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Let me tell you about how I lost weight on vacation. It was the Thursday before the Labor Day Weekend. It was time for our much anticipated, annual girl’s trip. Just before departing, I decided to jump on the scale. I took a mental note of how much I weighed. Six whole days in the beautiful Punta Cana, Dominican Republic was sure to include lots of eating, drinking cocktails, relaxing, and sitting on the beach or poolside. I was very concerned about how many pounds heavier I would return. Paradisus Palma Real Resort

Leading up to this trip, I had already been feeling a little disappointed because I had not hit my weight loss goal. Starting with an airport breakfast on the day of departure, I was being conscious of my food selection and telling myself not to splurge. After departing, I decided to give myself a little grace and just have a good time. And I did just that!

I returned home the following Tuesday evening. After waking up the next morning, I took a deep breath and stepped on the scale again. I was down 3 lbs.!!! “How did that happen,” I ask myself. I couldn’t even lose 3 lbs. a week before being on vacation. So I took a few minutes to reflect on the previous six days.

This is how I lost weight on vacation. Here are a few observations that I made.

I LOADED UP ON VEGETABLES. We stayed at the Paradisus Palma Real Resort, which had several all-inclusive restaurants and buffets. Their buffets had a great selection of vegetables cooked in all sorts of ways (steamed, sautéed, boiled, etc.) and the veggies were always seasoned to perfection. The vegetables were not overcooked and still retained crispness. I added a lot of veggies to my plate and put a very small sampling of meats (literally bite-size samples of different things). The veggies accounted for about 60% of my meals. This was not intentionally. I was just so impressed with the yummy freshness.

I WALKED EVERYWHERE. The resort was huge! It seemed like it took a mile just to get from the main lobby to my suite. Each time I left the room (to go to the pool, beach, restaurants, or shopping), I was literally taking a hike. Although I packed workout clothes, I didn’t use them. I didn’t step one foot into the gym, because I was getting a lot of steps per day. My Fitbit readings were as followed:

Punta Cana beach

Thursday 8/30 – 16,315

Friday 8/31 – 14,178

Saturday 9/1 – 20,796

Sunday 9/2 – 12,333

This is not even all the steps that I took. There were some instances when I took my Fitbit off while in the water (because it’s water resistant, not waterproof) and I forgot to immediately put it back on. I went on a “Swim with the Dolphins” excursion on Sunday and I had to remove my Fitbit for 4 hours. So the amount of walking that transpired during the holiday weekend was even greater than reported.

I WENT DANCING EVERY NIGHT. The trip was taken with friends and at the conclusion of every night. We had a party to attend (some of which were themed parties). My favorite was the masquerade party. Here was another opportunity for me to get physical activity in. But it didn’t feel like physical activity, because I was having so much fun. Punta Cana masquerade

THERE WAS NO STRESS. We’ve all heard about how stress can affect your metabolic rate. Well, the lack of stress seemed to have contributed to my weight loss. There were no worries about working, cooking, cleaning, weight, nor finances. The weekend was full of laughter, drinking cocktails, relaxation, and discovering new places and things; a carefree weekend. A real vacation!

I believe that the big thing here is that I RELAXED soon after departure, and gave myself A BREAK. This is what set the tone for the remainder of the weekend. No more kicking myself. And I’m so glad that I did! I enjoyed my vacation time very much, and I came home with a surprise. A whopping THREE POUNDS LIGHTER! I’m beginning to think that maybe I need to take vacations more often!

I say all this to tell you…..BE FORGIVING TO YOURSELF. God grants us mercy and grace each day that we open our eyes. Can’t we do the same for ourselves? While on vacation, relax, enjoy the sounds of the ocean, savor the aromas of different food, explore the terrains of a different land. Have fun and let things flow naturally and your body will naturally respond accordingly.

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