Vacations are Scary - How to Travel 'Fit'

645am Montana trip!!!!! I don't know about you guys, but I have a love/hate relationship with flying and airports and travel in general. Currently I'm sitting waiting to board my connecting flight to Denver---everyone is standing in their respective boarding lines and I'm sitting here staring at them confused because I don't know why in the world anyone is ever in a rush to get boarded on a plane. We will all get on there, I promise you. This is not Home Alone, I've never seen any flight attendant slam the door in front of a little boy's face claiming he can't come in. Personally, I'd rather not be the first to get my seat, sit in a steamy non-air-conditioned vehicle, and sweat my bum off while watching others try to stuff their carry-ons in those stupid under-sized overhead bins. Hurts my heart a little.

652am So I'm staring at them, confused at their impatience and urgency, but also because I just love to stare at people. The airport is the best place to people watch, everyone knows it- I love it because they're staring at me too. Trying to figure out why, but I'm guessing it's because I packed three dark chocolate protein waffles in a ziploc and I'm sitting here shoving large portions into my face.705am Why is it that nobody coughs or sneezes or smells bad until the second you get on a plane? Is there something about a small enclosed space that makes the human body expel all their pent up stench and gasses and fluids?! Aaaaand a couple with a baby just sat next to me. AWESOME! This is what I'm talking about- I have a love/hate relationship with travel. I love babies. Freaking LOVE THEM. But I hate them on planes. HATE THEM. Nothing like a good ol' two hour flight to make you wanna punch a baby.

713am Okay this baby's kinda cute. 714am Never mind he's crying now. Not cute. Not even kinda.

716 am Back to business- my hate for travel mostly lies in the fact that I'm an incredibly routine person. And I didn't realize this until maybe two years ago when I was working three jobs, coaching CrossFit classes, barely had time to sleep, juggled relationships with mom and sister and evil boyfriend, squeezed in CrossFit workouts here and there, and then my head blew up and my limbs fell off and I had a complete breakdown due to my impaired ability to "go with the flow" "take it as it comes" and "be a strong, independent, hard-working woman of the 21st century" Woe is me, right? Hear me out.

720am Update on the baby: The couple decided to move seats- I swear, people, I didn't lay one hand on that baby.

My complete breakdown didn't exactly lead to me quitting my third job or making any significant changes to my schedule at the time, although I craved change and needed it desperately. I survived, clearly. But looking back I realize now that it took me having the busiest craziest lifestyle to truly make me appreciate what I have now, and why I have been so successful in the last year after moving to Houston- I have routine, stability, day in and day out (I can mostly thank Brad for this because he's militant in nature and has encouraged me to be more disciplined, thanks US Navy). Traveling KILLS my routine. Smashes it. Literally picks it up, kicks it to the moon, and I can see it just obliterated and dissolving into thin air while tears roll down my face. All the things I've worked so hard to keep in line each day- my foods, my work, my workouts, my business endeavors- are now gone, and we haven't even left the airstrip. Depressing right? Don't answer that because I'll do it for you- depressing? YESSS. But also no, and I'll tell you why.

Even though my schedule is out the window, more than any other time in my life, I feel completely prepared to KILL this week-long trip. I have so many things to look forward to like holding my nephew for the first time, squeezing my niece's cheeks, sleeping under the Montana stars, seeing my beloved brother get married to the love of his life, being around my entire family- things that I have waited so long for, things that I've laid in bed at night crying for because my heart desired it so badly (yes, Brad, I cry silently). Not only am I going to absolutely KILL this family time, but I've mentally and physically prepared so much for this trip that I know, without a doubt, that I am going to stay completely on track with workouts and nutrition. I am going to KILL IT. I trust myself to do so with complete confidence. How am I going to do this? Let me share.

One little piece I already shared is my pre-packed waffles. I left the house at 5am this morning and even though I wanted to just go to bed last night, I stayed up a little later making those stupid waffles preemptively because I know myself- I know that the second I walk into the airport, all hope is lost and I'm standing in line at Starbucks waiting for a full-fat cinnamon dolce latte with whipped cream and sugar on top, with a side of cake pops and cinnamon rolls, because I didn't care enough to think ahead and now I'm starving, channeling that little boy in Matilda who ate all the chocolate cake. THINK AHEAD<-- that's my first piece of advice for you. Think ahead, and then plan accordingly. No matter how silly it feels to be eating dry waffles in front of a crowd of people, that's what planning to succeed looks like. Two days ago, I packed protein powder, BcAAs, and pre-workout in my bag. Silly? Maybe. But those are things that keep me feeling normal. I requested my parents leave me a vehicle to use so I can get back and forth to the gym during my stay- something that I've never requested in the past and also something I was hesitant to ask for, but they didn't even think twice about it once I asked and now I have one more thing I can feel normal about. I also told my mom that we would be stopping at the grocery store sometime later today after my flight- she kind of scoffed and pushed it off, but you know what will happen if i don't grocery shop for my normal foods? I'll be watching my nieces for the next two days while my sister's at work, alone in a house with fruit loops and Doritos and mac&cheese and gogurt and peanut butter and ice cream and do not put it past me to shove all those things in between two slices of toasted buttered white bread because I will, I have done it, and I will do it, IF that grocery trip doesn't happen.

With confidence, I can tell you that that binge would happen not because I don't have enough self control to overcome wanting to eat those foods- I have self control, maybe not as much as some, but I have it. That binge would happen because I did not care enough to think ahead, plan accordingly, and grocery shop for all my normal foods. That binge would happen because I stepped out of my normal routine, my body is not getting the foods it usually does on the schedule it normally does, and I go into panic mode and eat my sister's entire fridge. I know my body and how it reacts during vacations- my evil twin takes over and I eat all the things, healthy or not.

Which leads me to my second piece of advice, and this is a tough one because many people may not be able to see into the future like I can (one of my many hidden talents)- KNOW YOUR BODY, predict its reactions, then plan accordingly. How does your body react to new schedules, temperatures, traveling, schedule interruptions, new foods, new gyms? If the answer is that your body and mind don't react at all, then come over to my house right now, ring the doorbell, and I will open the door gently, throw a gallon of ice water at your face, and slam the door before I can even hear you scream. WAKE UP. Your body is way more sensitive than you think.

Predict how your body will react to each and every thing thrown at you- alcohol, late nights, no time to workout, lack of sleep, the list goes on. Weigh out the costs of your body's reactions. Is it worth it to have a couple drinks? Maybe. Is it worth it to skip that workout? Maybe. It depends on you and your body and your body's reactions.

For example, I'm predicting that there will be mornings I won't want to wake up and go workout, which will lead to me thinking 'oh well I'm on vacation, I'll go tomorrow' Then the same thing happens the next day, and the next day, and pretty soon I've spiraled and I'm headed back to Houston on the plane feeling defeated and dreading having to 'start again'. I have packed a jump rope, knowing that I can at least get in some body weight workouts, some running, some tabata style workouts for the days where it may seem impossible to get to the gym. My ability to think ahead and plan based on my body's predicted reactions lead me to packing waffles, supplements, and my jump rope. Boom. 810am tangent: Sitting in a window seat sucks- I mean don't get me wrong, I love the view and wouldn't choose anywhere else but when a girl's gotta pee, watch out people next to me, gather your cords and snacks and electronics because I am OUT. Again, my love/hate relationship exists; it's real. Love window seat, hate window seat.

814am Bathroom was serene. I was the first one in there, and I think that just made my entire day to have used a clean public restroom.

816am In-service snacks delivered!!!!!! 

To eat or not to eat? That is the question. A question that I will be faced with entirely too many times during this vacation, specifically with all the junk I know I'll be faced with (love/hate this fact). Which is going to lead me into my final piece of advice for all you fit travelers out there. MAKE CONSCIOUS CHOICES. BE INTENTIONAL. Some of you reading this may just say, Aubrie let loose and eat the darn thing! Maybe I will, I'm sipping on my coffee though and I'll decide later because I don't want to lose my train of thought. I'm preventing you from tangents people, be thankful i haven't eaten that caramel waffle cookie yet!

Make conscious choices. Be intentional each and every vacation day. You will thank yourself at the end of your trip. Each day, wake up looking forward to all of your vacation activities, but remember to also think deeply and intensely about your goals and why some choices will be better for you verses others throughout your day. Think deeply about why certain choices are important to you and what they're helping you to reach, no matter what your family and friends may be thinking when you execute.

The reason I've always sucked at traveling "fit" in the past is that sometimes I make Unconscious choices. I don't mean I'm lying on the ground in a pool of my own drool from a night of drinking vodka-crans Unconscious. I mean that often on vacation, I remove all my conscious thinking and make choices that don't support my goals. I don't workout one day, I eat something that doesn't fit my macros, I don't drink enough water, I don't sleep as much as I should-- it's like some weird out-of-body experience that plagues me and all of a sudden I'm lying on the couch watching Frozen and my nieces are spoon-feeding me spaghettios and fruit snacks.

Listen, I know there will be a time for making unconscious choices- for instance, I'm going to see how much wedding cake I can eat in one sitting at my brother's wedding- but I know myself well enough to know that if I am not intentional about my daily vacation choices, food choices, activity level, etc. and I begin making repetitive Unconscious choices, I will leave on the plane back to Houston feeling defeated and unhappy. It's my reality. It may not be yours and it may be perplexing to you, but that is something I know about myself. Letting loose too much makes me feel defeated and unhappy. If that's not the way your body reacts and thinks, then this advice maybe doesn't pertain to you. But, if you're reading this and can relate, then I pray to God that my advice helps you. Traveling and vacationing is scary for a person trying to maintain their health and fitness.

I want to be happy during and after this trip. I want to conquer this trip. And I will because I've taken time to THINK AHEAD, I KNOW MY BODY, and I will strive to MAKE CONSCIOUS CHOICES.

855am I think I've said all I've wanted to say. Rant over. Time to eat my last waffle. Packing that caramel cookie away for my momma to eat. Can't wait to see her dunk it in her coffee tomorrow morning with a smile across her face.

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