Postcard from France

A person better at planning ahead than me would probably have prepared a post for when she was on vacation*. I suspect that people who are good at planning ahead also prepare meal plans, pre-fill food diaries and don’t need to lose weight, thanks to all of that forethought but I’ve never verified this theory.

I do not have strong planning skills, however, and so I am on a train travelling to Caen while writing this. I had vague plans for not going entirely off the rails (couldn’t resist the pun) while on my vacation. I decided I’d stick to drinking lots of water, eating only food that made me say “mmm, good!” at every bite and walking lots to compensate for missing runs.

Drinking lots of water is a bigger challenge than you’d think because it seems an odd concept. People don’t seem to drink tap water or from drinking fountains (or serve it at restaurants) and bottled water is quite expensive. I’ve bitten the bullet and bought bottles of water when we’re out, once the water from the hotel bathroom is gone. The only drinking fountain we found in our first week was a lovely one at the Palace of Versailles. I wonder if French woman aren’t dehydrated rather than thin.

I’ve had greater success with not eating mediocre food. The problem (and what a problem to have) is that we’ve had great success in finding delicious food. Even the crepe with strawberries and Nutella that I thought I was indulging Reid by buying turned out to be a hit with me. I’d love a few more vegetables, though. They seem rare and I’d be delighted by a cafe or museum restaurant with a container of crudités.

Walking, though, has been an area of success. We covered 23 kilometres our first two days in France and more than 15 kilometres each of the other days. My usual goal is 15,000 steps, which equates to 15 kilometres. I’d like to surpass it but keeping to the minimum is important. We’ve stayed in two different hotels and neither has had a fitness facility. I’m not brave enough to hit the streets solo, though I may be reaching that point. I miss my runs – when I’m “a runner” and not a mother, wife or worker.

I’ve been staying connected with the Losing it in Ottawa Facebook group, too. At first I was really torn. I wanted to avoid the group and the deviations from healthy choices that I was making. I decided I needed to stay connected, even if I was wandering from the straight-and-narrow along the ever-curving French streets. I think it’s helped keep me from completely whacked choices during my vacation.

Running magazines have also helped keep me focused. I’m running the Army Half-Marathon in a month and I don’t want to lose sight of that goal entirely. I’m also pinning my hopes on the Back on Track article in the September Runner’s World that promises me, “Taking a break for one or two weeks won’t deteriorate fitness levels. You may feel out of shape is your attitude towards exercising.” This last bit is important! I’ve got an 18 kilometre run scheduled for the Sunday we get back from France. I think the timing will be awful, jetlag-wise but the run will be a big “Reset” button for me.

Do you have tips for staying on track during a vacation? Are there things you prepare in advance or actions you take on the road?

Tale of the scale
I’m up. I haven’t seen a scale in a week but I know it, nonetheless.  (For the record, I had been down – finally – after my Blogher weekend but since I one report every two weeks…) Living on white bread and cheese (not to mention pastries) makes weight gain inevitable.

Moving it
I made sure to get my last long run in, the day we left for France but I missed an earlier run in favour of packing. The best thing to do is pack earlier but the second best is to make sure to pack. I’m out of my gym routine. I can’t blame it on my vacation. The post-vacation recommitment will have to include the gym.

*Ironically (or maybe not), I wrote this post on Saturday and forgot to schedule its upload. I’ll blame vacation-brain and take whatever tips you might have for the rest of this vacation and the others I hope are in my future.

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4 Responses to Postcard from France

  1. Karen F says:

    I’ve heard that it doesn’t matter what you do between Christmas and New Year’s. It matters what you do between New Year’s and Christmas. I’m sure the same concept would apply when you’re on vacation. Getting all of that walking in has to help, and it sounds like you’re not throwing the whole thing out the window. You’re still being somewhat conscience of what you do. Have a good trip!

  2. In the past my biggest issue was that the vacation broke the workout routine that I’d fought hard with myself to build. When I got home I didn’t get back into my workouts again for several weeks. My 2 week holiday turned into an 8 week vacation from the gym. I’ve gotten better in the last year but only by not breaking the routine. Now I pack my kit and make sure I do at least 1 workout when I’m away.

  3. Brie says:

    Sounds like you are being conscious of what you are doing and when on vacation I think that is all you can do!

  4. wordywort says:

    Thanks for the postcard! Vacation in France is a good time to walk, reflect, and eat like the French. Sounds like you’re tapering and carb loading for your 18km run on Sunday :)

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