This is the 3rd installment of the I can. We can. Series.
My third week as a Fitness Firestarter had me going on a long-planned trip to Montreal, home of poutine, bagels, and smoked meat and an absolute food-lovers Mecca. Gulp.
Let me first say that I equate vacations with letting lose and indulging myself in any way I want through drink and food. The idea of restricting myself was foreign to me and sort of repugnant. So I really needed to talk this through with my health coach, Carolyn. I listened to her advice, and here’s how it went:
First, I had to first change my attitude from seeing this as “restriction.” I needed to see this is just another step and adventure in self-care and focus on the positive.
Talking with Carolyn, I realized that self-care was not eating everything I want and as much as I want. I had to have a strategy. So I chose to be a taster. I ate what I wanted but really limited quantity.
Some things were off-limits like smoked meat because I have made the choice to be a vegetarian, based on my A positive blood type. I had a very tiny taste of the smoked meat that assured me that while it was great, my life would not end if I didn’t have a sandwich. I also had poutine – French fries, gravy, and cheese – without the beef gravy. Totally not worth it.
The biggest challenge in quality versus quantity was getting over the “clean the plate” syndrome because apparently the “children are starving in China” lesson was one of the stickiest ones of my childhood. More on that in future blogs.
Lesson learned: A little can go a long way when it comes to food.
Second, I was not able to go to the gym so I needed to make sure I moved my body. I am proud to say I walked 24 miles in four days. I love the health app on my phone that lets me track miles, steps, and stairs. It wasn’t that hard except for a bad blister on my toe. I need better shoes!
My biggest walk ironically was on a Jewish history food tour. I focused on the sights and the amazing stories told by one of the best guides I have every had. The food tastings were great but actually a secondary part of the experience. And without even thinking about it, I had walked over seven miles, which is probably the longest I have ever walked.
Lesson learned; Distraction helps me move my body.
Third, I tapped into prayer and asked God for help. My prayer was simple: ‘God, keep me away from gluttony. Lead me not into temptation.” God helped but not in the way I expected. What I thought were allergies turned into a very bad cold, and my trip ended with me getting sick. That put a big damper on my appetite. Initially. That will be the subject of next week’s blog: self-pity versus self-care.
Lesson learned: Be careful what you ask for. God has a great sense of humor
First and foremost, welcome home from your Montreal vacation. What was great for me to read about your trip was that you practiced the “Five P’s” that I believe is the most essential strategy for every area of a person’s life — “Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
What was so powerful is that you mindfully planned your trip and was fully aware of the temptations that were lurking around the corner. You faced the possible temptations head-on through planning.
I love the fact that you changed your attitude from seeing some foods as an absolute restriction. Instead, you chose to look at the fantastic food as beautiful art, giving yourself permission to taste the foods that were compatible with your vegetarian lifestyle. Kathy, you clearly demonstrated that you could eat and enjoy the meals you wanted with limited quantity.
Regarding the “clean plate syndrome,” my parents were also very strict when it came to wasting food. One of the greatest lessons I learned as a child was, “Get what you want, but eat all you get.” That said, I started serving myself tiny portions of food and chewing it very slowly, one bite at a time. Before I knew it, I was full. To this day, I still practice this eating style.
Also, when I am eating out and the portions are too big, I immediately ask the server for an additional plate, thus creating portion control. I find the best practice is to eat fist sized portions. Yes, a little portion control can go a long way.
Travel tends to crush workout routines. However, I love the fact that you had your Five P’s in place by being prepared , along with the convenience of having the health app on your phone, which kept you focused and on track. Also, you were doing something that you love, which was walking, learning and enjoying the fantastic stories on your Jewish history tour. Before you knew it, you had walked a total of 24 miles in four days. Congratulations, Kathy!
As you have undoubtedly experienced on your vacation, you can enjoy self-care by combining learning, walking, and food tasting. Yes, connecting it all together is one big distraction that will always keep your body moving. Also, later we will discuss the importance of wearing the proper workout gear, and how it will help assist you with staying safe and healthy on your fitness lifestyle journey.
I am happy that you tapped into prayer, and asked God for help to keep you away from gluttony. But, I am sorry you caught a bad cold, which suppressed your appetite. Yes, God does have a sense of humor. So next time you ask God for help–be REAL specific. LOL.
Our next blog onself-pity versus self-care is a topic I am looking forward to discussing. Self-pity is a huge factor why most people give up on transforming their life and health through self-care.
(Learn more about Kathy Palokoff).
Empower Learning with Educational-Focused Content 🌎 Carolyn A. Brent is an award-winning and bestselling American author, bodybuilder and eldercare legislation advocate. Designated as an Editor’s Choice, she was reviewed by the Library Journal as well. Verdict: excellent! Her work grace the bookshelves both national and international libraries such as The Library of Congress, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins Medical Research Library, Stanford University and more. Harlequin | Thorndike Press —Gale, A Cengage Company, has made it available in LARGE print and hardcover to colleges, universities, and libraries nationwide.
Brent is also known as a National Physique Committee (NPC) Masters Women’s Figure Champion—1st Place Winner Age 60 category; and Health & Wellness Guru. She is the founder of Across All Ages and two nonprofit organizations, CareGiverStory Inc., and Grandpa’s Dream.