As much as most people look forward to vacations, there are many women who have numerous food- and weight-related reasons for being terrified of vacations. Here are just a few of the fears I used to have about going on a vacation:
- There will be food I don’t usually allow myself to have, so I’ll pig out on it.
- I won’t be able to stay on my diet because we’ll be eating out so much.
- I don’t know what types of food will be available, so I might have to eat “bad” foods.
- I always gain weight of vacation.
- Restaurant food is fattening.
However, for over 25 years now, my consistent experience has been that my clothes feel looser after I go on a vacation than they did before. What changed?
For one thing – and this may sound a little sad to some of you – because I started allowing myself to eat whatever I truly wanted to eat, vacation food wasn’t so special any longer. Why overeat while on vacation when food that is just as good is available year-round? If you’re not on a diet to begin with, then you don’t have a diet to worry about breaking while on vacation. (In fact, I’m on a permanent vacation – from dieting!)
Also, I started enjoying every aspect of my vacations, not just the food. So much of my emotional and sensual satisfaction used to be derived from food that it became my focus to the exclusion of all the other means by which God was satisfying my senses and emotional needs. There are so many people, sights, sounds, smells, and experiences to relish while you’re on vacation that food becomes only a fraction of what vacation is all about.
A few years ago, when my husband and I were visiting relatives in California, we drove out through orchards and vineyards to a restaurant/winery Mike wanted to try out. As we drove onto the property, we were immediately struck by the trumpet vines that covered the gateway, buzzing with several species of delightful hummingbirds. Besides the vines loaded with clusters of grapes, there was also a rose garden and even a handsome yellow Labrador greeting arriving guests. There was a feast of fragrances from the flowers, grapes, and wines. Before we even ate our four-star al fresco meal, we had been filled!
Afraid of vacation? Try soaking it all in and see if you find so much satisfaction that food and food-related fears fade in importance.