Courtesy of brunobucci via Flickr

My weight loss journey took a wonderful turn ten months ago. That’s when I decided I was going to lose weight just one more time, permanently, once and for all. Slowly, very slowly, I have gone from the 160’s to the 150’s and now the 140’s. Being 5′ 2″ my goal is to be comfortably in the 130’s for the rest of my life.

I used to dread going to parties. Parties were outside my comfort zone. My comfort zone was the realm of my home and kitchen that I could control. Now after attending a few parties and discovering that I could handle being social while respecting myself food-wise, they are not the danger zone they used to be.

But vacations still are.

I’ve lost weight using the tried and true formula of counting calories, keeping a food journal and exercise. That is actually the easy part. As Biggest Loser winner, Ali Vincenti says,

“So many people out there want to know what’s the secret so I’m here to tell them, there is no secret. Counting your calories, exercising most days and surrounding yourself with positive energy will get the job done. Not secrets!”

The hardest thing for me is the work of keeping the extra weight off. That is trickier because it has meant delving deeply into my attitudes about my self, what keeps me from truly embracing who I am and not what others want me to be.

You’d think at 57 I would have that figured out by now. Nope. I have discovered dark corners of my mind that have weighed me down as surely as any Boston Creme Pie.

How many times have I decided that when on vacation my discipline was on vacation too? The diet cop has left the building! If your method for trying to lose weight has to do with restriction as punishment (which mine was for most of my life) then yes, that makes sense. Even dogs must be taken off leash once in a while.

But going with the dog analogy, if he is trained with love and consistency, even off leash, he is happy to stay close and not get into too much trouble.

5 Ways to Deal With Vacation Weight Gain

photo by the very talented Ali Inay. Follow him on Instagram!

5 Ways to Deal With Vacation Weight Gain

So in the spirit of loving self-kindness, I am endorsing the following attitude toward my vacation weight gain:

1. Do not get mad at your self! It amazes me how easily we get all up in our own faces and say abusive things like, “OMG! You gained three pounds in just eight days! What is wrong with you! Did you have to have the chocolate milkshake AND french fries at that diner? Ugh!” Being mean to ourselves when we are already feeling low is just cruel. Stop it!

2. Admit that there were some indulgences that were wholesome, healthy and enjoyable. Own it without guilt or remorse! Yup, I haven’t had a milkshake in that particular diner since my graduate school days. It was as good as I remembered. Heaven!

3. Be proud that you managed to eat some vegetables and fruit while on vacay. It wasn’t ALL carbs!

4. You walked your ass off to the point of blisters! It could be we actually move more during vacation than we do at home. Swimming, skiing, hiking, zip lining, bungee jumping, you name it. Exercise alone may not help us lose weight, but it does help us regulate weight gain.

5. Think of those pounds gained during vacation as unwelcome house guests. Real enough but, (thank God!) not permanent. After a few days it is time to shoo those interlopers away and reclaim your space!

As Ali said, there is no big secret to weight loss: just calories in, calories out and a great, big smile!

Written by

dr aletta of explore what's nextElvira G. Aletta, PhD, Founder & CEO

Executive & Personal CoachingIndividual & Relationship Counseling

Life gave Dr. Aletta the opportunity to know what it’s like to hurt physically and emotionally. After an episode of serious depression in her mid-twenties, Dr. Aletta was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease that relapsed throughout her adulthood. While treatable, the cure was often as hard to bear as the disease. Later she was diagnosed with scleroderma, another chronic illness.

Throughout, Dr. Aletta battled with anxiety. Despite all this, Dr. Aletta wants you to know, you can learn to engage in life again on your terms.

Good therapy helped Dr. Aletta. She knows good therapy can help you. That’s why she created Explore What’s Next.

Today Dr. Aletta enjoys mentoring the EWN therapists, focusing on coaching and psychotherapy clients, writing and speaking. She is proud and confident that Explore What’s Next can provide you with therapists who will help you regain a sense of safety, control and joy.

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If you enjoyed this article about food, vaction and eating well then perhaps you’ll enjoy these other articles as well.

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3 Things Losing Weight While on Vacation Taught Me