Summer has always been my family’s time for relaxation and letting go…and since this Body Back journey is taking place in the fray of my real life, I took a two week family road trip in the middle of the Body Back program. We went to California and saw a lot of the state, and we spent a lot of time relaxing on the beach.
Normally when I go on vacation, I give myself a free pass on my eating. I guiltlessly eat theme park foods, daily poolside drinks, and a stream of chips and soda in the car. But what I didn’t want to do this year was leave feeling great about my body and come back to weigh in at Body Back having gained ten pounds, and then struggle through a workout. The reality is that life gives you breaks from your regular fitness and diet routine, but what I worked really hard on this time around was taking that break in moderation.
Since we were in national parks and at the ocean, I took advantage of what I had to stay active and model staying active with my boys. We hiked miles at a time in Yosemite and climbed boulders to get to waterfalls, I ran trails up bluffs at the beach, and I swam laps in hotel pools whenever I could. I walked the beach two miles every evening we were there. It was a great time to reflect on the trip and my blessings and the beauty around me, and also a great chance to get my steps in. I downloaded a tabata app on my phone at my BB coach Melissa’s suggestion, and I got strange looks from hotel guests while I did HIIT workouts with my exercise bands on my hotel room balcony.
The best reward for my lifestyle change and the changes I’ve made so far in Body Back came when I decided to rent a stand up paddleboard, solo, and have a go at it in the ocean. I’ve wanted to try it for years, but I’ve felt too fat, too weak in my core, and too scared to do it until this summer. I walked alone to the shop five blocks from our hotel, rented a SUP, and hauled it down to the beach on my own. Even that task I’m not sure I could’ve accomplished a year ago – those things are a lot heavier and more awkward than they look! But I had the arm strength, the core strength, and the determination to carry it down and feel confident launching it into the water in my swimsuit.
It was amazing being able to stand up on that board in the rolling waves and feeling my strong, fit legs balancing me in my favorite place on earth, the ocean. My boys waved to me from the shore, and I managed to get right back up each of the 15 times I fell off the board. It was a big experience for me because of the vulnerable spot I put myself in doing it alone and in front of a hundred kayakers and swimmers. The risk was absolutely worth it, and I’ll be doing it again even more fit next summer.
When I got back to Body Back last week, I was admittedly scared to get on the scale. And I had gained a pound. It was a bummer, but at the same time, I completed the workout like a champ without any struggle at all. I had reached my goal of staying active enough to slide back into the workout routine and not backslide in my endurance. Two days later we did a 2.2 mile walk and strength trip around Windsor lake, and I challenged myself to run every single leg. The first time we did that same workout 4 weeks ago, I had to walk at least part of almost every leg, but last week I jogged the entire thing, and it didn’t even kill me.
So, although I did splurge on more sugar than I needed to during my vacation, I’ll take that as a necessary reward for getting strong, healthy, and brave this summer. With two weeks of Body Back to go, I’m excited to see how I measure up in final assessments.