Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Best (And Worst!) Time of the Year

Hello from Corolla, North Carolina! I am currently vacationing for a week in the northern part of the Outer Banks, affectionately known as OBX. Matthew's family has been vacationing here for 20 years and I've been lucky enough to accompany them for the last few years.

It is breathtakingly beautiful here. Matthew and I look forward to this vacation each year. As some of you may know, we travel and race A LOT so it's nice to have a week where we get to relax.

Sunrise over the ocean? Yes, please!

But here's where the issue arises: vacation week  in OBX means lots of hot weather and loads and loads of food. I'm not a hot weather runner- I hate being sticky and sweaty only a few minutes into my run. And the food thing- don't even get me started. I love food and being on vacation makes it easier to rationalize all the goodies that are available.

This is the SNACK table. Just the snacks.
So, how can I stay on track with my nutrition and my training? One part is a little easier for me- training! Matthew and I have been getting up at 5 or 6 am just to get a few miles in before the heat of the day starts. Unfortunately, this means no sleeping in which is tough; especially when it's the one time of year that I can afford to sleep in every day.

We also signed up for two races: we completed a five mile obstacle race- on the beach, in the freaking sand!- on Sunday and on Friday we'll participate in a 5k. Races are much more motivating to me than just training runs- there is more to look at and I generally have more fun at a race. While the running part is a little easier to manage, the food part has me stumped.

After Storm the Beach!

On an early morning run. Thanks to Matthew for the action shots!

I am really struggling with this amount of food being available all the time. I manage my spaces (home, work, car) very, very closely so that I don't have junk or high-fat foods around. I am a creature of habit- I have the same thing for breakfast and lunch almost every day and I love my routine. On vacation, there is no routine. There are awesome snacks, amazing home-cooked meals, and lots of wine- all which are troubling for me. The past few months of weight loss have been very successful for me: since the Dopey Challenge I've lost 13 pounds (via Weight Watchers). I don't want all of my hard work to be jeopardized by vacation but for some reason it's incredibly challenging for me to stay on track with healthy eating.

As one potential solution, I did find a Weight Watchers meeting today at 10 am and I will be attending. While it's a bit of a drive from where we are staying, anything that can help support my weight loss efforts is a win in my book.

So I need to hear from you! Comment, tweet, email, whatever- what helps you get through tough times with food or training?

QOTD: How do you handle vacations or disruptions to your normal schedule? Do you find it hard to keep training/eating healthy when you're away from home? How do you stay motivated and on track?


  1. I travel a lot for work, and the for the first 6-8 months, I REALLY struggled with food. I was at the mercy of college men for most of my meals, so I was eating a lot of burgers and bar food (which I LOVE - ugh). When I'm not traveling, I work from home and found myself eating better, but being completely stationary for a majority of the day. A year and a half into this job, and it is still a constantly juggling act, but I've gotten much better about being intentional about food/fitness. I always make sure I book a hotel with a gym, but since I loath the dreadmill, I research places where I can get outside for some running! I have a snack bag that goes in the car and in my suitcase on road trips - it's always got some chocolate, but it mostly has healthy snack items. This has pretty much eliminated trips to the vending machines or stopping for greasy fast-food snacks!

    Being on vacation is really tough - especially in a setting like yours where there's a bunch of people who all want to eat indulgently. I might try asking to plan/prepare some of the meals - this may help with mixing some healthy meals in with the less-healthy meals. I also like to employ tricks like drinking a lot of water before and during a meal, as well as eating a salad (or equally healthy food) first so I'm fuller by the time I make my way to the less-healthy things.

    Good luck and enjoy!!

    1. Thanks for the tips, Lauren! It sounds like you are the expert on eating habits away from home. I've been drinking lots of water and it has been helping. There is one night where I get to cook so I'm ready for a lighter dinner! Thanks again for your tips and bravo to you for getting healthy in a challenging environment!! :-)

  2. I lost weight a few years ago on Weight Watchers & am a lifetime member. Awesome that you found a meeting! Some other things that work for me...1. Put those snacks away in a cupboard! They will be less tempting if they're out of sight. 2. Pick 1 or 2 treats a day so that you're not totally depriving yourself. I usually have mine at night & look forward to it all day so that I really enjoy it! 3. One silly thing that works for me is doing a brief exercise before every singly meal or snack--like 15 crunches or push-ups or 30 jumping jacks. I find it takes my mind off of the thing that's tempting me right then & helps me say no...plus I get a bit of exercise to boot! 4. Stock up on 0 points fruits & veggies so that you have something to snack on when everyone else starts snacking. All that said, I know it is super tough but so is running so you can do it! Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I really like the idea of jumping jacks or squats before a snack! And yes, I would LOVE to put all those snacks away but I think our family would revolt :-) Thanks for the tips and congrats on your weight loss!!

  3. Holy cannoli that's a lot of snacks. Kudos to you for sticking with your training! I always have the best intentions on vacation (I was gonna work out every day on our cruise last year, yeah... didn't happen.) What's been helping me recently to stick to my goals is I have a [secret] Pinterest board full of motivational pictures and quotes. Whenever I feel like eating something not so good for me, or if I'm feeling lazy in a workout, I pull it up and remind myself of the goals I'm working towards. It has really helped so far. (And I hope it continues to!) Good luck reaching your goals! You've done so good so far! Keep going!!

    1. I love this idea!! I'm not very Pinterest savvy but I'll have to look into this- what a great idea!! Thanks for passing it along!