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Exercising while Traveling and on Vacation

July 27, 2011

I’m currently in the middle of a 6-week trip, of which only 1 week is actually vacation. My job allows for a lot of traveling, but I’m working while traveling which takes some getting used to when I combine that with my desire for healthy habits.

I need to work out while traveling, in addition to eating well.

My mind needed to switch over from trips to the US which I always viewed as a bit of a bingefest to get foods that I can’t get in Italy (Mexican, Thai, good Asian food, etc.), revel in the convenience of all-night grocery stores, and enjoy eating out as a social event as only Americans can. I usually did a yearly trip to the US where I crammed (literally) as much as I could in during my time, and filled my suitcase with these treats, too. And then I counted on normalizing myself when I was back home in Italy.

Last August was my first traveling-not-vacation-but-working trip and it lasted more than a month. Things did not end up well – I wasn’t weighing myself regularly at the time but I think I might have gained 10 pounds in that time, sparked by a week in Alaska with 4-star cooking 3x a day, and continuing into all my favorite places in California the rest of the time. Not only did I never work out, but it really didn’t enter my mind. I didn’t eat well, and that was really when things degraded for me health-wise. That’s part of how I ended up as a Food Blogger on a Diet 🙂

As my first year at Automattic continued, I was lucky to have the chance to come back to the US several times. The feeling of needing to cram everything in receded. I stopped feeling “deprived” of favorite foods or restaurants. I didn’t view every inch of my suitcase as an opportunity to stuff with ingredients and spices to take back.

When this summer’s longer trip came closer, I got really nervous. Would I destroy all the good work I’d been doing? Would I be too tempted and fall off the wagon completely?

I decided that this trip I didn’t want to gain any weight. More importantly, I wanted to continue to lose. And I wanted to work out.

So at mid-point in the trip I can confirm I’ve had a lot of firsts:

  • First time I packed workout clothes in my luggage to a trip to the US – that precious luggage space which is usually reserved for things I buy and take back to Italy.
  • It’s the first time I planned my workouts for the entire duration of the trip ahead of time
  • It’s the first time I’ve paid for day passes at gyms while traveling / on vacation
  • It’s the first time in a long time I’ve gone with girlfriends to the gym
  • It’s the first time I worked out while I was on a bonafide vacation (1 week in Hawaii) rather than just traveling
  • It’s the first time I packed food with me in my luggage to the US for consumption

And so far, so good! I’ve kept my 2x a week gym workout goals while not eating perfectly, but continuing to food journal, stay positive and enjoy myself while also saying no to a few things. I’m pretty sure my weight is around where it was when I left, but I haven’t found any scales that agree with each other to really get precise (working on this).

I consulted a lot of resources for ideas, tips, and tricks for staying healthy while traveling and I’ll be writing about what I learned in a future post.

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Not only can it be done, it needs to be done. 🙂

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2011 12:02 am

    Congrats! It’s not easy keeping up on exercise and diet when traveling. I’m feeling inspired already!

    • July 28, 2011 12:10 am

      Your crazy 4-hour-body posts were definitely part of my inspiration! I miss them 🙂

  2. August 25, 2011 5:25 pm

    Oh Goodness. I know what you mean about the stuffing because you don’t want to miss out on the food you miss when your not around. My husband and I live on the road and when we go home I feel like all we do is eat out because we miss those places while we are away. So needless to say I gain weight, retain water, and feel gross directly after the trip. I always think to myself it is just not worth it, but continue the pattern each time I go home. Maybe this little inspriation will help me. I am going home next week. YIKES!

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