Should I take my health goals on vacation with me?

As I embark on a two week vacation I am reminded that I’ve been asked this question by countless clients over the years. My answer for myself and them is YES!

First of all I want to feel my best and truly enjoy my time away so it doesn’t make sense to completely abandon the practices I know that optimize my health and energy. I have looked forward to this vacation for a long time and I want to feel great!

Secondly, if I view health goals as dietitng that can be abandoned on vacation, I am going to want to break loose and most likely overindulge. However I am not and neither should my clients be on a diet. Instead, we should incorporate eating and activity practices that help us meet our health goals long term. And those goals are not about restrictive eating but rather restrained– That means I can check in and say Yes I can have a dessert but I am also going to balance my meals with some vegetables and am going to pay attention to portions as best as I can.

Lastly if I totally abandon my actively and eating goals for a week or more, it is going to be really difficult to get back on track and I will have to undo some damage I did while I was gone. And that is hard work! The basal ganglia part of the brain is where our habits are formed and works through repetition. If I’ve worked diligently to build in a new healthy habit, why would I allow my vacation undo all my progress?

So I am going to be accountable to you readers. My goals for the next two weeks are:

  1. Stay active each day.
  2. Pay attention to my portions so I eat to comfortable vs full
  3. Limit my treats to 2 per day.


I’ll check in next week and let you know how I’m doing.


photo: Callie Derksen

April 3, 2012