Okay, so I don’t have the dreadlocks of Bo Derek or the buff body of David Hasselhoff (well, not yet anyway). But, I recently spent a fantastic week in Ft. Lauderdale, and I took full advantage of the opportunity to keep active by doing my running on the beach.
Now, I was worried about staying on plan during my first real vacation since beginning my journey toward a healthier, happier me. As it happens, the activity part of the equation turned out to be fairly easy. I took every opportunity to add activity points to my day. Whether simply walking around the town’s hotspots, running the track around the condo complex, or my favorite, getting up early and going running on the beach, I did get significant activity points in most days.
Count me among the somewhat surprised when I share that those beach runs were an absolute highlight of the vacation. My friends and I would go to the beach in the mornings. While they walked, I ran my 3 to 4 miles. Each day, I got to watch the sunrise over the water and enjoy the wonderful ocean breeze. Such an amazing feeling. It also provided me time alone to mentally prepare for the food challenges of the coming day while doing something physically good for my body.
After my run, we would head to a local coffee shop – my first food challenge of the day. Thankfully, there’s nothing like a good hard run to make you saying no to sweet breakfast treats so very easy. My friends enjoyed scones and pastries, and I always chose to have a banana or other fruit with my coffee. Points scored for starting smart.
This is not to say that I didn’t indulge a bit during the week. After all, I was on vacation. The thought process for me revolved around what my Weight Watchers leader, Bobbi, calls The Exquisite Rule:
Thanks to The Exquisite Rule, I found it easy to say, “No,” to desserts until presented with a piece of amazingly good key lime pie… which came with four forks for sharing. It was definitely exquisite. Also, the last day on the beach, I enjoyed one scoop of carrot cake ice cream because it’s just what you do at the beach — stroll along with an ice cream cone. That ice cream was, indeed, exquisite.
As I always say, no one is perfect all the time. While not 100% successful with making the best food choices throughout the vacation, I did make some very conscious decisions based on the tools I have learned over the past year.
And that, my friends, is what it seems to me this journey is all about: getting better and better all the time. No matter what the scale may tell me at my next weigh in, those tools and strategies – planning, weighing my options, indulging in the exquisite — definitely helped me handle this vacation better than I would have a year ago. I am better today than I was yesterday and can be better tomorrow than today.
Perhaps the best choice I got to make was this: amid the fun and frolicking, I never totally loss sight of how far I have come and how hard I have worked to get here. I opted to enjoy a few extras while on vacation, and I’m now choosing to step right back on plan today.
Choices are opportunities we embrace, and I like to think that I’m embracing the big picture. It is exciting to continue following my journey wherever it may lead me, because as always, I am Not Done Yet!!