This post has been on my mind for a few months, following this post about my weight gain while I was traveling.
I was going to give it the title, How I Lost My Travel Weight, with all the workouts and new habits I’ve employed to get me back into leaner and more muscular, but in the end, I’ve decided that I really don Am ‘not like this title, or this subject, at all.
Because throughout my life, I have been very impressed by the way I look. I learned this from a society that looks like it.
Every day at the grocery store checkout and on my Instagram feed in transit, I am constantly confronted with the ‘Perfect Bodies’ and the same damn beauty, often photoshopped or just with amazing angles and lighting,
While I’ve lost about 10 pounds of fat, I really don’t want that to be the focus here.
I want the subject of this article to be health.
Mostly because I had gained weight before because I was not taking care of myself. I mentioned in the article about weight gain that I often looked in the mirror and felt a mountain of self-hatred holding me down. I really hated the girl who was watching me. this is so sad.
A few months later, I did my job to get out of my spiral of self-pity and I started losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise and, above all, working on self-love. It was not an easy road. It took me a while before I saw the changes, but I avoided it because, at the very least, the endorphins felt very good.
I tracked my progress in a follow-up post, and when I was starting to feel better about my body again, some rude comments about my ‘boxy ass’ came on Instagram and this blog. I wrote a little about them here because I wanted to take the body away from the troll instead of exposing the ugly nature of the shaking because it was not just pretense.
I wish I could say they did not find me. But I look in the mirror and wonder about my ass. Some people mentioned that I should not listen and even others said that I was too much and body shaking is a normal part of life for women.
But I think this is only normal because we allow it.
It is not about being slim or having a full-body, it is about achieving your perfect body – one that makes you feel good, strong and healthy.
So instead of how to get slim, this post is really about being healthy. It is much more than physical. Being healthy is in large part mental. Here’s what I’m doing to stay leaner, more muscular and much healthier:
No excuses about my diet on the road: In Patagonia, I often said that I cannot eat healthy due to lack of availability. Although I could go to greater efforts to cook my own food, and if I discontinued the ice cream and nighttime wine, it would not hurt.
Eating Whole Foods – Mostly Plants: The easiest way for me to lose weight is to stop eating foods that are not from whole foods. So I allow lentils, beans, and sweet potato, but cut bread, pasta, and sugars that don’t come from fruits and other whole foods.
Allow a cheat day: It is still important to enjoy yourself, so cheat days are allowed! Sampling local cuisine, even unhealthy goods, is part of the travel experience. I limited it more than I used to.
Finding exercises you really enjoy: Find out what you wait for. If you hate running, why run? Maybe you like dance aerobics, or swimming, or Pilates. It works for me:
There are finding YouTube workouts that don’t require any equipment and which I enjoy, especially PopSugar Fitness and Bloglights. I’ve also made a playlist for practice, I can do it even when I don’t have a mat, so there’s no excuse!
Groupon on the go: I search for the classes that I know when I know that I will be able to miss out on any field for a reasonable period of time.
I now take a weekly pole dancing class in Berlin. It is empowering and even though I have been working for about a week following each class, I can tell that I am getting stronger with me every week.
Working on the go: Make your vacation active! I love paddling in Manitoba, and swimming, diving, and hiking. In the cities of Europe, I walk. I always look for ways to make travel activities, for nature and my body. I’m not lying, it helped a lot that I had two more in the 8-day trek in the summer, one in Kyrgyzstan and one in Alaska.
Apart from all these things, the biggest thing of all was knowing why I was doing this, and why being healthy was more important than aesthetics.
I really wanted to be strong. There are a lot of sports that I like to do – such as through multi-day hiking where I am carrying about 30% of my body weight, and where I am diving again, I use very heavy gear. Taking, and more recently, pole dancing.
All of these things are very likely to hurt me if I am not strong enough to do them. The second thing is that if I don’t break my workday by doing some exercise, I isolate myself a lot and then I feel strange.
I also needed to work on my self-love. Wow-what a journey it has been! The six pillars of the Emotional Freedom Technique and Self Esteem I have mentioned here and the Life Coach I have mentioned here have both been so helpful for this, as was the decision to stop alcohol, which I will discuss in a later post I promise to talk.
It also just helped to get started. By doing healthy actions every day, then I feel encouraged to do other healthy tasks, such as going out for walks, meeting people and being social, or going to the damn grocery store, and all those little things Activities that should be normal but sometimes difficult for me to do.
At this point, I’ve lost 15 or so pounds of fat that I was carrying around and gained it back in muscle. I am happy where I am and my only goal is to be healthy.
In the end, I hope this is helpful because I really don’t want this article to come from someplace, everyone should be thin, everyone should look like me. I don’t like the idea that only slim bodies are beautiful – it’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, I like to be thin myself – but it’s just one of many body shapes and sizes.
What do you do in your travel life (and daily life too!) To stay healthy?