Fit and on Plan during EuroTrip 2011!
May 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
I feel relaxed and fulfilled, realizing how lucky I am to be able to say that I just traveled abroad to visit extended family in EUROPE. Just returned from a trip to Hamburg and Paris (oooh la la!) where I was able spend much-needed QT with family and explore both the historic and ultra modern parts of both cities. To describe my trip in one word – FREEING. It was my first vacation after almost EIGHT months (since my last week of time off) of intern insanity and not a singe two day weekend since that time. It was needed and well deserved.
The most remarkable part about all of this, keeping with the purpose of this fitness blog, is show how I managed to stay on track while enjoying traditional Afghan and European meals. I was actually terrified to go; I know my appetite and the fact that I was traveling to food & wine-rich places with opportunities to eat my way fat again was almost overwhelming. I am also proud to say that I come from a long line of talented cooks who know their ingredients and NEVER measure. While this is a blessing, it’s also hell for me because once I taste a morsel of well-made Afghan food, I find it almost impossible to control my portions. I was also going to spend a considerable amount of time with my cousins so I was fearful that we’d frequently go out to eat and that I’d have a hard time controlling my cravings from the flavor and lipid- heavy menu options. Point is that I didn’t think I had what it would take to control myself in Europe and basically didn’t trust myself to make smart decisions. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
My tactic once I arrived at Manchester airport: Simple, really. Just followed the Points system. I didn’t want to spend the money on an internet package for my phone so I picked up a few paper trackers during my pre-trip weigh-in.
- tracked EVERY SINGLE bite I ate. And I mean every, from each bit of cucumber to chocolate croissants
- I did NOT limit myself because I knew I deserved the hell out of this trip and I was not about to leave without tasting some things I had dreamed of, I just tracked each bite
- Walked almost everywhere, except taking flights, driving from one city to the next in which case we either took the train or my cousins drove
- made sure I had a bottle of water with me at all times and made sure to drink at least 3 daily
- told my cousins that I was trying to keep track of what I was eating (love my family but regardless of how Westernized my family is, all Afghans have the same habit when it comes to feeding your loved ones…they pile food on your plate regardless of whether you can eat it or not and love to buy snacks/food for you everywhere you go)
- made sure to keep some homemade trail mix with me just-in-case
- took the stairs where ever possible; train stations, museums, the Eiffel tower where I was determined to take all 669 stairs to the second level, and the hotel room in paris…which was on the 13th floor
- only had one dreamy cup of cafe while in Paris (I’ve been
poisoncoffee sober for almost 2 months! Living off of a daily venti iced unsweetened green tea. Coffee/espresso makes my stomach feel like i’ve released a piranha in it)
- wore comfortable, practical shoes so that I was able to get the most out of my trip without developing painful feet
How have you stayed fit while vacationing?
Here are a few tips to review (which I should have done before I went abroad) if you’re about to embark on a trip abroad: