I just got back from celebrating a belated birthday vacation at sunny Kiawah Island, SC (one of my FAVORITE places on earth!), and I had an interesting thought that I wanted to share with you about healthy living.
A vacation buddy once said to me, “I’m on vacation!” – their eyes lit up with excitement.
We were talking about what to eat for dinner and specifically about having some sort of bread (pizza, toast, something – can’t remember exactly what) to eat. They were basically saying that they wouldn’t normally eat bread but they would now since they were on vacation.
That got me thinking. Because I don’t really eat that differently on vacation than I do “in my real life.”
But I used to!
What they said reminded me of how I viewed food when I was yoyo dieting many years ago. I remembered the joy of being able to eat what I really wanted on vacay and feeling far less stress and far more freedom.
In those days, I was restricting-restricting-restricting in my non-vacation life. I was getting results, but I was also miserable. #hangry
Until I decided that there HAD to be a better way. Long story short, I got fed up with restriction, decided to eat whatever the f*ck I wanted and focused instead on *adding* healthy foods (and habits) *into* my diet (and lifestyle). No. More. Restricting. I didn’t know if it would work, but IT DID! I got results, maintained them, and still do with a non-restrictive, all-foods-fit approach to healthy eating.
What this person said to me and how I view food today reminded me of a popular phrase often used for career advice:
“Create a life you don’t need a vacation from”
This can apply to living a healthy lifestyle too!
“Create a diet you don’t need a vacation from”
*So this blog post isn’t a thousand pages long, I’m just going to cover food for now, though it can definitely relate to health in a more holistic way .
Let’s break this down:
- Create: find / choose / land on / enjoy / do
- a diet: a way of eating
- you don’t need a vacation from: that you don’t NEED to escape from
One of the most important keywords here is “need”.
👉Am I suggesting you shouldn’t eat differently on vacation if you want to? No.
👉Am I suggesting you shouldn’t eat whatever you consider “fun foods” on vacation? No.
👉Am I suggesting you shouldn’t have fun, celebrate, and enjoy what you’re eating on vacation? F*ck no!
👉Am I suggesting that a way of eating is possible for you that you love so much you’d eat the same way off or on vacation? YES!
If you were watching my Instagram stories, you saw that I ate all kinds of foods that are not traditionally considered “healthy”: pizza, fried shrimp (twice!), fries, dessert, and more.
Many years ago I may have called these “vacation foods”, “splurge foods”, or “treat foods”.
Now it’s just…what I ate.
And I’d eat the same things on any other day, vacation or not. 🤗
Finding a way of eating that I love that also supports my health goals has been the KEY to my success and how I’ve maintained results for so long in a way that feels so enjoyable and easy.
If you find something that works, and you love it so much you wouldn’t feel compelled to eat differently from when you’re on vacay – you’ve found a way to eat that is actually sustainable. Something you can stick with long term. Maybe forever! Sustainability = long term results and a way to love your lifestyle.
Wanted to share this NOT from the perspective of – wow my way of eating is so superior – you MUST do what I say. Rather – in a world that is still SO focused on diets, restriction, stress, and shame, I want to share more about my story to show that there are other possibilities out there. Your path to success will probably look different from mine since we’re all so unique. But I know younger Diana would have loved to read this, and someone else out there will too.
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Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed this post about creating a diet you don’t need a vacation from. I truly believe healthy living can be fun and enjoyable and something you look forward to off and on vacation!