5 Tips to Maintain Health and Balance (and Not Worry About Weight) While Traveling

 
Tips for healthy travel. 

Do you love to travel and explore new places, but worry about it throwing you off your healthy routine? 

Maybe you stress out about gaining weight on a vacation or getting out of shape while you’re away?

From jetlag, to unfamiliar surroundings, to limited food options; even what is meant to be a relaxing vacation can also bring on some stress.

Traveling used to cause me a lot of weight-related anxiety. I would stress about where and when I would be able to work out, whether I could find food to fit my diet, and what getting off my routine would do to my weight. These thoughts detracted from my experiences. Big time. 

I recently returned from a two-week trip, and it made me thankful that I’ve found how to maintain balance (and my sanity) while traveling. By putting the following tips into practice, I am now able to avoid falling into the old trap of weight-related stresses, and actually be fully present during my experiences.

Here’s how to be sure that stress and weight concerns don’t compromise your travels:

1. Plan ahead... but not too much.

Make some basic plans to take care of your wellness-related needs while you’re away, but don’t go overboard or let rigid plans get in the way. 

If you’re the type of person who knows you need to get in a good workout to feel energized and on top of your game (like me), it just takes a little planning. For example, I’m a ClassPass member, so if the city I’m traveling to also has ClassPass, I might do a little research into the fitness studios I could visit for a good sweat sesh.

Here’s the trick, though: I’m not talking about traveling all the way across town, or going to classes at odd hours. If you’re spending too much time on your workout plans, making others wait on you, or missing experiences: you’re doing it wrong. If a class is nearby and fits into your schedule, great! If not, there are other options….

For instance, my most recent trip was not conducive to attending any classes nor did the hotels have on-site gyms. So instead, I planned to go for runs and also packed a couple resistance bands to do a bit of strength training. Resistance bands = lightweight and easy to pack (here's the kind I use). I even led a circuit training session on the beach since a couple family members wanted to join in! The only pieces of equipment necessary were the resistance bands I brought and a frisbee. Easy peasy.

Beach workout with resistance band: easy to pack!

Beach workout with resistance band: easy to pack!

I also spent time hiking or taking walks in each location to stay active. The best part about running, hiking, or walking is you can take in the new surroundings while you exercise. It’s the whole two birds, one stone thing: You’re having an immersive experience, seeing the sights, and working up a sweatbonus!  

Hiking in Ireland!

Hiking in Ireland!

Even if there's no opportunity to work out on your vaca, don't sweat it! You'll likely be more physically active than usual on your trip, and your fitness levels won't decline significantly in the span of a week or two (it usually takes a month or two to notice a real dip in strength and endurance). 

2. When in doubt, bring snacks.

Ever find yourself feeling famished in the middle of a flight where the only options are tiny packages of airline snacks? Yeah, me too. But those suckers aren’t that satisfying (even though I have a little bit of a thing for the Delta Biscoff cookies). 

Now, I bring a bag of snacks to stave off crazy hunger pangs. Here are a few of the snacks I like to pack:

  1. Justin’s All Natural Peanut Butter packs (this time, I put the peanut butter on celery sticks, and it was like a flashback to having ants on a log as a kid!)
  2. Kind bars or Larabars
  3. Raw almonds (or other nuts of your choosing)
  4. Rice chips
  5. Apples, Pears, Bananas (or any other fruit you prefer)

Snacks are also great to have in a pinch during the trip. For example, if you’re with a group who doesn’t want to eat yet or you have to wait for a dinner reservation but you’re already hungry: snacks to the rescue!

If you aren’t able to bring your own snacks and you think you might want to order something on your flight, do it early! I’ve found many flights sell out of the best food items pretty early on. If you wait until you’re starving later, your only options may be a can of Pringles or the aforementioned tiny packages.

3. Embrace once-in-a-lifetime tasting opportunities. 

Is the location you’re visiting known for a certain food or beverage? I was just in Ireland and (of course) HAD to try fish and chips and draft Guinness straight from the source! The same went for pasta when I was in Rome during my honeymoon. Because these were once in a lifetime opportunities to have the best of the best, I went for it and enjoyed every second of it (even though I know fried foods and pasta can make me feel lethargic, and so don’t eat them frequently).  

When in Ireland...

When in Ireland...

The key to making these choices without regretting them after the fact is to be fully present during the meal, eat it slowly, and savor every bite. There’s a big difference between relishing a piece of pizza in Italy and wolfing down a slice of Domino’s mindlessly. 

4. Say no to the scale. 

Do not. I repeat, do not, weigh yourself before and after the trip (better yet, don’t weigh yourself ever).

First, it's practically impossible for a person to gain weight over the length of most vacations. And, even if you do gain some weight during your travels, it it likely retained water from traveling, or weight that your body will drop naturally when back to your normal life. Weighing yourself is dangerous because an increased number could set you up for wanting to "repent" for your actions on the trip, when your body would otherwise just re-adjust on its own. It could also lead to looking back on your trip with regret rather than appreciation. Just don’t go down that path. 

5. Take time to be still.

Time can seem to fly by while traveling. Whether you’re having the time of your life or feeling overwhelmed, taking a moment to steer yourself into the present moment can make all the difference. If you catch yourself losing track of time, stop where you are, take some deep breaths, and try to take in everything you can with your senses: the sights, smells, and emotions brought on by where you are. Store the intricacies of the present moment in your memory. You'll be glad you did.

xx K

If you're looking for more support in implementing healthy habits into your life and seeking greater balance and a heightened sense of wellbeing: Let's find time to connect! Click here to book a complimentary strategy session with me. I can't wait to meet you!

 

What is a Wellness Coach? (Answered!)

 

One question I get asked quite frequently is: what exactly do you do as a wellness coach?

Fair enough. Wellness coaching is a relatively new field, and there is a LOT of variety in coaching styles. So I wanted to shed some light on the topic!

Note: I am speaking solely from my own perspective here as I break down my own personal approach to wellness coaching.

What is the purpose of coaching?

You know those days you just feel “blah”? Or when you feel an internal pull toward something different; something more? You know something in your life needs to change, but you can’t quite put your finger on what. Or maybe you have pinpointed the “what” but you’re having trouble with the “how.” You’ve tried different methods for self-development, but nothing sparked real change.

When there’s a gap between where you are now and where you want to be, that’s where a coach comes in. Depending on your specific goals, it could be a life coach, a career coach, a lifestyle coach, or a health & wellness coach. Coaches inspire, guide, and encourage clients to face their life challenges and live to their fullest potential.

Now on to wellness coaches specifically...

What does a health & wellness coach do?

As a health & wellness coach, I support clients in making changes that make them feel their best while optimizing their well-being. I take a client-centered and holistic approach that can cover fitness, eating & nutrition, mindfulness, mindset, stress management, and/or self-care practices (among other things), depending on where the client needs support.

Within the coaching relationship, I’ll provide you with education on health-related topics, cultivate a safe space for you to explore your deepest desires, help you work through the obstacles holding you back, and hold you accountable while simultaneously acting as your personal cheerleader.

The end goal is to help you discover how to get the most out of your life while empowering you with the tools necessary to keep moving forward.

Who do you work with?

I work primarily with women seeking greater body confidence, self-love, and balance in their lives. While I am qualified to coach anyone, my unique perspective, expertise, and experience are particularly well-suited for this type of client.

If you can identify with any of the following statements, I’ve been there, and I would love to help:

  • You’re suffering from a case of the “blahs” or you feel exhausted and stressed most days.

  • You feel lost when it comes to fitness and nutrition and you don’t have the time to sort through all the conflicting information out there.

  • You have a nasty inner mean girl telling you that you should just be able to stick to a diet and whip yourself into shape.

  • You hate working out, but you feel like you “should” do it to “burn off” calories.

  • You’ve been on and off the emotional eating roller coaster. This may include eating frosting out of the jar with a spoon or downing an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s and feeling disgusted with yourself after the fact. (Yep, I’ve been there. Many times.)

  • You have anxiety about what eating certain foods might do to your body.

  • Your strict diet or dedication to eating “clean” make it difficult to eat out at a restaurant or do anything that will throw you off your routine.

  • You’ve given up on fitness because you think it’s just not for you.

  • You find yourself comparing your body to everyone else’s.

  • You have a difficult time discerning when you’re full, and often eat to the point of feeling sick. It’s either that or you have to stop before you feel satisfied.

I’ve been to the extremes on both ends: from extreme binge eating to severe restriction, from a completely sedentary lifestyle to working out hardcore in an effort to lose weight. As a coach, I want to help you find balance in the in between: to love your body without focusing on what you want to change, to eat what makes you feel nourished without rigid rules, and to embrace movement & fitness because it feels good and is awesome for your mind and body.

What does your coaching entail?

I start all of my coaching relationships with a 30-minute Discovery Call to get to know the potential client, find out if we are a good fit, and ensure I can help address the potential client’s needs. This initial call is totally complimentary and obligation-free, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

I’ll help you identify your sticking points.

As we move forward, we’ll dive into your vision for the future and explore what might be holding you back. What is keeping you from living your best life? I believe every change begins with awareness (you can’t squarely address an issue you don’t even know exists!). As your coach, and both an outsider and a confidante, I am uniquely positioned to help you see the big picture and separate the forest from the trees. While family and friends can be huge sources of support, they’re not always able to offer expertise, undivided attention, or an unbiased viewpoint.

I’ll help you shift out of the mindsets that are keeping you “stuck."

If there’s a gap between how you want to be feeling and your current frame of mind, there may be some internal barriers holding you back. Often times, it is what goes on in our heads that keeps us stagnant (our negative internal chatter or inner “mean girl”). Whether it be a belief about your body, food, fitness, or another aspect of living a balanced life, my goal is to help you put self-limiting beliefs to rest and develop new, supportive ways of thinking.

I’ll keep you accountable.

Change is difficult: it can feel uncomfortable and scary. It’s easy to fall back into old habits when no one is watching. As a coach, I am there for you every step of the way to help you stay on track. There are no mistakes, only experiments. So even if you feel you’ve gotten off track, I’m there to support you, explore why things didn’t go as planned, and encourage you to move forward.

I’ll show you how to get in touch with your body and to eat and move in ways that feel right for you.

I don’t believe in diets or weight loss programs (see here for some reasons why). I encourage you to be wary of any one-size-fits-all approach. Because every body is unique, every person has individualized needs when it comes to nutrition, fitness, and eating habits.

The problem is that we’ve been exposed to strong and conflicting viewpoints as to what our bodies “should” look like and what we “should” eat and do. Many of us completely lose touch with our ability to appreciate when we’re hungry, when we’re full, or what our body needs. I help you cut through all the BS out there and focus on what is right for YOU. You’ll get back in tune with your body and learn how to adjust your attitude toward food and fitness so you feel at your best.

I give you actionable steps and tools for moving forward.

I’ll share with you the exact practices that helped me cultivate a sense of inner peace and balance after years of feeling at war with my body and mind. I’ll also develop homework and exercises specific to your unique challenges and concerns. 

Now for what my coaching is NOT:

It is not a diet disguised as a “non-diet” (like so many diets masquerading as “lifestyle changes”). As part of my coaching, I give you license to eat whatever you want (no food is off limits!). You’ll learn how to to get in touch with yourself and generally come to seek out the foods that make you feel good and nourished.

It is not a “quick fix.” The coaching relationship requires you to be honest with yourself, and willing to dive in and explore what has been holding you back. If you’re looking for a band-aid that doesn’t involve any commitment or work on your end, coaching is not what you’re after!

* * *

Are you sick of feeling stuck and ready to commit to real change?  It would be my honor to help you:

  • shift your mindset from one of self-criticism to one of self-love;

  • see radical improvements in your life balance and peace of mind; and

  • love how you look and, more importantly, how you feel.

I am opening up space for 3 more private coaching clients starting October 1, 2016. If you’re interested in snagging a spot, sign up for a free, 30-minute consultation with me here. I can’t wait to get to know you!