To me, the best part about vacation is the break from routine. I stay up a little later to watch a movie or extend an evening out, or I jump under the covers much earlier because I don’t have to pack lunches, do laundry, or finish a bunch of other chores before the next day. A huge perk is I get to spend loads more time with my ever-changing little guy and my semi-neglected husband. Vacation also forces me out of my eating habits and exercise routines in both good and bad ways.
I get into patterns of pretty much the same meals and snacks at the same times every day at work and at home. Eggs, Luna and Kashi bars, string cheese, canned soup, baked (frozen) chicken tenders and sweet potato fries, and salads are some of my current daily menu items. Vacation often reminds me about other foods that I’ve forgotten exist. That’s a good thing when I rediscover broccoli or hummus or seared tuna…not so much, when memories of espresso brownies with fudge frosting and peppermint stick ice cream are revived. And, speaking of ice cream, I am all about it when I’m on vacation. In my world, ice cream is the thing vacations are made of. I guarantee you I will have a chocolate chip cookie dough hot fudge sundae this week. Maybe two. And, I can’t wait!
One other thing that vacations change for me is my workouts. Again, health-wise, it has its pluses and minuses. A change in my exercise rituals is a good thing because it’s nice to surprise my body with something different every once in a while. It’s a break for some of the muscles that get overused and a wake-up call to others that are getting rusty. My vacation exercise style is a not-so-good thing because I get a good amount of variety and weight training in my normal, non-vacation life. I’ve written about the weight-lifting, Zumba, kickboxing, and step-aerobics classes I take and teach and about all there is to love about exercise classes. They are totally what work for me in my day-to-day life. They motivate me to get to the gym, stay there for at least an hour, change up what I do, and keep me coming back for more. When I’m on vacation, I’m still motivated to be active. It’s just that I do what I prefer, which usually involves minimal weights and lots of cardio—because it’s vacation, and I do more of what I like on vacation.
For instance, this morning, I started the day with 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer at our hotel while reading my all-time favorite magazine, Women’s Health. That was the first time I’ve read a magazine in several months…possibly since my last vacation. That was also the first time I’ve hopped onto an elliptical machine in ages. It felt WONDERFUL!
Anyway, as you may have guessed, I’m on vacation. Yesterday afternoon when my husband got off work, we began the 12-hour journey by car from our home in Connecticut to my old stomping ground—Dayton, Ohio. We spend many vacations there with the friends and family I grew up with. In my books, fancy cruises to tropical islands pale in comparison to a good old-fashioned visit to my hometown. And, my husband and I agree we prefer driving to flying—because halfway to our destination, we splurge and stop at a hotel with a pool and premium cable (a luxury for us because we don’t have even basic cable at home). That’s where we are now.
Within the hour, we’re headed out for the second leg of our journey to The Buckeye State, the place I still consider home. I can’t wait to see my friends and family!