So I took a vacation to Hawaii. We had a fantastic time and basically just alternated between running, playing in the water and eating lots of delicious food. Like this: Wake up. Run. Eat breakfast. Swim. Eat lunch. Snorkel. Eat shave ice. Swim. Eat dinner. Drink a Mai tai. Bed. Repeat.
Although we ate a lot of fresh fish, we also ate a lot of…less healthy things. Things which might have caused some guilt if I was at home and not on vacation. One of the reasons guilt did not happen was because almost every minute not taken up by eating was spent running, swimming, snorkeling and playing on the beach. The other reason is because Kelsey Miller at the Anti-Diet Project, who you know is pretty much my hero, wrote this excellent post about why your vacation is not a “cheat day.”
“In the past, the weeks leading up to vacation had involved strategizing a master plan about how I’d maintain my diet. Then, two days in, I’d slip up and eat, like, the whole of Switzerland. Then, the rest of the trip would be spent eating additional countries and laying awake at night feeling layers of imaginary fat grow around my stomach. ‘When I get home, it’s gonna be kale and hot yoga and THAT’S IT,’ was the promise I’d hang onto as I panicked and ate and panicked and ate.”
Especially if you have a really restrictive diet at home, it’s easy to go a little crazy on vacation. You’re away from your routines, and in a new place full of tempting new delightful food. But you want to eat the delightful food! You want to enjoy the delightful food! You definitely don’t want to spend the whole vacation feeling intensely guilty about the delightful food!
When you’re on vacation for the express purpose of having fun, relaxing and experiencing new things, its really okay to eat things you might not normally eat. But also, it’s really okay to eat those things at home, too. That way, you won’t go too overboard while you’re away and you won’t feel the need to atone for your food sins when you get home. Everybody wins.
On a sidenote, running 11 miles by the beach in a tropical paradise was not as fabulous as I had hoped. Although the view was lovely, the humidity was not. I don’t think I’ve sweated that much probably ever in my whole life, but it did give me a new appreciation for public water fountains and for the crispy, dry heat of Sacramento. It might never rain again in California for the next hundred years, but it sure will be pleasant for running.