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Guest Post: Vacation Lessons & Healthy Living

by Courtney on June 18, 2011

You’ve seen today’s lovely guest poster on STSL before! Heather, who blogs at Then Heather Said, is a dear “blend” of mine, who I’ve had the pleasure of spending many coffee house dates, movie nights, and even birthdays with.

Heather is a beautiful, talented, and passionate woman, with a style of writing that just completely blows my mind. She’s always striving to find ways to make her path to healthy living even more rewarding, and today, she shares with you all her insights from her most recent trip to Texas.

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I recently returned to New York after an awesome 9 day vacation of wonders in North Texas.  When I my little brother emailed me the date he was graduating high school, asking for my promise to be there, I decided it was a perfect time to take an extended vacation and stay with my parents in Denton.  Ten other family members traveled to their home to celebrate his accomplishments together, and it was a blast. Of course, along with celebration came relaxation, and a bit of revelation as well.

What my Texas Vacation Taught me about Healthy Living:

1. There will always be someone near by to help you make a healthy choice.  You just need to look until you find them.

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In the middle of my time in Texas, Kelsey asked if she could steal me for a few hours to tackle a task on my 101 in 1001 list.  Thankfully, our friend Laura was there to capture the magic that ensued when Kelsey brought us to her house where she set up HOPSCOTCH DOMINATION! A killer timed hopscotch course with balance testing, jumping jacks, squats, and general sweating in the Texas sun.

When she was walking me through the “how-to” of the course, she said something that really struck me; “I figured you will have a lot of people celebrating with you this week, encouraging you to make extra FUN choices, I wanted to give you a FUN and HEALTH-MOTIVATING challenge!”  I loved having friends near me that were willing to push me to work hard, have fun, and break a sweat!

Take away: Hold on to the friends that help you to make a healthy decision.  Friends that invite you to do active things, make homemade meals rather than eat out, or share a treat rather than a half gallon of ice cream.  How can you be this sort of healthy influence for your friends today?

 

2. Speaking of breaking a sweat:  You can run in any state.  You can race in any state, too.

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Even though the Texas climate is a tad bit different than Upstate New York, I managed to make it outside for four runs around my parents neighborhood.  I made fitness a priority by not over promising anything, and simply getting ready and outside each of the four mornings I took to the streets.  Once I was outside, I told myself I only HAD to run one mile, and then listened to my vacationing body to decide how much farther I wanted to go.  This no-pressure, under promise over deliver mentality led to my running 7.3 miles while in Denton.

I also managed to cross another state off the Fitness Bucket List goal of running a race in each state.  When I first made my travel arrangements, I also searched for a race in the Dallas area to run while I was in town.  My little brother joined me, along with a few Texas blends (Laura, Nicci, and Sarah), and it was a blast!

Take away: Don’t sacrifice fitness when you are away from home.  Find a way to incorporate your favorite activities when you are visiting friends or family or are away for business.  You won’t regret it!

 

3. You’re never too young, or too old, to face your fears. And it’s a-okay to face them in a way you feel safe and comfortably.

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My two year old cousin Kaitlyn was not exactly sure how she felt about my sister’s dog, Titus. When she first arrived at the house, she wouldn’t be in the same room with the dog, and every time Titus was outside, Kaitlyn begged to come inside.  Titus is super friendly and easy going, but Kaitlyn was frightened.

Throughout the course of the week, Kaitlyn became more and more brave, first talking to the dog from a distance, then being in the same room as the dog as long as someone was holding her.  She finally admitted to wanting to pet Titus, but wasn’t sure how to do so in a way in which she felt comfortable.

Finally, she asked our Grandpa to hold Titus, while she pet his back.  She wouldn’t touch his head, or even come near with her hand when Titus was facing her, but eventually she found a way to show him some love and affection in a way she felt comfortable.

Take Away: Kaitlyn inspired me to find a way to tackle some of my own “scary issues” on a unique level. What are you fearing as of late?  How can you approach this fear in a way that allows you to feel safe and comfortable?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

This is really insightful! I love the dog story :) It reminds me of how I feel about dogs to this day. And now, I really want to be that friend who thinks about having fun while helping others make healthy decisions.

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2 Sarah June 18, 2011 at 9:18 am

I’m on vacation now.. this is perfect timing :) Thanks for the post!

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3 Emily June 18, 2011 at 9:24 am

What an overall great post! Really motivating for me to stay on the healthy bandwagon on the weekend, which is always the hardest time for me!
Emily recently posted..Caffeinated

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4 Lindsay June 18, 2011 at 9:24 am

I’m definitely fearing a lot of things- like will I actually be a good occupational therapist when I graduate? I’m so scared that I won’t be able to remember everything I’m learning! I’m also fearing how my relationship with my bf will change when he moves to florida in the fall for grad school. We’re long distance right now, but he’s at home- so whenever I go home I can see him. What’s going to happen when we’re both gone and I’m in boston and he’s in florida? eek…it’s a good thing that i love him more than anything :)

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5 Kristi June 18, 2011 at 9:29 am

This is a great post! I always think of vacation as a free for all. Eat whatever, do whatever, be as lazy as you want to be, but this summer I’m taking a new approach. Just because your away doesn’t mean your health needs to take a back seat.
Kristi recently posted..To track or not to track

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6 Khushboo June 18, 2011 at 11:00 am

I love your goal to run a race in every state! On holidays, I do eat more carefree but i find incorporating some form of daily activity ensures my health doesn’t take a complete backseat!
Khushboo recently posted..23 years wiser

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7 Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy Living Girl" June 18, 2011 at 11:10 am

Great tips! What a cool idea of running a race in every state! I think I might borrow that one for my bucket list…which is currently in my head ;-)
Jamie aka “Sometimes Healthy Living Girl” recently posted..Tennis Ball Therapy

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8 Samantha June 19, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Great post! I love reading about overcoming – whether it be difficult climates or fears of dogs.

It makes me think of how I’m going to push myself to be the best person I can be for the next 3 weeks while I approach the date of my first marathon.
Samantha recently posted..Fun with Four Miles &amp Fabulous Fridge Finds Day 29

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