After this past week of lounging around eating & drinking pretty much whatever I wanted in Cabo San Lucas, I'm actually excited to head home and clean up my act. While my vacation has me feeling relaxed and refreshed, it also has me feeling a little less than vibrant health-wise. Those margaritas, chips & guacamole were delicious...and I don't regret a single mouthful...but it's time to prioritize health and body sculpting again.
Just like you need the bad times to appreciate the good, you need the discipline and practice of taking care of your body in order to really be able to let go and experience pure pleasure. And, vice versa. You need the freedom and "no rules" debauchery of vacation to appreciate the rewarding feeling that comes from working on creating a better version of yourself.
If you never take time off from your hard-charging lifestyle, you burn out and start to see your progress halt. You need the break to recharge your willpower and efforts. Even knowing that, it is still difficult to let yourself off the hook and watch your body puff up and bloat out from vacation or a few days of indulging (I can attest to this!).
Tell me if you can relate to this: You're on a vacation that you've been looking forward to all year. You've been working hard on your body so you can feel confident in your skin (and that new swimsuit you bought;) but you are definitely in need of a break. You want to reward yourself for all your efforts and let yourself off the leash to indulge in all your "forbidden" foods and relax, but at the same time you are paranoid about losing the progress you've worked so hard for. So, you let yourself have a few bites of delicious indulgences, but squeeze out a ton of willpower to stop yourself after that.
This puts you in a no-man's-land where you neither feel like you are progressing in your health goals nor allowing yourself to indulge and refill your pleasure receptors. At the end of the vacation, you are still jonesing for that chance to let go and indulge, yet you feel guilty because you gave yourself so many "treats" as is. The worst part about it is that when you return to normal life, you're not ready to charge back into your hardcore lifestyle again because you feel like you never really got a break from it in the first place.
Now, this moderation approach might work just fine for some people. Not for me. I'm an all-or-nothing kind of girl. I'd rather forgo treats for a short period in order to indulge at the designated time than have a small piece of dark chocolate every day. It's just my mindset and the way I work. Certain foods (like chocolate!) are triggers for me. Once I have a taste, I want more. And, it feels torturous to cut myself off with just one small bite. It's just easier to not have it at all until my planned indulgence.
You might feel the opposite way. The all-or-nothing approach might be torturous for you and feel too restrictive. In which case, you might be totally satisfied with these little treats along the way. There's no right or wrong - it's a matter of figuring out what is sustainable enough to be consistent & get results (without making you miserable along the way). You have to study yourself and experiment with what works for you.
This is how I came up with My Fat Loss Game Plan. It's my personal philosophy that gives me the freedom to let loose and enjoy the pleasures of life...all while knowing I have the tools to shape up my act when I am ready. It gives me control over food without feeling restrictive. It's the mindset that allows me to fully indulge during planned intervals and then be ready to jump back into healthy eating mode***.
Here's how it works: after indulging this past week on vacation (and giving myself a little more freedom with food choices in general all summer long), I enter into the Clean Eating Phase of my Fat Loss Game Plan. I follow that blueprint for 2-3 weeks to replenish my health and shed some excess body fat. It helps me prioritize nutrition, focusing on nourishing my body rather than choosing foods based on pleasure. After that short period, I switch over to the Vibrant Phase of the plan which allows a little more freedom and variety with food choices. Easy-peasy...no guilt required.
So, as I head into my 2018 fall season with 3 companies, I have all the drive I need to give my all to my art after allowing myself to let loose and indulge while on vacation. And, I have the fat loss plan to give me control over my body to work back towards my peak performance state. I just have to be gentle & patient with myself knowing I may not be at my peak right now...but I can be confident I won't burn out before I get there.
This summer break has me freshly motivated to pursue my path...to reach a little higher...to push a little further than ever before. Not out of obligation...but out of the desire to be better. I'm hoping you got some time off and feel the same way;)
For more info on this blueprint I use to gain control over food while enjoying it more freely, click here:
***I am not talking about binge eating here. When I talk about indulging, I am referring to enjoying food for pleasure's sake without feeling guilty or worrying about how it will affect your waistline. If you struggle with binge eating problems, please seek help from a medical professional. The advice in this blog and Fat Loss Game Plan are not meant to substitute for medical advice.