therefore, in Israel I ate pretty much the same as I normally eat at home (since I am Israeli haha)- a ton of salads, veggies, fish, wholegrains, tahini, hummus, smoothies, fruit, yogurt, etc. In Europe, on the other hand, I hate a ton of croissants, pasta, pizza, gelato, bread, potatoes, fruit (pretty much alll the carbs!) and an occasional veggie soup, salad, or vegetable (lol). I definitely had access to salads and veggies most of the time and could have eaten way more, but I chose to enjoy other foods instead that I normally don’t when I’m at home. I also drank way more alcohol than I normally do (hello 4 Euro bottles of Rosé!) and drank many cans of coca cola which I would never ever touch in the U.S., but vacations are about having fun and splurging and I don’t regret any of it one bit.
In short, the most important way to avoid weight gain during vacation is to let go, trust in yourself, and simply go with the flow. ENJOY your life and don’t let anything, especially not food, control your life. When we are scared of losing control, that is usually when we starve ourselves and eventually end up binging. When we let ourselves have anything we want, we won’t want it as much as we think we would. When we love ourselves enough to let go and enjoy life, we will want to treat our bodies with respect. We will order a salad instead of a pizza when we know our bodies have had enough. And, in contrast, we will order the damn pizza when we know we need it.
If you are unhappy, your body will show it. If you are happy and vibrant, your body will be an exact reflection of just that. So let go, enjoy life, learn to be truly HAPPY, and you will have the body of your dreams- I promise you