I LOVE to travel – do you? This year I journeyed to Guatemala to visit my friends at Pencils of Promise and see the school that we helped to build through the Not Just a Daydream Pencils of Promise campaign. That was humbling and inspiring.
Thank you so much to all who contributed to my campaign!
In July I hopped across the pond to London with my 18 year old son as his graduation gift (I can’t believe I’ll have a kid in college in September!) Jack will be studying music production and so our trip was centered around live concerts (Jay-Z! Tribe Called Quest!), trolling the city’s marketplaces for vinyl, and walking the footsteps of the Beatles, Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones.
A couple of weeks before our departure, I made the decision to prepare for my fourth figure competition this fall. Bringing my physique to a new level requires vision, dedication and consistent habits.
Did I put off the start of my contest preparations until AFTER my whirlwind vacation? No, I did not. And I easily achieved a goal to stay on my path, dropping a surprising 4.8 pounds in 9 days’ time.
I did not count calories, weigh and measure my food, or spend hours in the gym. What I did was so easy and enjoyable, anyone could do it, too. Here are my top four strategies:
Set an Intention
The first strategy may seem simple, but it absolutely must not be skipped. In order to succeed at ANYTHING, we MUST set an intention to achieve it.
Intention: A determination to act in a certain way; resolve.
The best way to set an intention is to declare it, by speaking it or writing it out. I am going to .
Be careful not to state: “I would like to…”, “I’ll try…”, I hope…” or “It would be nice if I…”
Those are not intentions. Those statements reflect wishes unlikely to be fulfilled.
Before I left for London, I set the following intention: I am going to drop bodyfat on this trip in keeping with my bold, beautiful goal to win a figure competition this fall. I am really excited about this vision, and I have confidence in achieving my goal. For this reason, setting this intention felt exhilarating, and not dutiful. Make sure you have a powerful, positive reason why for your intentions!
Clear the Path
Once you have your intention, you know your destination. You know where you are going to end up, and now you need to clear the path that will get you there.
I also call this, “Setting Yourself Up for Success.” It involves:
Picking out the tools. The tools I picked for my adventure were: training, good nutrition, creativity and fun.
Creating the environment. In lieu of staying in a hotel, I reserved a 2 bedroom apartment in a residential neighborhood in London through www.airbnb.com (which I highly recommend!). This way I had a full kitchen at my disposal and was within walking distance of dozens of local grocery stores and vegetable markets.
Making the plans. Before my trip, I conducted a little research on local gyms, bike rental outlets, and vegan restaurants. I wrote to my host to request recommendations for healthy restaurants and juice bars. I created an awesome itinerary for 9-days that included time each day for exercise, sightseeing, food preparation, marketing, shopping, seeing shows, taking walks, meeting friends, and relaxing.
Taking action. I made my training and nutrition planning a priority each day. On our very first day in London, right after we took a spin on the London Eye, I stocked up at the food market and signed up for a pass at the local gym.
Once you set your intention and created the path, it’s time to chill the (heck) out, relax and enjoy your vacation!
Clinging tightly to a rigid idea of how things are supposed to work out puts us in an unproductive, stressed out state. Stress is the enemy of weight loss…and fun. Being relaxed and happy creates the perfect conditions for a healthy and humming metabolism.
I stuck to my plans at about 80% and left room for spontaneity, magic and miracles. I was not disappointed. A highlight was running into an 85 year-old neighbor while I was on the way to the park for a morning jog. I ended up listening to him talk for over an hour, and being invited into his home, where he shared with me his secrets to a healthy and happy life. Priceless!
Indulge your Appetite
For most of my trip, I prepared light meals and didn’t snack between them. I ate less often than I generally do when at home.
I felt less “hungry” while I was enjoying London. In our busy, everyday lives we can confuse an urge to eat food with our real appetite – an appetite for life! In order to thrive, feel good and be healthy, we need creative expression, connection to others, mental stimulation, regular movement, lots of love, unabashed pleasure, to be of service, to take in beauty, and to nourish our souls. When we don’t get our fill of the former, it is easy and culturally acceptable to turn to food to fill these unmet hungers.
In London with my teenaged son, I indulged my appetite for life. Our days were full of new experiences, music and culture, meaningful conversation, fresh air and physical activity, surprises and delight. I fell into bed at night absolutely full up, completely contented, and ready to fall into the most restful sleep. I never thought of a late-night snack!
And don’t think I skipped over opportunities to enjoy good food on vacation. Fresh fruits and veg from the local market and juice-man were great, but I also nourished myself with some remarkable dining experiences. I have a celebrity-crush on Jamie Oliver, and took advantage of the opportunity to dine in one of his London eateries. Mmmm. On the way to a music festival, Jack and I stopped at a local farmers’ market and created a picnic out of local bread, cheese, fruit and cookies!
I returned home completely relaxed and full of gratitude for this wonderful life. A little planning and visualization helped me experience my ideal trip. Setting my intention, creating the path, and enjoying the journey brought me another step closer to my goal of eclipsing my former best.
I would love to know your best tips for sticking to your vision for your best health while on the road. Please share them in the comments below!
If you are frustrated because you are stuck at struggling, stressed and discouraged, when you REALLY want to live your life content, energized and super-fit, I invite you to contact me to schedule an introductory, transformation consultation. You have the capacity to live the life of your dreams, so why delay amazing?