Pre-Guilt (Or Why My Upcoming Vacation is Slowly Driving Me Nuts)

Sunday will start a family vacation. We’ll pack up the car and hit the road for a full week. Eight hours in the car with three kids, including our 15-month-old baby, isn’t my biggest concern, which is saying something. Instead, I’m already dreading food decisions.

The other night I got four hours of restless sleep. It took me a couple of days but now I realize that I was in an all-out panic about what I’m going to eat on vacation. Um, that’s a problem.

In the past, I would have thought about all the local favorites I would get to devour. We’re heading to Nashville and this is the home of hot chicken! Plus, we’re south enough that you know biscuits and gravy are going to bad so darn good. Now those iconic foods scare me to the point of not sleeping.

Letting food hold that kind of power over me contributed to the mess I call my body already. Before food beckoned me to eat it and I had zero willpower to walk away. Actually, that’s not even quite true. I didn’t WANT to walk away. I wanted that food – in volume.

Now, I still want that food but I only want a bite or two to try it. I don’t want to ruin what I’m driving toward for a few minute detour of flavor nirvana. The calories in the great foods of Nashville have me worried.

This feeling would not be different if I was heading anywhere else. Eating out for a week when you are trying to shed fat (physical and mental) is daunting. Most of the time I would rationalize by saying things like, “You are on vacation. Enjoy!” Or, “It’s only one week, just watch a little.” Or, worse yet, “You deserve that food. You’ve worked hard and earned it.” Oh, that last one is what keeps me up!

I have worked hard, so is excess calories really the reward I’m looking for? Here’s an analogy. If you work hard to pay off your credit cards, should you, as a reward, head out and charge them back to the max? Seems like you’d just put yourself back in a financial hole if you did that. So, should you then go out and just charge an extra couple of hundred? I mean, what’s the big deal, it is way better than before. Sure, that’s true. However, that couple of hundred will still, likely, take weeks, if not months, to pay off. That’s the crux of this problem and it is impacting me.

I have to pretend I’ve cut up my calorie credit card. I have to spend only what’s in my account. Logging helps me do this along with the Fitbit activity tracker. It gives me a great running balance of what I’m able to spend. Knowing this, I need to relax and let food be fuel most of the time, with a little “in budget” fun. Maybe the compromise is not thinking about nutrition for a week. Come to think of it, I haven’t thought about nutrition much this week. Maybe my instinct was to have a trial run prior to next week. 

Whatever I do, I need to stop worrying because it is hurting me in so many ways. I haven’t done the exercise again that I need to do. I’m only hurting myself with worry and excuses. My mental fat is winning the war right now. In order to turn the tide, I need to concentrate on individual battles. I need to break down this long-term goal into manageable, winnable short-term battles. 

Vacation is supposed to be fun. I owe it to my kids to get this under control in the next few days. The trip is going to be great. I won’t let my issue with food destroy it. That’s a winnable battle.

#intentional #choosemypath #FatManRising