Sunday, August 30, 2015

What happened when I stopped exercising for two weeks

I AM BACK FROM MY HONEYMOON!  I have had an amazing three weeks of life.  I got married to the most loving man, and then we ate and drank our way through the Greek Islands.  The past few weeks have been full of a ton of emotions, excitement and even anxiety - I have some much to write about.  But right now I want to share an experience I never would have felt comfortable with a couple of years ago.

Travis and I went to Greece for our honeymoon, and I spent two weeks eating more and drinking more than I ever have.  I also swore off exercise and spend most days lounging by a pool or beach.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about what would happen to my body as a result of this, but I was determined to let myself truly feel the freedom of having no responsibilities.  

For those of you who read my blog, you know that I used to be too thin for my body type.  I over-exercised, under-fueled, counted calories and was pretty miserable. About two years ago, I decided to change my relationship with food and exercise.  Although I have definitely eased up on my exercise during that time, I have still stuck to a 30-60 minute workout at least 5 times per week (I do genuinely love being active).  That being said, I always make sure to eat a lot in order to fuel that much activity.

I still am not 100% comfortable taking multiple days off from exercise.  So I thought that my honeymoon would be the perfect opportunity to 1) prove to myself that taking a long break wouldn't cause as big of a change in my body as I thought it would.  And 2) to prove to myself that if I DID gain weight, it didn't matter.

Honeymoon recap
After sitting on a plane for 10 hours (and eating 3 crappy airplane meals), we landing in Frankfurt, Germany where we found an amazing pho restaurant.  We ate our pho and drank a beer, then got on another 3 hour flight to Athens Greece.  This time, we were able to sleep a little on the plane.  After 23 hours of traveling, we finally made it to Athens and enjoyed our first AWESOME Greek dinner, in the touristy area of Plaka.  Moussaka, Greek salad, and pork souvlaki paired with a few glasses of wine was all we needed to get amped up to explore Athens for a day before heading to the first island on our adventure, Santorini.

 This meal was actually lunch the next day.

After a good night's sleep and a huge complimentary breakfast, we were off to explore the acropolis.  Yes, that is boob sweat, it was 97 degrees.

That night we jetted off to Santorini.  We arrived late and ate fish at the hotel restaurant, paired with wine followed by vinosanta, an amazing local dessert wine.  We got to bed early so we would have plenty of energy to explore the island the next day.

And that we did!

We enjoyed another fantastic breakfast overlooking the ocean.

Followed by some INSANE gyros at a favorite local spot, Pitogyro.

Followed by a sunset view from our balcony.

The next day we went wine tasting!

Then the following day, we took a sailing trip to the volcanic hot springs and a couple beaches.  We snorkeled, enjoyed lots of wine and the local liquor, Ouzo, and filled up on delicious BBQ eats.

We left for Mykonos after four days in Santorini.  Mykonos has a completely different vibe.  Santorni was romantic and relaxing, Mykonos is a party island mostly with young people enjoying the last week of summer.

Again we ate some delicious meals, and drank a lot of cocktails.

We rented a car an visited three beaches in one day (after getting lost several times).  But we navigated the island as a team, and it was great fun.

I was on a roll, but then the guilt set in.

During this meal, I thought a lot about how much I had consumed already, and the trip was only halfway over.  I felt guilty and I worried that I was over-doing it.  I was sure I had gained five pounds.  Travis talked me out of a mini meltdown, and I made a conscious decision to ignore those feelings and continue to enjoy every minute of the honeymoon.  And that's what I did.

This was my favorite dish - pumpkin mousse.

After three days in Mykonos, it was time to ferry back to the mainland.  I was actually excited to get back to Athens to explore the city some more.

Our first day back, we took a bike tour around the city.  It was the first really active thing we had done and I it felt great to feel my muscles working!  The bike tour was awesome, it helped us figure out how to navigate the city a bit better.

We ate frozen Greek yogurt, which was SO good.  We also ate regular Greek yogurt practically every day we were there.  I don't know why, but for some reason, it was insanely more delicious than the packaged Greek yogurt I buy in the states.

We went to an amazing restaurant called Aleria in Athens.  There we had a five course tasting menu of dishes inspired by authentic Greek recipes with a modern spin.  The courses were all paired with wine and we were seated in the gorgeous garden area.  It was definitely a highlight of the trip.

I can honestly say that I fall more in love with Travis every day.  Spending two weeks in paradise with him was a dream, and I enjoyed every second of it.  I focused on how happy I felt and tried not to focus on how I looked.  I didn't jump out of bed to go for a run, I didn't pass on the sugary cocktail he ordered me when I specifically had requested a vodka soda (he knows me well enough to know that wasn't what I really wanted), and I didn't skip the huge bowl of ice cream he insisted we eat right before dinner.

I weighed myself a few days before our wedding weekend. I know that relying on the scale is a dangerous game, but I thought that it would be good for me to see the reality, and I knew I was in a place where I could handle it.  I trust myself not to fall back into old habits of obsessing over my weight, I am past that.  I could accept if I gained some weight, a honeymoon and wedding indulgences are totally worth that in my book.

So this morning, a day after my return, I hopped on the scale.


I was the EXACT same weight three weeks ago.  Yes.  The exact same. 

Everything would have been worth it, even if I had gained 20 lbs.  My husband loves me no matter what, and these days I am getting better at loving myself no matter what too.  But it definitely feels good to know that I can relax. When you have accepted yourself at the the weight you should be, a few weeks of crazy eating and no exercise isn't going to make a huge impact.  I needed to see that my metabolism is working again, I needed to trust my body a little more, I needed to rest.  For someone who used be consumed with guilt if she had wine on a weeknight, this is huge.