A vacation I didn't need to change myself for

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Looking back at your vacations and events, do they read like a connect the dots of diet trends and punishing workouts? You’re not alone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a client say they “need to lose 10lbs” before (fill in the blank with important life event). It seems every time we have something important coming up we want to jump on the latest diet and kick some serious ass in the gym.

It makes sense because we want to present our best selves to the world. If we’re headed to a wedding to reunite with old friends or planning on showing some extra skin on the beach we want to feel good about ourselves. We want to be accepted. And we want to be respected. It’s human nature and it’s 100% normal (and OK) to want these things.

It took me a while to write this post because it feels vulnerable and personal. But it’s also important. It’s an important message and I want to make sure I get the message just right. 

I took a vacation with my husband to Miami last week to getaway to the sunshine and relax for a few days. This vacation was the first time in my life that I’ve had a trip that I didn’t feel like I needed to change myself for. I didn’t feel that I should diet, or follow an extra intense workout plan leading up to it. I had no interest in changing myself to fit an expectation of what I “should” be on vacation. Sure, I’ve been leaner but I’m happy where I’m at. I’m content.

I’m at a place of self acceptance and I maintain a consistent fitness level. But, there’s two sides to this coin. 

One side is a bit obvious. Since I’m consistently taking care of myself I’m in the best shape of my life and I finally find myself in a state of “readiness” all the time. I live my life In a place where I am happy with my body day to day. There’s no finish line or end goal. This is just who I am. 

That brings me to the other side of the coin. The less obvious and far more important side. I finally became the person I was always wishing to be. I stopped scoring myself based on how I measured up in a bikini. I didn’t get here by meticulously tracking or restricting food. I didn’t get here by punishing myself with workouts. 

I got here by accepting myself and recognizing that eating well, and working out in a way that makes me feel good is actually one of the nicest things I can do for myself. I got here because I created the habits that align with the kind of person I wanted to become. 

The journey to everyday fitness isn’t paved with food scales and bootcamps and 4 week plans. It’s a road of tiny improvements and decisions that align with the new identity you create for yourself along the way. 

There is a freedom that comes with transforming yourself and your lifestyle. Once you’ve finally “done it” and finally made the changes to be the person you want to be, you realize you have the tools and nothing can stop you. You don’t have to worry about “falling off track” because you know that you have all the tools to get yourself right back in check when you're ready.

There’s also a lot of psychological value to reaching that place using sustainable, healthy strategies because you aren’t waiting for the finish line. You aren’t biding time until you lose control, go off the rails and gain all the weight back.

Habits and skills that help set you up for success are the foundation to fitness because inevitably things will come up and life will get in the way. If it were easy, everybody would be walking around with a 6 pack and a perfect blood lipid panel. The approach that’s best for you is the one that you can actually follow, sustain, and enjoy for the rest of your life. If you’re unsure of what to do next ask yourself “what would a person who has already accomplished what I want do in this scenario?” And then do that thing. You already know what to do, you just have to make the choices that align you with that goal.

You’ve got all the super powers you need to be successful and google solved the information gap a long time ago - we all have access to the information on how to be healthy… go forth and implement! You’ve got this!

PS: If you find this helpful make sure you join my newsletter for more great information on how to change your health and fitness once and for all - AND to join in on my upcoming crash course: "Why Move More and Eat Less Has Failed Us All”. 

Have a question? ! I’d love to hear from you by email at Ashley@AshleyBrownFitnessNutrition.com OR on Instagram at @ashleybrownfitnessnutrition.

Ashley Brown