Long lines, cute little kids running around in swimsuits, tan lines, the occasional cute guy reppin' an impressive six pack, and watersliding till your back is rubbed raw. Perks of living in Wisconsin include being only a couple of hours away from the waterpark capital of the world where you score all kinds of fun.
Oh yeah. I'm talking about the Wisconsin Dells, babyyyyy!
Every year, my family takes a three day trip to the Dells as our annual family getaway. We've done it ever since my brother was able to walk, and we had to keep the tradition alive!
It seems like everything is more fun as a kid. For crying out loud, I would get excited about a trip to Walmart when I was little.
Wait, that's still true.
ANNNNYWAYS, back to the point.
The last few years we've gone to the Dells were anything but a vacation. It was more stressful to be on vacation than it was to not be. I would completely freak out about not being able to exercise, not having control over my meals, and basically living in a swimsuit for three days. For anyone who struggles with an eating disorder, it's their worst nightmare.
Vacation is supposed to be about family, making memories, laughs, and cherishing your time with people who truly matter. But naturally, food comes along with it, and instead of hiding from it like I have the last five years, I wanted this vacation to be different. I wanted to face my fears, let go of my control, take a break from the gym, and count no macros what so ever.
And that's exactly what I did.
I experienced for the first time in years, what anyone else would call a normal eating life. I ate when I was hungry, stopped when I was full, and listened to what I truly wanted. I've been counting and measuring for so long, and I guess I didn't realize that I am perfectly capable of eyeballing portions without having to whip out my food scale.
People always wonder how to stay on track with their healthy habits on vacation. These last three days have taught me its really as simple as balance and mindful eating. The more you overthink it, the more complicated it's going to be (even though it's not complicated at all). For example, I knew that after my tuna, avocado, spinach salad with a side of carrots and hummus I had for lunch, I was going to need some serious carbs.
So yes. I indulged in froyo (all 18 oz of it), sweet potato fries, cream soda (shoutout to Sprechers), caramel popcorn, chips & salsa, and really...anything that was there. In moderation.
There are 365 days in a year. Was I really going to let 3 of those 365 days be counted, measured, and trained on, when really those 3 days were supposed to be about family, memories, and good times? Of course not.
So I enjoyed myself, my time with my family, and delish food that came along the way. I didn't look at menus online ahead of time, I didn't take any laxatives to make sure I looked okay in a swimsuit, go on a 14 day fast beforehand, or anything like that. I went as myself. The truth is, people don't really care what you look like in a swimsuit. They're too busy worried about themselves. You should only be worrying about what YOU think of YOU in a swimsuit.
So on your next vacation, remember to treat yourself. Listen to your body. Order the first thing that catches your eye off the menu, healthy or not. Know that your goals will be waiting for you at home. Cherish what vacation is supposed to be about, and remember to live a little. I challenged myself to things I wouldn't even dream of doing this vacation. I conquered my fear of heights (after a few tears, heights usually make me want puke) and zip lined 1400 feet across beautiful lakes. I ordered a cream soda as a drink instead of water. I asked for the avocado ranch for my burger instead of saying plain. I went to a vending machine for something to satisfy my sweet tooth even though I just ate my weight in food. And you known what?
I'm still here.