Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vacation Takeaways on Relaxing

Do you ever feel like you can be too strict with yourself, your routine, your "healthy" habits? I think that sometimes, in all our efforts to be the healthiest selves we can be, we forget to relax. (And I will admit, ahead of time, that I wrote this post and almost deleted it.)

Last week, while in Perdido Key, FL, I let myself relax. Not only relax all day sitting on the beach, but also letting myself not get caught up in being super strict with my eating habits, not stressing out about missing my strength training or even core work for that matter.
Let me first say that I try to eat clean, whole foods because it makes me feel better. Plain and simple. I don't log my food, I don't count macros, I just try to avoid processed junk (not to say I don't indulge in pizza or nachos), and eat clean 80% of the time. Ok, moving onward ... 
On vacation, I relaxed (as already stated). I ate more Almond M&M's than one person should be allowed to eat, I dug into pretzels with abandon, and helped myself to a cocktail well before 5pm. I still ran, but I stopped along the way to take in the scenery, to enjoy the moment, and maybe try to cool off in the breeze as well.

While I readily indulged, I also drank water by the gallons, got in miles, ate healthy meals cooked at the condo or at our friends' home (though perhaps not all snacks), I got in pounds of grapes and apples, loaded up my sandwiches and dinners with vegetables, and ate a healthy breakfast to kick off the day. Fairly typical eating (except for the M&Ms and pretzels).

I won't say it was exactly balanced though. I seriously ate a lot of M&M's and pretzels! Like really. No lie. But why did I go crazy with them? It's because I never allow myself to have things like that. You won't find M&Ms, cookies, candies in the house. Wine? Yes. But M&M's? No way. Pretzels sometimes, mostly in the summer because I start to crave salt after running in the heat.

Another thing that I did was to take a break from blogging. I didn't really read blogs and had no desire to write a single post. I didn't check Twitter, but would occasionally check Facebook or Instagram while sitting oceanside, but I rarely opened my laptop. We almost never even turned on the tv for that matter.

So again, I realized how connected I tend to be, even though I know I'm far better than I once was in regards to really savoring the moments and not stressing about getting a post out or reading and commenting on posts.

I thought I'd do a vacation takeaway list:


  • Ditching social media (or mostly ditching it) for an entire week is good for the soul, the mind, the spirit. It's freeing. More people should try it. 
  • Letting go of strict eating habits might not be a bad idea (within reason of course). It means I will be less likely to eat M&Ms like it's my last meal.
  • Stopping to enjoy the views during a run is pretty awesome. I do try to do that more and more. Forget the pace and enjoy the moments. 
  • Sitting for hours on end reading or just staring off at gorgeous views is not being lazy. It's relaxing, breathing, being. 
  • Being ok with letting go, not worrying about gaining a pound or two, can be pretty freeing as well. 

It may come across that in my typical routine I overdo everything from strict eating to working out too much. It's not like I don't indulge. I love my homemade ciabatta (we go through 2 loaves a week), wine and I are friends, I love pizza and cheese dip (not together) on the weekend. With exercise, I vary intensity and duration always. I've been injured far too often to keep being stupid about it. But I know to many people, that sounds like a lot I know. I guess it's about perspective as well, perhaps.

Do you think it's easy to go overboard with being too healthy? Should we let ourselves relax during vacations or perhaps a little more often here and there? Would love your thoughts.