Preventing Vacation Disasters

I would like to report that I spent the first week of June in beautiful Coronado Island on vacation with my family, made good food choices, exercised everyday, and maintained my weight. What a testimony, right! WRONG!

I was horrified to have the scale tell me that I had gained SIX pounds. Yikes! How did I allow this to happen, after working so hard to become “right-weighted”?

I set off on a mission to find answers, for myself and for my fellow strugglers who will also be vacationing this summer . One month later, I have lost four of the six pounds, but am getting ready to vacation again for a week in Sedona, Arizona. Can I learn from my mistakes? Can I implement some structure to avoid another failure? We’ll see, won’t we? (Ask me how I did at the next CHAT).

Can I implement
some structure
to avoid vacation failure?


These are my strategies that I will implement on my upcoming vacation:
1. I will NOT take a vacation from my battle with food. I will not be like Bob in the movie "What about Bob? who gets a prescription from his Psychiatrist to “take a vacation from his problems”.I will not tell myself that I am entitled to make poor food choices because, “after all, I have worked so hard in this area, surely I deserve a break from the routine.” I believe that a vacation is to be a break from the routine activities of daily life, but abandoning the structure of a sensible food plan is a set-up for disaster.

2. I will remind myself of the laws of sowing and reaping. (Gal. 6:7) If I make poor food choices on vacation, I WILL gain weight. I will not lull myself into a state of denial that tells me that it won’t be so bad if I do “put on a few pounds because I will quickly take it off again”. As we age, and our metabolism slows down, we don’t take off the weight as easily. It is a shock to our body to yo-yo up and down with our weight. I know that I have abused my body in this area for years. Why would I want to do that again just because I am “on vacation”?

3. I will take my scale on vacation with me. Call me obsessive, but I require immediate, truthful feedback on a daily basis to deal with my food addiction. I realize that this may not be practical for everyone, but I’m sure that wherever you go, you can find a scale with a little ingenuity and resourcefulness. If I weigh everyday at home to stay honest and accountable, and I am in control of my surroundings, why would I do any less when out of my “food comfort zone” on vacation?

4. I will NOT take a vacation from my exercise routine. Even though I found Jazzercise, Curves for Women, and a weight room at the Hotel Del, I chose to walk on the beach with my husband as my form of exercise. I told myself that at least I was moving and that I could bypass the other options because, after all, “I was on vacation!” I exhibited poor boundaries by feeling guilty if I were to take time away from my family to exercise the way that I needed to for ME. Because my normal workout routine at home includes 5-6 hours per week of intense cardio and weight lifting, what did I think it would do to my body to drastically reduce that? One thing I noticed is that when I don’t exercise intensely, I crave more high carb. and high fat foods. I don’t feel great about myself because I don’t have all those endorphins surging in my brain. Yes, you might have to get creative on vacation and exercise DIFFERENTLY, but you do not need to let go of your exercise program.

5. I will keep a food journal. Again, another form of accountability so that I don’t abandon all that I have worked so hard for.

6. I will call my accountability partner if I am in trouble. I have already set this up with my friend, Brenda. I know where to reach her at any given time and she is expecting to hear from me on vacation.

7. I will stay close to my Father and pray for the strength to overcome temptation. He is the One who “knows our frame, that we are but dust”, (Psalm 103:14) and is more invested than we are in our “walking worthy”(Ephesians 4:1)


This article is by Jennifer Cecil, M.Ed., LPC