Niagara Falls was amazing! My husband, five of “our” kids, and I went there for a long weekend, and I think we saw it from thirteen different spots—on both the American and Canadian side. It was truly breathtaking.
However, I had a little intermittent fasting problem related to the trip—as soon as I returned from five days up north, I was home for two days then was turning around to leave for a business/pleasure trip with my hubby for seven more days.
I love trips. I love sightseeing. I love vacations. I love eating out. But twelve out of fourteen days of eating out and potentially not fasting long was going to derail me more than I wanted it to right now. Hubby and I had just lost a combined total of 60 pounds in about five months (a little less time for him). We didn’t want to gain too much (a little vacay weight gain that goes away within three or four days of stricter fasting is fine…it comes off as quickly as it went on).
And frankly, I didn’t want to eat for twelve hours a day. I know there might be a magical cruise or European vacay or Hawaiian holiday in which I will not even want to think about fasting for one or two weeks. But this isn’t the right time in my weight loss for that. And it wasn’t one of those huge, once-in-a-lifetime trips.
So I did what I am trying to teach readers, students, and group members to do—-I chose my specials carefully.
Here are some tips for you to apply as you are trying to choose your specials carefully:
1) I decided that I wanted to AVERAGE a certain number of fasting hours. I use a fasting app, and I try to keep my average twenty hours or higher in any given typical week. I knew that there would be some lunches that I couldn’t avoid (especially when traveling with the kids). Thus, I set out to be sure I stayed above 16 hours of fasting over the two weeks of traveling. (I had two days at home between trips to pad my fasting hours with super long fasting days.)
2) I left on a strong note. We were leaving on a late Wednesday afternoon, so my fasting hours between Sunday and Wednesday were 22 hours each day. This is in striking contrast to other vacations in which I told myself that I was traveling on Wednesday anyway, so I might as well just start eating whatever I want on the weekend before. This excites me the most about Daily IF—to see how I don’t throw in the towel all the time, and rather than looking for ways to get out of it, I look for ways to keep it going.
3) I made a decision to skip the expensive breakfast each of our three mornings in Niagara that came with our Inn. It was a $25 value and was absolutely amazing—crab omelets, Creme brûlée French toast, delicious breads and pastries. I would have loved it. However, with two trips back to back, I just didn’t think it was a good idea. Plus, I really don’t care for eating first thing in the morning. So my family got my creme brûlée French toast and shared it! 🙂
4) I substituted things I enjoy for the breakfast. I have found this to be an effective fasting technique. The first morning I took a bath in the whirlpool bath in our suite. I’m embarrassed to say that prior to fasting, I hadn’t taken a bath at my home (occasionally in hotels, yes) for over twenty years. (Yes, I do shower! Ha ha) I’m a doer…bathing is inactivity. I get bored. But fasting has helped me slow down and enjoy things more (other than food), so that has been good. I listened to my mindset teaching and soaked in the tub. It was awesome. Another morning I watched a show on Hulu. That’s another thing I never do—watch anything that isn’t educational before nine at night. That felt absolutely relaxing (and a little wrong-but I made it). I also did my T-Tapp Twelve (twelve minute toning workout) each of the mornings.
5) I ate two meals on the three days of non-traveling. (I ate one meal and two snacks on the first day and last day—both travel days.) I ate whatever I wanted, but one of the meals was definitely smaller as eating two big meals didn’t appeal to me.
6) I was concerned about coming home to fast longer as the two days at home between trips I wanted to do 24 hour fasts). I was afraid I would be hungry…but I wasn’t hungry at all. I think I truly have achieved metabolic flexibility!
CHOOSE YOUR SPECIALS CAREFULLY!
I’ll write more about the “specials” I chose during the next seven day Orlando trip another time. More than anything I hope you take these “special” tips away:
A. Everything can’t be special—choose the things that matter the most to you. Dinner each evening in a nice restaurant with my family was the most important special to me. And ice cream. Ice cream was special. Snacks on the road, not so special. Ice cream sundae together at a hand-dipped ice cream spot—super special!
B. Plan for the upcoming trip and get some good fasts in when you return. But don’t starve yourself before a trip with days of fasting or punish yourself afterwards. Planning is good. Punishing is not.
C. Make a plan. How many hours will you average? How many meals a day will you have?
D. If you are leaving late in the day or arriving home early in the evening, make those regular fasting days. I did that both ways, and it meant that I really only had three days of 16 hours/two meals. It also meant that I finished eating at 3:00 on the last day, yielding a long fast for my first day back. I was tired of eating anyway, so it worked out well. (Remember—you are choosing your specials. Does the extra eating on travel days really matter that much?)
E. Don’t make everything about food. Vacation is filled with food. And it is to be enjoyed. However, it is also filled with other things—experiences, people, rest, relaxation, doing things you don’t normally get to do, etc. Savor those other things as well.
F. Talk to yourself about the non-food experiences. I discuss self talk to attain goals in other places. (See links below.) However, I use it on a daily basis in others ways. Here are a few:
I. “How will I feel later?” I apply this to the good—how will I feel when I don’t eat until 2:00 with the group—and I have skipped breakfast and just enjoyed the sites? And the bad—-“How will I feel if I eat this candy now? Won’t I feel better if I wait until my real meal—a delicious sit down dinner with the family?”
II. “This whirlpool bath is amazing. I don’t need food to be happy. This experience is replacing food—and it is so wonderful to have it.”
iii. “I’m so glad I get to sit down and watch my show. I don’t have to have food to relax.”
Fasting is more than just not eating. It is a way of life that helps us condition our bodies, balance our hormones, control ourselves like we’ve never been able to before, enjoy other things more fully, and change ourselves into the people we want to become.
5 Places to Find Donna
(1) FB Group for Support and Daily Help
(3) IF Journal Podcast at iTunes
(4) YouTube channel
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