Exercising while Traveling and on Vacation
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.
Not only can it be done, it needs to be done. 🙂