Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Why I Didn't Track Macros on Vacation

It feels semi strange to be back blogging again after a two week break for vacation. If you follow me on instagram you saw that I went to visit my brother in California. California is absolutely gorgeous and if my brother had not taken me to the airport I may not have come back...

Anyway I wanted to talk about something I did NOT do on vacation- I did not track macros. Now to some people, especially those who struggle (or have) with an eating disorder, that seems really scary, but it was fantastic. Now did I go on an all out binge? Nope. Did I live life and enjoy myself? You bet. 

The thing about tracking macros is it's great for helping people visually and numerically understand what they are eating. It's a great tool to help with weight loss, fitness goals, or to a get a better idea of how to fuel your body; however, personally, I don't think macros should be something you track religiously every day of your life. If it becomes an obsession then there's a problem that needs professional medical help. 

With that being said, yes I have tracked macros for awhile, but I haven't given too much thought to them as of late. I've been trying to listen to my body more to give it the fuel it needs. While I was in California I did not track at all. Not even one little thing. I wanted to live my life without being tied to numbers that ultimately mean very little. I did pack some food items because of my food allergies and limited diet. I never want to be a burden to anyone I'm with so I always try to have food on hand so if they want to go somewhere that I can't eat I can still go, but just bring my own food. It was also cheaper for me to pack things like gluten free oats, granola and snack bars than to purchase them there. 

After getting to CA grocery shopping was my first order of business. I got lucky because there was a Whole Foods right across the street. Now was it the cheapest option? No, but it was convenient and I knew I could get everything I needed there. I tried to stick to items that were on sale because Whole Foods is very expensive on fruits and vegetables. I picked up raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, lunchmeat, gluten free bagel thins, lettuce, tomatoes, dairy free yogurt, and a few superfood snacks (like mulberry and goji berry raw granola) from the bulk section. Most days I ate lunch in and dinners were usually out (side note- eating dinner out is a very rare occurrence for me. I don't like to spend money eating dinner out when I have a fridge full of groceries and my dietary needs make finding places to eat difficult).

Eating out was SO easy in California! Every place we went offered numerous options for every dietary need and all the menus were labeled with gluten free, vegan, dairy free, etc. It was fantastic! I am a veggie muncher at heart so a lot of nights I got salads, but don't mistake a salad for a fear of eating "real food." I wanted a dang salad, so I ordered a dang salad. The salads I got were not just lettuce, there was lots of stuff in them- avocado, goat cheese (which I found out is AMAZING!), pecans, cranberries, fresh berries, chicken, salmon, etc. Sometimes I had to remove items due to dietary needs and I usually didn't get salad dressing because I just don't like salad dressing. The bottom line is I made sure my meals were balanced with a protein, carbs, and fats. But if I was craving salmon I got salmon. If I felt like chicken I got chicken. I didn't give it a second thought.

Throughout the day I was super busy walking everywhere so when I got hungry I had a snack- I also maintained my usual workout routine of running and weights, so the extra movement had my metabolism in overdrive. Having a snack didn't scare me because I knew I was nourishing my body. One of my favorite places to get a snack was Banzai Bowls. It's not secret I LOVE açai bowls and Banzai Bowls makes some epic açai bowls (and pitaya bowls)! It was a delicious and nourishing snack because it's all fruit, plus it's the perfect tropical snack. I'm not going to lie though, there were a few nights where I had some Ben & Jerry's dairy free ice cream with my brother and his girlfriend. Was it the healthiest? Nope. Was it delicious? Heck yes. Do I regret it? Not for a second.

For me the key to not tracking and just letting go was listening to my body. I didn't binge. If I was hungry I ate. If I wasn't hungry I didn't eat. I worked out because I wanted to. I was active during the day. I lived my life. I wasn't bound to some numbers that are really insignificant. I enjoyed the time I had with my brother. I soaked up every moment in California. Want to know the best part? I didn't ever think or worry about my macros. In all honesty I laughed when I got home and found out I had actually lost weight on vacation.

There's no secret to going on vacation and not tracking macros and not gaining weight. If there's one thing to keep in mind it's balance. Eat your fruits. Eat your veggies. Eat your protein. Want a treat? Eat one. Don't eat the entire tub of vegan ice cream- have a scoop. Get out and exercise. But above all LIVE YOUR LIFE. Enjoy your vacation! I don't know when I'll see my brother again, but I'm dang glad that I didn't get wrapped up in tracking everything I ate instead of focusing on time with my family. 

I'm going to leave you with the wise words of my friend Sam: memories > macros.

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