Balancing fun with the girls & staying on track
My “besties” and I headed to the North Shore of Lake Superior this past weekend for our Annual Girls Gone North Weekend at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. It’s become an annual tradition. We celebrate sisterhood, friendship and the fact that no boys are allowed! (Well, okay, this year the boys from North Shore Winery were allowed because they hosted our fun wine tasting event. But other than that, it’s sacred girl time.)
We hike. We laugh – a lot! Sometimes we “spa.” We catch up on all things “feminine.” And, we eat and drink — sometimes a lot. You get it! Girlfriend getaways are necessary and good for the soul.
But what do you do when you’re trying to eat healthy and stay on track? I get asked that question a lot. So, coming fresh off our November girls weekend seemed the perfect time to share some tips. I’m feeling especially proud of maintaining my weight loss while on vacation and coming home right on track.
This has not always been the case.
- Change your mindset & have a plan going in. Instead of using girls weekend (or vacation) to totally splurge and overindulge, I think of it as staying generally on track while having fun. That’s my plan. Yours might be different. The key is to have a strategy and a plan to support it going in. And tell your friends or travel partners your strategy so they’ll support you. Without a plan, it’s likely you’ll eat regularly and/or snack on the “bad” stuff — high-calorie, high-fat foods — and overindulge.This time my plan was to eat healthy and stay on track Thursday and Friday, except for allowing in some wine with dinner. I allowed myself a “FREE” or “CHEAT” meal Saturday night. And then I got right back on track Sunday. I’ve found that most often my girlfriends are watching their calorie intake too, so they’re happy to do some healthier snacking along the way. It totally helps to prepare and plan, and share that plan with others.
- Eat out, but have it your way. I’ve developed a knack over the years for eating out successfully while staying on track. Most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate my “healhy” or “clean” eating requests — like no butter or heavy oil, grilled meat only. Or, stripping the croutons and cheese off a garden salad and ordering oil and vinegar dressing on the side. I prefer to stay on track with my healthy meal and have some wine with dinner. Then I don’t feel like I’m missing out. (P.S. Just be careful on the alcohol calories your drink if your strategy is to really stay on track overall.)
- Get outside and get moving. Make outdoor activity and exercise part of your vacation routine so you’re walking off (or in our case hiking off) those extra calories. Then you get the benefit of having fun together, getting fresh air and exercise that’s good for the mind and body. Plus, you balance out some of the “loosening up around the edges” you may do in the food department. We always go for some gorgeous hikes along the North Shore and it’s one of my favorite parts of the weekend. Some of our best memories are on the trails.
- Limit your drinks. This one is tougher. Once I get going in the cocktail department, I like to keep going — especially on girls’ weekend. And sometimes I do! But the best strategy for me is to limit how much alcohol I bring on the trips and limit my drinks on any given night. I also try to avoid the fruity, sugary drinks. Often it is the drinking that takes us off the healthy path. If you’re like me, not only are you drinking some extra calories but you’re more apt to want to eat the bad stuff the more drinks you have.
- Get right back on track when you return home. I used to struggle with this one. After letting myself loosen up on the healthy eating and have some cocktails on vacation or during business travel, I would struggle to get back on plan when I got home. Now, I set my intention and make sure I am back on my nutrition and exercise program first thing when I return. If I am worried about it, I schedule a walk or a workout with a friend on Monday morning. I blog about it. Whatever it takes to keep me on track. A successful “RESTART” when you return home gives you confidence that you can go on vacation successfully, have some fun and find your way right back. So you’re more apt to do it again. Yay! Who doesn’t love vacation?!
I’ve found that getting my mindset in the right place, and then planning and bringing some healthy foods for the frig — including healthy snacks — is key to my success. I always start my day with my normal healthy breakfast and lunch, so I really only worry about evening meals and balancing my alcohol calorie intake once I have a couple of cocktails. It’s taken me a while to get this successful strategy to become the norm. And I know and avoid trigger foods making it easier and increasing my chanced of success.
It felt so great to get on the scale this morning and know I was right on track after a really fun weekend where I totally participated in the fun AND balanced my health and self care. Does anyone else have a vacation strategy you want to share? Please do so in the comments below.
Cheers! And Happy Motivation Monday. Have a great in-your-equation week.
#motivationmonday #healthygirl #fitgirl #girlsgonenorth #girlsgonenorth2016
P.S. We still have spots available in my Sat., Nov. 19 workshop in MN – Put Yourself in the Equation & Live a Whole Life Not Just a Busy One! Click here for more information and here to pre-register.