Last Thursday, Thomas and I went on a road trip to visit my family in Pennsylvania. We packed our bags and drove 9 1/2 hours all the way to York, Pennsylvania. I have to admit, driving is something both Thomas and I enjoy. We love being stuck in a car together for long periods of time (weird, I know). There is something about being in a car together that brings back memories of our first date, and many dates after. Oh, and did I mention a Tim Horton’s stop is necessary? Especially before crossing the border, otherwise you will be stuck with Dunkin’ Donuts.
Before leaving, I made sure to visit the health food store to pick up some healthy snacks for the drive. I had great intentions for nutritional success on our journey. I packed some rice cakes, cashews, healthy chips and my favourite healthy drink – Kombucha!
It wasn’t long before my will gave in and I let loose. I don’t know why, but it seriously happens every time. I need a little more self control when I go on a trip. Once I let myself slip a little, it is all over from there…
It all started with the first coffee stop on the drive. I ordered cream instead of milk in my coffee (big deal, right?)…with a side of a donut for good measure. Oops. Thomas grabbed a treat for the drive too (mmm chocolate), which ended up being “our treat” since I could not stop eating what was supposed to be his treat. Oops. Okay, so I blew it within the first hour of our trip, but I planned to enjoy every minute of my unhealthy eating, especially since I eat well at home.
“I will eat healthy when I get home!” I continued to tell myself. Which is true, and I certainly was doing a good job of convincing myself that healthy food and trip don’t go together. Everyone deserves to eat whatever they want once in a while, but I seriously take it to a whole new level when I am in vacation mode. It’s like I have been caged up for years and finally I am set free into the forbidden land of junk food. Okay, so maybe I blew it on the health spectrum, but I definitely enjoyed myself.
We finally arrived at my Aunt and Uncle’s house, and had a fantastic visit with them. We visit every year for the American Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping (that counts as exercise, doesn’t it?)…Do I have ANY self-control when it comes to shopping you may ask? Why yes, yes I normally do. Same goes with my eating habits. Very under control. But let me loose on Black Friday, and LOOK OUT.
I guess what I have noticed is a trend when it comes to vacations. I somehow convince myself that the only way to fully enjoy myself is to run in the opposite direction of my daily life. As much as I love to eat healthy, I really do love to eat unhealthy too. Don’t we all? But I discovered a fact about eating unhealthy food nonstop. The temporary reward of eating what I wanted when I wanted it did not always outweigh the guilt that followed. Let me be clear with this – I LOVE FOOD. I LOVE EATING FOOD. I LOVE PIZZA, PASTA, CAKE, DONUTS, CHOCOLATE, CANDY, CAPPUCCINOS, LATTES….etc. I don’t feel guilty eating this food once in a while. I do feel a bit guilty when I eat it all within one day…and then press repeat and do it all over again the next day.
If I could go back, I think I would have said “no” to a few things I grabbed out of impulse. I probably didn’t need that whipped cream on top my latte to really enjoy it, or buy candy and chocolate at the Hershey Chocolate Factory (I do not regret one ounce of chocolate though!). I do not regret any of my unhealthy decisions actually, I simply know and recognize that I have a weakness now. And that’s okay! I am only human.What I can do next time is think about what having a balance means before leaving on my trip. When I make that decision on the road, I end up convincing myself that “balance means having a donut in both hands, not just one.” I seriously saw a billboard that said that! LOL. But, I know that I was way out of balance, and now I am feeling a bit of guilt for going overboard. On my next trip, I plan to have a little more success when it comes to travelling and eating healthy (or at least healthier).
So here’s what I plan to do on my next trip. Here is my Eat Healthy Trip Tips:
- Decided what a balance means to you before you leave. This will be different for everyone. Only you know what that looks like for you. It is important that you figure this out before you leave so you can set some boundaries.
- Pack healthy snacks so you aren’t tempted to buy something quick at the convenience store when your belly starts grumbling ,especially when everything else is closed on Thanksgiving.
- Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. This is easy to forget. Often we mistake the feeling of thirst for hunger. This may throw your off track and tempt you to eat something unhealthy when really you may only be thirsty.
- If you think you will feel guilty from eating it, then it isn’t worth it. Stay within your boundaries or else you will probably end up feeling miserable instead of really enjoying yourself.
- Enjoy your treats when you have them. You deserve them! Savour every little bite. If you enjoy each bite, you will feel satisfied and won’t feel like you need more than within your boundaries. Take a moment to taste your food instead of mowing it all down at once.
- If you do make a choice you aren’t proud of, don’t continue to beat yourself up over it. Don’t get stuck in the vicious guilt cycle. It is never too late to chose a healthier option, and you are not disqualified to eat healthy again after few mistakes. You can easily make a healthier choice next time. The past is the past. Keep moving forward. This is your only life. Seriously…enjoy it!
As much as I recognize now that I could have made healthier choices, I also know that I had a blast and enjoyed myself to the fullest. I may have to put a little more effort into my nutrition choices back at home to make up for my treats on our trip, but that’s okay. I’m not fretting about it. In fact, I feel motivated to get to the gym and eat healthy again! I have 22 days until Christmas. 22 Days to be as healthy as I can be. 22 Days before I try to convince myself that Christmas is not balanced without candy cane ice cream and apple pie. Mmmmm.