By Linda Hilliard - Author of the Book
E-mail Your Weight Away - Diet Dialoges for Women
What is it about “I’m going on vacation” that becomes “I’m on vacation, I’m going to eat what I want.” Why do we go on vacation? To get away, relax and refresh, change of scenery. Most people do not set out on vacation thinking “I plan to gain 10 pounds this week” (cruise ships not withstanding!)
Just because you’re sitting on the beach or looking at the mountains, it doesn’t mean that you should throw out your diet commitment and eat everything in sight. But a lot of people do that- they struggle for a year to lose 20 pounds and blow it all in a week of eating abandon.
I recently had a dieting friend come for a visit and before she arrived, she told me that she was going to stick to her diet. Knowing that, I stocked up my home with fruits and vegetables and chose restaurants with healthy food choices. She came and stayed for five days and we had a terrific visit. We had good fellowship around food, but the food was not central to our time together. I admired her for not succumbing to the insanity of Vacation Non Dieting. Our visit ended with the pleasure of seeing each other, but no guilt about our food choices.
People who choose to go off their diet on vacation are also choosing to throw away all the hard work they put into their diet for the months/year preceding vacation. You opted for a plain salad with broiled chicken at lunch everyday for three months – and now you are going to give up that accomplishment for fish and chips and hot fudge sundaes for a week or two?
Years ago I was in a diet group (sigh – so many years of diet groups) and it was fairly expensive. We were five weeks into a 15 week program and one of the struggling members announced, “I’m not going to start my diet until I get back from a cruise I’m taking next month.” Huh!? That’s not faulty thinking – that’s dumb.
I’m not saying that one shouldn’t indulge a bit on vacation if you want to, but GET PERSPECTIVE! The truth is that you are not really committed to your diet if you use any excuse to go off it (be it vacation, a bad day, or “I’m hungry and have to eat now”).
And, it’s true that if you blow your diet for a week, you can always start again when you get home. But – really – what kind of on-again-off-again diet pattern are you in and do you really think you will succeed in the long run if your commitment wavers at every opportunity?
It all comes back to the core question: How much do you really want to lose weight and how deep is your commitment to accomplish it? If fried clams on vacation are what you want, that’s a choice you can make. If seeing your scale stay the same (or even go down a bit) after a week away is what you want, you can do it.
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