Monday, August 2, 2010

Getting activity POINTS by evading sharks. My pre-vacation check list.

All good things come to those who wait.   After a hectic summer, I am finally getting geared up for VACATION beginning this coming weekend.  Two weeks at the beach with family is really all a guy can ask for.  Accordingly, it's time for me to write-up my pre-vacation check list.  I know I've done these on this blog before, but truth be told, I write these check lists as much for myself as for anyone reading the blog.  There's nothing like a little bit of forced accountability through public disclosure.

As I've noted in past pre-vacation posts, this special time is often a nutritionally perilous time.  Most significantly, clicking on the "I'm on vacation" neon sign in my brain is tantamount to turning on the "I can do and eat anything I want" sign.  Therefore, it's useful and helpful for me to remind myself that respite does not have to equal nasty fried food.

So here I go.  Let's start with Danger Zones to manage/avoid:

  • Evil snacks:  it's pretty easy to load up the rental house and beach bag with enormous bags of chips and assorted food rubbish.  Unless I don't.  
  • Fried food:  my beach zone is in Massachusetts, home of the fried clam.  Fried food always looks awesome pre-mouth entry, tastes OK, and feels terrible post-mouth entry.  Why continue to repeat the sins of the past?  Stick with the grilled fish.  
  • Ice cream:  it's a danger zone, but one worthy of partaking on some sort of semi-reasonable basis.
  • Slothdom:  in theory, vacation creates the risk of non-movement.  However, I'm far too hyperactive to not exercise, so it's not a terrible danger zone.  
Moving on to my I-don't-want-to-gain-10lbs-in-two-weeks Action List:
  • Find a gym:  I have already worked the interweb to find a local gym that will sell a two week package.  I agree that it's sad that I find this so awesome.  Nonetheless, I find this awesome.  I wake up before the rest of the family anyway, so why not jam in a solid workout.  
  • Find a bike path:  I also looked this up online, and there are lots of trails where I'm going.  It's not mega-death hill climbing, but there are plenty of flats for a nice 45 minute semi-sprint.  Also makes for a good family activity.  
  • Try something new(ish):  I found a local surf school that teaches standup paddle boarding (SUP), which I already tried and liked this summer.  This plus body surfing and swimming is both fun and active.  Which is good.  
  • Pre-scout healthy food options:  Again, I've worked the web to find some good fresh-stands, farmer markets and organic food options.  I plan to load up on having a ton of good, fresh food kicking around.  
  • Plan on a healthy breakfast and lunch each day. 
  • Don't go crazy at dinner, but don't over-think it either.  Nuff said.  
Said differently, when entering a new environment, a little research, planning and mental rehearsing goes a long way.  As always, I don't expect to fully adhere to the above guidelines, but hitting at least 75%-80% will make for a healthy, un-gross vacation experience.  

Scanning the recent local news, I recently learned that Cape Cod is now having an outbreak of both rip currents and Great White shark infestations.  This should make for some vigorous swimming.  It's nice when the survival mechanism can also benefit the caloric equilibrium.  

I'm guessing this guy doesn't count POINTS, 
but I'm still curious how many POINTS I would be?

For those who did your vacations already, how did it go?  For those still planning, anything to add to the list?  




  1. Well I will be taking my time next week too. A staycation of sorts with day trips etc. Plan is to not go crazy but have a taste if I want it. treats are treats. Its not like I have them everyday. Will work out in the morning as it will be too tempting to blow it off in the evening. Goal: Relax and have fun and enjoy the month of August before its gone. Have fun!

  2. Great plan! I read your post and thought of Cape Cod - Sundae School Ice Cream and fried clams at Kreme n Kone....but your plan sounds very thorough and you will be fine! As will I in the mountains of New Mexico next week!

  3. amongst all that healthy living dont forget to have fun.

  4. We spent three nights at the beach and had a wonderful time! Our room has a kitchen and I didn't plan on using the stove. I planned ahead and brought carrots and celery for the three hour drive or whenever we were out. I brought fruit, veggies, WW smoothies, cold cuts, Arnold sandwich thins, tuna, skim milk, water, healthy snacks, etc. I exercised by walking on the beach and in the water - didn't gain any weight but lost .6 that week - yay! I always wear my pedometer as it keeps me motivated and accountable. As WW has taught me, I try to stay ahead of hunger and if I get in trouble, I have my filling foods in my purse (carrots and/or celery). We went to a nice seafood restaurant and they had tons of fried foods! I had the grilled, lightly blackened grouper sandwich; the treat was the bread with a little tartar on the side. I asked for steamed veggies rather than the fries or potatoe salad. It was all tasty and I felt even better because I made good choices. I hope to go back again next summer with my husband and plan again! Your plan sounds great and you should be proud of yourself! Have a wonderful time with your family and enjoy yourself!

  5. Please remember that vacation is about the people and the time off/away to enjoy. You work hard all year both at work and staying "on plan." Relax with a treat or two, but not everyday. Be prepared by shopping for food or bringing food from home, so that dining out constantly isn't jeopardizing your program. Don't obsess and make your family crazy. They're on vacation too. Take care of yourself and safe travels.

  6. Take the Cape Cod Rail Trail to El Guapo Tacqueria! You can literally burn off a burrito (that is if you start at chatham and end at the restaurant). I'm going to Chicago and plan on walking everywhere! Wish I could bring my bike - I am hyperactive so I don't think exercise will be a problem - it's the food! Good thing I'm uuber anal retentive & my way through cities as well as make Word docs a plenty of places to eat that won't kill me - although, Chicago is famouf for its deep dish pizza - Lord help me...

  7. I am heading to the cape this Saturday, right near Sunday School... it is so tuff especially with the kids. I will stick to the healthy breakfasts/lunches. Lots of salads too.

  8. Hi David,

    I was only gone 1 week, but I did lose 2# and enjoyed homemade ice cream and a few glasses of red wine.

    Two things I did do - power walked for an hour a day and I slipped out to a sister WW mtg. to weigh in and keep me on track.

    My goal was to lose weight on vacation and it was successful~

  9. Natalie - I read that you are headed to Chicago! Well, I happen to live in Chicago and thought I'd throw out a few healthy restaurants you could try in the Loop:
    Freshii @ 200 W. Monroe - make your own salad/wrap type place. little expensive but really fresh, healthy foods that taste great!
    Green Zebra @ 1460 W. Chicago - vegetarian fancy place
    Mamacita's Restaurant @ 2439 N. Clark - healthy mexican food
    Protein Bar @ 235 S. Franklin - great breakfast place near the Sears Tower

    Enjoy your trip!

  10. I wish we could afford to go on vacation. I would even settle for a "daycation"!

  11. I found that some of the local restaurants (very small,casual ones - known for their fried seafood) served very delicious broiled versions over rice. There is also the clambake - who can resist lobster and steamers! So wonderful that you don't need to drench it in butter, use the broth they provide instead. You can be "good" and still feel as though you have been treated.

  12. Ooh I am going on vacation tomorrow. I think it's gonna be a plus- minus. We are staying at Yellowstone so YAY nature! yay lots of fun activity! BUT I think we are going to be eating at some cafeteria-ish place most meals. And that makes me a little nervous. But I'm excited! It's been a long hard-working summer and YAY vacation!!!!!!