When I took time off to get away in the past, I would get off track. The enemy would try and persuade me to take a vacation from my healthy habits. I’ve even heard of people afraid to take time off for fear they will lose control. Bah! The enemy is mean and will do whatever he can to sidetrack us. Consider the following FEAR fighting steps to stay on track as you embrace your time off.
FORESIGHT: Anticipate the obstacles. Where are you staying? What food options will be available? How often in your day will you be able to work in physical activity? Who will be the biggest challenge? What types of healthy snacks will you bring? How will you drink your eight glasses of water while you are traveling? Planning ahead reduces the stress of staying on track.
EXERCISE: Walking may be the only activity you can squeeze out of a day filled with travel. I pack my tennis shoes in a cloth bag to protect my clothes in my suit case. If my day is filled with sitting, I do my best to walk whenever there is a break. No place to move? Walk in place. One time when I was on a long flight, I stood in the airplane aisle and marched in place, raising my knees higher with each step. Healthy people do some type of physical activity every day, even on vacation.
AVOID: The temptation to splurge will present itself numerous times when we are away from our normal environments. Sometimes our traveling companions might try to guilt us into joining them. Set the trend, be the first to order with a healthy choice. Ask to share a dessert with several people or split your favorite entrée. I use the one- bite strategy. One French fry, one bite of the juicy hamburger, or one fork full of creamy dessert will satisfy my desire and keep me on track. My husband, Vince, is accustom to my request, “May I have one bite.” Make it your goal to maintain your weight while on vacation.
REST: God rested and so should you. Mark 6:31 records Jesus saying to the apostles, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Schedule a few hours in quiet reflection with God. Shut off the technology, put down the book, and stop talking. Find a quiet place to sit and be still with Jesus. When we allow God’s rest to penetrate our soul, we are refreshed.
Vacations can be a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends making memories together. Practicing maintenance on vacation gives you a jumpstart on a long term healthy habit. We don’t experience the dread of the scale when we return. I hope these tips will help you stay on track on your next vacation. Do you have an idea of your own you’d like to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org post a suggestion on our Facebook page, facebook.com/firstplace4health/
Helen Baratta is an author, speaker, coach, group leader, triathlete and nationally certified fitness instructor. She serves as Director of Development for First Place 4 Health. Her new book Restored! Embracing Weight Loss God’s Way will be released later this year.