Ever since my wife was a little girl, she and her family have taken summer vacations at Panama City Beach, FL. Now that I’m part of the family, I also take summer vacations at Panama City Beach, FL!

While I’m not really a beach guy (have you seen my Casper-white skin?), it’s still a super fun, relaxing trip full of sun, sand, food, and family. I love to search for lessons from each and every life experience, so here’s what I learned from my summer vacation.

Read on and you’ll learn how to NOT gain weight on your next vacation.
Warning – there were fat people on the beach . . . and I wrote about it!

1) Vacation isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity.
The more I talk with folks, train clients, and coach people on nutrition, the more I am convinced – everyone on the planet is over-worked and over-stressed. People are just way too busy.

Ally killing it on the battle ropes at PCB!

In his series “Take it to the Limit,” Andy Stanley says that we lack margin. Margin is the amount available beyond what’s actually needed; the space between our current performance and our limits.

Andy goes on to share some other sad facts about margin:

  • Lack of margin increases our stress and shortens our tempers.
  • Living without margin forces you to be self-centered, because you are constantly thinking about what’s next and how close you are to the edge.
  • Relationships and friendships suffer when there is no margin – Our culture says more, more, more… pushing us to the limit and destroying margin – As margin narrows, sodoes our relationship with God.

One good vacation won’t solve all your margin problems. However, getting away and taking a break from the day-to-day is a good start, providing a glimpse of margin.

2) Vacation shouldn’t wreck your body.
For the fitness-conscious or someone who’s been trying to lose weight and really change their body, vacation is often a scary proposition. OH NO! I’m gonna gain so much weight. It’ll take me three weeks to lose my vacation weight!

It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few simple ways to combat vacation weight gain body wreckage:

  •  Workout. Why is it that most people think it’s illegal to workout while on vacation? You can do it. You probably won’t be miserable. You just might enjoy it! Hit a 45-60 minute workout 3 or 4 days while you’re gone. You just might be amazed how this affects your energy levels, food cravings, and post-vacation body.
  • Be a little active. If working out is illegal, then anything beyond sitting, sleeping, or napping all day is frowned upon! You can still sit, sleep, and nap, but why not hop up and actually do something every now and then? Toss a frisbee or football, bump a volleyball, take a walk down the beach, build a sandcastle, ride some waves on a boogie board, swim a lap or two in the pool, or our favorite – play some cornhole.
  • Eat vegetables. See my next point . . .

3) Vegetables are your bodyguard against overeating.
Brace yourself for a bold statement – if you eat a substantial amount of vegetables (1 cup or more) at each meal, you can eat whatever you want for that meal without worrying about overeating and gaining a ton of weight. Now I’m not quite ready to put a guarantee on this, but I will guarantee that consistent, substantial veggie intake will drastically reduce overeating and weight gain while still allowing you to eat all of your favorite foods.

Think about it – if you sit down, borderline starving, to a delicious pizza, you can easily suck down 3 or 4 pieces before feeling full at all.

However, if you sit down on the verge of starvation to a delicious pizza AND a pile of steamed veggies, I guarantee you’ll feel satisfied after one and half or two pieces. Disaster averted. Victory!

4) I love people who are happy and confident in their own skin.
Most people probably think fitness and nutrition professionals look down their noses at all the un-fit, over-fat people of the world. I can’t speak for all the other professionals, but I love and respect people who are comfortable in their own skin – regardless of size or shape!Confidence is beautiful

It’s not an exaggeration to say that 75% of people at PCB this year were overweight. Some of them wore conservative swimsuits, while others flaunted their stuff with smaller 2 pieces.

It’s impossible to discern their mindset. Maybe they wore their skimpy swimsuit as a cry for attention. Or maybe they were simply making the statement “I’m happy with me and love myself.”

I prefer to believe the latter.

Not only do I love seeing people who are happy and confident in their own skin, but I also believe the confident “I love me” attitude is vital for success in losing weight. Professor, author, and renowned speaker Brene Brown says it like this –

“Shame corrodes the part of us that believes we can change and do better.”

Shame leads people to low self-esteem, zero confidence, and feelings of unworthiness. Shame is a weak foundation for improving your body. Regardless of your size and shape, don’t be ashamed . . . even if that means flaunting a two piece on the beach!


If you enjoyed this post my and happen to be tired of all the confusion and dishonesty in the weight-loss industry, I encourage you to consider pre-registering for our next Rise Challenge. Click here for more info. It’s the starting point for anyone looking to make permanent, positive changes to their body.
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