When you go on vacation or a business trip, do you try to keep up with your weight loss and/or fitness? We were recently away for a weekend with friends and I was adhering to my points tracking. I went over on one day (lasagna, yum!) and one of my friends said “Oh well, you’re on vacation.”

Does that matter? Sure, one day is not going to make or break anything, but it’s a slippery slope. If I’m on a 10-day cruise and subscribe to the “on vacation” philosophy, I’ll quickly put back at least 10 of the 50lbs I’ve lost so far. As I’ve mentioned in many a post before, I am lazy. I already LOST that 10lbs and I don’t want to have to do it again!

We’ve been away a few times since I started this journey and each time I’ve put some pretty significant thought into the planning where food and exercise were concerned. Significant, but worth it every time. It’s really not that hard once you know what to think about, what to look for, etc.

Below are some things I have done and/or will be doing in our upcoming trip planning. Let me just say, I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer, guilting you into working out on your vacation or denying yourself some holiday treats. I just know that for ME, I can’t indulge in a big way without paying the price on the scale and that’s something I’m not prepared to deal with. Enjoy your vacation time, enjoy your family and friends, and do what is right for YOU.

Staying with friends:

  • If you belong to a gym at home, do they have a reciprocal program with any gyms where you will be staying?
  • Ask your friends about local community centres that have gyms, pools, etc.
  • Is there a good, safe area for walking?
  • If you’re driving, take along a set of 5lb weights. Do not attempt this if you’re flying, as these days you need all the baggage allowance you can get. Not to mention they might consider it a weapon…
  • Ask your friends to talk you through the food plans for the time you’ll be there – whether they’re cooking or you’ll be eating out, it’s way better to be able to plan ahead and track/eat accordingly.
  • If your friends aren’t typically low-fat eaters, ask if it’s okay to bring some snacking veggies, low-fat salad dressing, etc with you.
  • Take a favourite workout DVD with you. Steal an hour in their TV room or alone with your laptop (get your mind out of the gutter) to get in your workout.

I know it’s a stumbling block sometimes, but I find it makes things easier if you’re open about your process and goals. If your friends understand what you’re going through and working towards, they will (I hope) be happy to help you however they can. I know it can be a challenge to find the balance between being a courteous houseguest and asking for a few selfish concessions to help you stay on track, but you can do it. Our friends made the MOST delicious sausage pie while we were staying with them. She took me through the recipe and the whole pie was over 100 Weight Watchers points. Yowza! I has 1/12 of the pie and a LOT of salad (with my dressing), it was awesome, and I didn’t feel I’d missed out.

Staying at a condo or timeshare:

  • Make your own meals as much as possible. You’ll be in control and you’ll save money!
  • Does the property have a gym or a pool?
  • Is there a DVD player? I take my copy of the Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout along just in case. It’s only 40 mins including warm up and cool down, so it doesn’t eat into your vacation time too much.
  • Check out the list above, as a lot of those ideas will apply no matter where you’re staying.

Staying at a hotel:

  • Almost all hotels now have a gym of some sort. A good portion of my current workout can be done without machines, so I can make a routine out of even the most basic equipment. Even if the workout is short and not as intense as I would do at home, I still feel better for have done SOMETHING.
  • If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, ask at the front desk if they have any arrangements with nearby hotels or fitness centres to allow guests to use the facilities there.
  • If your room has a mini fridge that isn’t stocked with over-priced snacks that you get charged for the minute they’re moved, consider getting some on-plan breakfast food to eat in your room. Breakfast is one of the most challenging meals at restaurants, as the toast will invariably arrive slathered with butter and God forbid you send that delicious piece of heaven back!

No matter where you’re staying, you can also look for active tourist activities. Mr. Awesome and I are planning a kid-free escape (Hell YEAH!) to Napa and San Francisco in a couple of months. One of the activities we already know we want to do is to rent bikes and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito.

Are you kidding me?! Six months ago you could barely have paid me enough to even consider this type of activity, but life looks a lot different on this side of that 50lbs. This is why I make an effort to keep on track, even if we’re on vacation. I have made a lifestyle change. I’m not on a temporary program that I will finally be “done” with when I reach my goal. This is for life.

Not to mention, all that bike riding will make up for all the wine I intend to drink in Napa. After all, I’m on vacation, right? 🙂