Going on vacation can be a huge source of anxiety for many of us.
Vacation is synonymous with “letting loose” and indulging in lots of foods you would normally avoid like desserts, fried foods, and sugary cocktails.
Occasional indulgences aren’t bad-- in fact, they are a part of a healthy lifestyle.
But for emotional overeaters, we don’t just stop with one serving, we go for the whole enchilada.
Vacation typically means throwing your “diet” to the wind and eating and drinking whatever you want, however much you want.
“No sugar or flour??
No way!! I’m on vacation!”
We think that’s freedom-- but really, that’s fueling massive anxiety and robbing us of the fun, relaxing, and rejuvenating vacation we want.
If you really want to experience an unforgettable vacation, here are three questions you need to ask yourself BEFORE you depart.
Question #1: How do you want to feel while you are on vacation?
The number one answer I get from my clients to this question is “free”.
We often think that the freedom to do what we want means eating whatever we want whenever we want.
But freedom is actually the opposite of that.
Because when we eat “whatever we want” we end up feeling like shit.
We feel bloated, our pants are too tight, we don’t sleep well, we’re constipated or the opposite, and we have TONS of mental mind-drama about what we ate or will eat and how it will impact us tomorrow.
That doesn’t sound like freedom to me.
...feeling deeply connected to myself, my people, and my environment.
...waking up each morning feeling AH-mazing and ready for a new adventure.
...putting on my bikini without feeling bloated.
...my jeans fitting everytime.
...not having to think about what to eat or drink for more than a few minutes everyday.
...knowing what foods energize my body and which weigh me down, and choosing from that place.
...a very happy and healthy gastro-intestional system.
...a really good night’s sleep.
...sweaty walks in the summer sun.
...making decisions about what to eat that leave me feeling energized.
...being drama-free around food.
...enjoying food and feeling great after eating.
...feeling phenomenal in my own skin.
Question #2: “What are the actions I’m going to take to make sure I feel freedom (or insert your feeling of choice here) on my vacation?
The answer to this question is going to be different for everyone and will require some thinking ahead of time.
Continuing with the freedom example, when you think of feeling freedom what does that look like for you?
Write it out the way that I did above.
Then ask yourself what will you need to do-- what action will you take-- to ensure you experience that feeling predominantly throughout your trip.
For me, I’m sure to “pack” my joy habits.
Joy habits are the habits that I’ve built that engineer feeling my best.
My joy habits are
As long as I incorporate joy habits into my vacation days I’m pretty much guaranteed to feel amazingly good and free.
Question #3: How do you want to feel when you return from vacation?
The answer to this question may be different from the feeling you desired while you were on vacation.
While I always want to feel free, my desired feeling when I come home is different: healthy and rejuvenated.
So I plan my vacation ahead of time with that goal in mind.
And, as it turns out, my joy habits will foster the achievement of that goal perfectly.
That doesn’t mean my vacation will be exactly like my regular life at home.
I’ll enjoy foods I don’t normally eat on occasion and will join my family in our tradition of cocktails at 5 pm everyday.
AND I’ll gain a few pounds while I’m on vacation-- and be drama-free about it because I have a protocol to return to that will gently bring my body back to balance when I get home.
Because what is most important on any vacation is that you get what you came for.
Get it, girl.
Lia Pinelli is a weight loss coach and educator who helps women put an end to emotional overeating and lose weight, permanently.