I’ve changed a lot of things since starting my fitness journey about 15 months ago. I stick to my workout schedule religiously, truly understand nutrition (thanks to macros), am eating enough calories, practice self-control and discipline, track my food with My Fitness Pal, and overall know what it takes to feel good about myself and feel confident.
However, one thing I still really struggle with is the “vacation mentality.” For some reason, I just cannot shake the “all or nothing” eating cycle when I am out of town. I can handle special occasions just fine when I can plan for them but I find that vacations are more spontaneous (when it comes to the eating), so I just give up on trying to track or stick to my normal foods. I will even eat just for the sake of eating and often end the day with an overly full stomach and sick feeling. This is always followed by guilt and regret and thoughts of “why do I always do this?”.
I know this is something that a lot of us struggle with, so I decided to reflect on the subject and talk about why I think this happens. I’m not necessarily offering any solutions to fix the problem because I haven’t been able to fix it for myself, but I hope the insight will at least help you reflect on your own eating habits and maybe we can find a solution as a community.
Why does this happen to me?
- Like I said above, I think a big part of it is the inability to plan. When I’m at home, it’s easy to plan out my meals/macros the day before and stick to them. But when I’m out of town and don’t know where I will eat, what the menu will be, or all of the day’s meals at once, it’s pretty much impossible to plan out the entire day.
- Macros have truly given me more food freedom, I will never deny that. BUT even though I can fit whatever I want into my macros, at the end of the day I still have to stick to them so it’s not complete food freedom. Does that make sense? So when I am on vacation if I’m not counting macros, I let myself go a little too free.
- Sometimes I still deal with feeling restricted. Similar to above, macros do keep me in check (which I 100% need), but it’s like when I get a small taste of not counting them, I go nuts and eat everything in sight.
How I feel after.
Every time, without fail, I feel crummy after overeating. One would think I would use that feeling to NOT overeat next time but in the moment it always seems worth it 😦 . After overeating I don’t sleep well, feel bloated, breathe heavier, have a crampy feeling, and just feel generally BLAH.
Accepting the consequences.
When you overeat, you have to accept the consequences. Did you lose all your progress? Absolutely not, BUT you likely will be bloated and feel sluggish for a few days. A lot of the time I expect to be back to normal the next morning but you know what? That doesn’t always happen. I mean if I ate all those extra calories with shit food it makes sense that you pay for it a little bit! Don’t be shocked if the scale creeps up for the next 3-4 days. It WILL go back to normal once you get back in your routine, but you also have to accept the outcome of the choices you made and that they will negatively affect you for a few days!
What to do next.
I posted these to my IG story after a long weekend of indulging. I truly believe this is the best way to handle the regret – just get right back into your routine. Don’t be tempted to just keep the bad train going because you have already slipped up. Nip it in the bud!
To be honest, I’m not really sure what the point of this post is. Maybe it’s just a way for me to express how I feel and hope there are others out there who go through the same thing. Someday, I hope I can tell you that I no longer do this and have found the secret key to success. And you know what? I truly believe someday I will! But for now, it’s still a struggle and learning experience. What doesn’t kill you makes you STRONGER.