A Vacation from Dieting?

Once upon a time a dieter went on vacation.  Her goal?  Eat healthy and stay on plan MOST of the time, but allow herself off-plan indulgences here and there, if it was something very special and she really wanted it.  Be flexible but be smart and make choices with no regret.  And try, try, try to get in some exercise.  In the back of her mind she told herself that while she didn’t want to gain weight, it was okay if the number on the scale at home took a few days to get back to where she left it.  Her goal was to enjoy herself and not obsess over eating:)

And enjoy herself she did!

At most of my meals I made pretty good choices.  For me on vacation, that meant avoiding foods that were clearly not on The South Beach Diet:  refined breads and grains, white potatoes, sweets.  I was not however a purist – I did not worry overly much about how the food was prepared, if the sauce had sugar or another ingredient that I would normally avoid, for example.  My first meal was a lobster salad roll… a favorite of mine when I travel east.  ( I know the lobster came from Maine, not Florida, but still.)  My concession was to ask for it on top of a green salad instead of inside a roll.  The next several restaurant meals were similar:  great fish (grouper, mahi, more grouper) with salads and veggies and none of the bread or starch and no dessert or drinks with calories.

Then I made my first decision to cheat.  Frickles.  Frickles!  How could I not try them when I heard so much about them from the friend who ordered a basket for the table.  Fried pickles.  Horribly unhealthy for me – breading and salt and oil, oh my.  But when in my life would I ever again taste such a thing?  And oh it was so unexpectedly, indescribably delicious.  The most amazing combination of salty and sweet.   Worth every bite!

My next cheat came one night when our group went for dessert at a funky little restaurant.  Only two of the six ordered cake, but the pieces were huge and everyone shared.  My fork found its way into my hand and my hand found its way to the cake and the cake found its way to my mouth.  One bite of each, I told myself.  Well, the award winning orange crunch cake was so spectacular, that my willpower left me and I had a few more bites.  Not horrible, but not what I had planned.  A little slip of self-control, but I was telling myself nothing to feel guilty about.  Okay, a little guilt, but that was it.

One meal I really went off-plan.  Our last meal together, the last night, was at a little place with a little menu and most of the food on it was fried.  An inner debate waged.  Get the boring broiled fish… or go for the famous coconut fried shrimp.  I went with the shrimp.  And I ate some of the homemade potato chips that came with it.  And them proceeded to have several bites of the shared key lime pie.  It was all tasty, and while I did enjoy it, the little voice in the back of my head waged a new argument – feel guilty, or just enjoy, regret the decision, or just enjoy, debate why I went off-plan, or just enjoy.  The meal was good (not great), but when it was over, I did struggle over my decision to splurge.  I have not decided if it is a good thing that I can’t eat a clearly off-plan meal with no regret, or a bad thing.

Regardless of what I ate on my vacation, my plan was to come home and get right back to healthy eating.  What I ate on Sanibel, stays on Sanibel.  And I was able to take a long walk on the beach every day to help offset the calories.  So yesterday I woke up with more damage to my sneakers than to my scale:)  Back to my boring workouts at home, with no rolling waves to provide background ambiance, and back to my healthy eating with no coconut crust to tempt me.  And no Frickles.  Vacation over.  Lifestyle resumed.

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36 Comments

Filed under cheating/overeating, dieting, food, low-carb/South Beach, restaurant/social eating, vacation

36 responses to “A Vacation from Dieting?

  1. Good attitude! Vacations (and life) happens. I think what makes us strong in our goals to get healthy and fit is that we understand that and get back to business. Sounds like you have done that! 🙂
    .-= Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..The journey IS the reward & f— THAT =-.

  2. Losing weight is hard work, and everyone needs a vacation from work from time to time! It’s great that you are getting right back to it now that you are home.
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..Outdoor running vs. indoor running =-.

  3. AnonyFatGirl has it right…life happens! We must learn to adapt and do the best we can given the circumstances! Probably the bigger point is that you didn’t really take a break from the diet… you ate well, indulged some, cut back on others. That’s life! That’s successfully navigating vacation. 🙂
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Back to the daily grind =-.

  4. O.M.G FRICKLES?! Why have I not heard of this? lol! I LOVE pickles!

    Sounds like you did very well- it’s vacation- as long as you didn’t pig out (which you didn’t) I wouldn’t give it a second thought 🙂
    .-= beerab´s last blog ..For the first time =-.

  5. sunnydaze

    Sounds to me like you did well with your vacation eating – it could have been much worse. Better yet that you are back on track. We have fried pickles here in VA – thankfully I don’t like them, LOL.

    • Karen

      Well SunnyD, I have to admit that I was on track for a short time but then got derailed. Sigh. More on that coming in a future post.

  6. Let me just confess…when this bet at work is over…I will be eating some not so great things for me…just for a day…not the whole day. Then…I will get back to a good healthy plan with a cheat meal a week! This…is EXCITING! I am glad that you enjoyed yourself and that you are back!
    .-= Corletta Brown´s last blog ..3 MORE DAYS……HOWEVER : ) =-.

  7. Living in the South, I’ve been exposed to fried dill pickles for eons. I have yet to succumb. 🙂

    I think it gets easier to figure out how to combine the freedom of vacation with the healthy-focus goals. In the beginning, I sweated every deviation from plan. Now I embrace them. They’re part of what makes a vacation a vacation. My only “rule” on guilt-free splurging is that I have to be getting some amount of *real* exercise each day. Strolling a shopping center doesn’t count. Darn it! 🙂

    I don’t ever find it difficult to shift back to plan when I return. It sounds like you didn’t have trouble with it either. Other than the fond memories, that is! 🙂
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Breaking News!! =-.

    • Karen

      I got a great beach walk in every day, which made me feel better about the eating. And for the last part, I got right back on plan but somehow fell off with a big bang. Sigh.

  8. Vacations are hard! It sounds like you did a great job. One thing that helps me even now when I’m on vacation is two letters. “no” I just tell myself or people I’m with, “No, I don’t want that.” It’s very freeing.

    Of course I do say yes to those things I must, must have!
    .-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s last blog ..How To Cook And Still Stay On Plan =-.

    • Karen

      The only thing I really needed to address was the alcohol. One of the couple had quite a lot and offered often and I had to keep saying that I really didn’t want any.

  9. Sounds like you had a great time and ate like a “normal” person. You aren’t going to pass up delicacies like fried pickles the rest of your life, are you? Now, back at your more planned eating in preparation for the next vacation/celebration!
    .-= Sskar´s last blog ..Forty Percent Off! =-.

  10. well…sounds to me like you are just “living”…and we all need to do that! What got most of us here is too much of a good thing…not an occasional splurge.

    Incidentally…MY birthday is also May 20th….what do you know? lol
    .-= losingmore´s last blog ..C O O L outside today….. =-.

  11. I agree with Diane. When I say no people leave me alone. If I’m wishy washy they can’t leave me alone.

    You did great out there. I hope that you slide right back into life with all the laundry, groceries, and errands that need to be run. You’re inspiring!

    I hope you got exactly what you wanted.
    .-= JourneyBeyondSurvival´s last blog ..Bless My Cookie Tosser! =-.

    • Karen

      Don’t be inspired yet… I did not do so well today. Sigh. But the laundry is put away:) Now I need to work on the shoes that are coated with sand.

  12. Since my old pattern was to start bingeing when i entered the aiport (MY airport!) and then just keep bingeing the whole vacation, I think you did pretty well! It can be very disconcerting to be out of your element.

    The biggest issue is getting back to it which you’ve done so that’s the most important thing.
    .-= Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla´s last blog ..Scaled Down =-.

    • Karen

      The old me used to eat the whole time too. Loved to have candy and treats on the plane. My husband bought some at the airport coming home and I looked longingly.

  13. Genie

    Sometimes you gotta cut loose with a fried pickle. That cake photography is art!

    Glad you had your fun. Welcome back to the real world!

  14. Eh… hey you were on vacation! You did a great job and you are sliding back into place on the path without much of a hitch! I would say this is all kinds of awesome! 🙂

    And frickles? My new favorite word!

    ~Kellie
    .-= The Chubby Girl Diaries´s last blog ..Fat girl on a bike and epiphanies =-.

    • Karen

      Oh I cannot believe that I will have to share with you all how I did not slide back at all. Heavy sigh. Public accountability did not work this time.

  15. I think that keeping the plan in mind and then allowing the vacation moments to unfold is healthy. You don’t want to try to be one of those ridged people about food rules when you really enjoy food. I found that I still lost weight when I was traveling even though I ate off plan, and it made the trip all the sweeter that I hadn’t deprived myself and my daughter of those meals.
    .-= Brightside Susan´s last blog ..FRIDAY FAST ONES =-.

  16. DH

    DH here. She did an awesome job planning my 50th surprise and surprised I was. Had a wonderful time and look forward to many more. Luv ya waisting time.

  17. Where did you go to vacation at? And where can I get some frickles??? 😀
    .-= Katherine´s last blog ..My First Monday Minute with DDOR – and yes I’m late =-.

    • Karen

      We went to Sanibel Island in Florida. The frickles were at a restaurant called The Island Cow. The other food was yummy too! I had a mahi with plum sauce that came on top of a huge salad and it was great. Our friends liked the frickles so much that when they road bikes the next day they stopped back for more and drinks and stayed for hours playing cards. (I shopped instead; no bike rides yet with my fracture.)

  18. ah, those voices in our heads, like the little angel and devil on our shoulders arguing about what to do.

    it is really hard not to validate eating foods you will never be able to try again when you are on vacay. it sounds like you balanced some indulgences with some wonderful walks.

    i would typically say to put all of that behind you, chalk it off as vacation weight that will fly off when you get back to your normal routine, but i saw one of your responses saying you are having a hard time getting back into your groove.

    you will get there. be kind to yourself. take it one day at a time, one hour at a time. you will string the victories together and be back on track, i’m sure of it!

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