Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Aftermath of the 'Vacation Diet.'

Do I really love my body? Or do I only love it when I've worked out five days in a row?

Two and a half weeks of vacation put that to the test.

In Thailand, everything comes with rice. Not wild rice or brown rice, either - starchy, sticky, white rice. And since curry can't truly be enjoyed without it, we ate it. Almost for every meal. And my philosophy on carbs is if I'm drinking them (alcohol, which I was during this trip), then I don't eat them. So it caused a fair amount of dissonance when I was doing both.

On top of that, working out didn't happen. The cities were too chaotic to navigate on foot. And I felt bad that I never made it to a Thai Yoga class.

My chi was definitely off. It was impossible to keep hydrated. And in my head, I was wallowing over the lack of complete-nutrition meals (can I please just have a banana and peanut butter?!). Plus, I was beating myself up for not stopping at "Jungle Gym Fitness Center" as our tuk-tuk passed it by.

But now, on the last day of vacation, I feel good about myself. My body. Really! Yes, I'm softer. And I only recently got regular (I hate when my body's off!) after three days of chugging water, decent eating, plus one hike and a quick living room yoga session. But I still look pretty good, I weigh about the same, and my motivation is through the roof (my husband and I just signed up for Muay Thai classes that start Tuesday!).

Riding an elephant is a bigger workout than you'd think (inner thighs, sore for days!).

Plus, I am realizing that even on vacation, we didn't do so bad. My hyper-awareness of diet made me think we were eating worse than we were, not taking into account how healthy everything was that we were eating, besides the rice. (Check out the next post with one of my favorite new meals!) The humidity kept us sweating out the toxins, so I shouldn't stress about drinking too much. I settled my mind, meditating in one Chaing Mai's oldest wat.

And we really were staying active: Instead of 8 hours in an office, we were out and about from early morning till dark, burning calories as we walked between shop, restaurant, Internet cafe, and the room. We went on a jungle elephant trek that definitely required some stamina, plus played around in the rainforest all day on a 35-platform zipline, and did an all-uphill hike to a (breathtaking) waterfall. On top of that, the cooking class taught me some important lessons on healthful herbs and what some popular Asian dishes are really made of. And of course, it was my honeymoon, so my husband and I were getting plenty of cardio in. :)

Chris and I (first two on the left) reaping the HEALTHY benefits of our Thai cooking class. 

I learned a lesson here that being healthy is a mindset. Maybe you can't go to the gym, or don't have access to your regular food and water, but you can still accept that you are an active person. That you are healthy. That your body is still strong and beautiful and functions enough to get things done. This is not an easy thing to accept when you feel like you're losing muscle like you just quit steroids, but it's a good thing to practice. And it all goes back to love. Clear the negative talk out of your mind, and give yourself a big mental hug. And a physical one, too - I like those. :)

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