Hey, mon! Well, it's my first day back from my vacation. I had such a great time in Montego Bay. The weather...the water...the music...the laughter. I truly enjoyed myself. I had a lot of anxiety about traveling, given my new lifestyle. This was my first real vacation since starting this challenge, so I was stressed out to say the least. I did a lot of "prework" to prepare myself for the trip—I downloaded some stuff onto my PDA, I researched some travel-friendly workouts, I even bought a gadget or two. I was ready!

But the funniest thing happened when I got there. It was like second nature! The eating...the exercise, they didn't evoke the stress or intensity that I anticipated. Passing on certain things or asking for particular things was required behavior. PERIOD! I think I was worried that I would look like a "dieter" and wouldn't be as fun to hang out with. It turns out that my new lifestyle is actually quite normal and no one even mentioned my eating or my fitness activity. See, most of that is in my head! I just need to focus on me and stop worrying about what others think.

The biggest success on this vacation for me was that I developed a plan and I stuck to it! I didn't get caught up in the concept that being on vacation equals relaxing my newly formed habits. Heck, no! It took too long to form these "bad boys" to leave them at home.

Actually, the habits are a part of me now (can you believe it?), so me on vacation didn't look that different from me at home. Now that's progress. My friend and I even got up three out of the four mornings and worked out. It was funny because my friend, Jill, mentioned that, based on my mannerisms, she knew that exercise was nonnegotiable. She was right. So, before we had breakfast, we hauled our butts to the resort's gym and got busy. As we made our way over, we joked about how we would be the only folks at the gym so early. Ha! It was filled with "healthy" (read: "skinny") people. We looked at each other and I said, "Oh, so this is what 'healthy' people do on vacation? They work out. Right!"

I allowed myself one goodie for the entire trip, which for me was one mixed drink. I mean, what's Jamaica without a little Jamaican rum? The nice thing about planning for it was that I looked forward to it, I savored it, and then it was over. I didn't feel guilty, and I didn't have another one.

Overall, I was able to truly enjoy my vacation while still maintaining the new me. I was able to find a balance that I was able to stick to. I didn't become so stressed out that I didn't enjoy myself. I just followed the plan. Now that's progress for real.

In the illustrious words of Effie in Dreamgirls, "I am changing!"

Until next time,

As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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