I recently spent a week vacationing in So. Cal. This trip was born out of the need to fulfill continuing education credits for my professional certification. I planned to attend Perform Better’s 3-day Functional Training Summit in Long Beach, CA. My husband (Mike) and I decided it would be fun to turn it into a little vacation since this year the Summit ended the day before my birthday, and I love celebrating birthdays! Last year I attended the Summit with 3 friends/colleagues and 3 of the 4 of us began the trip with a full day at Disneyland, which was incredibly fun and even more exhausting.
What could be better than spending a day at Disneyland again this year? Heading to “The Happiest Place on Earth” after the Summit, on my birthday, with my husband, throw in a second day, visit both parks, and stay two nights at Disney’s California Grand Hotel. My mind was full of epic birthday visions!
Have I mentioned we also made plans to attend a concert on our first night and spend our last day with an overnight visit to our friends’ home in San Diego? This is how Mike and I often begin trips. One idea sparks the trip. Then we begin layering on “this fun thing” and “that fun thing”, and before you know it, we have created a “crazy-cation”! It may be fair to say we like to make the most of our airfare.
Unfortunately this adventure did not begin on a positive note. Our flight to Long Beach was delayed two hours. When we returned to the gate at the new boarding time, we were told the plane had already departed. (Despite the departure screens not reflecting this change and no announcements were made over the loud speaker; insert many expletives here!) After finally arriving in Long Beach and driving to our hotel, we discovered this was not the hotel we thought we had reservations at (same chain, wrong location). Oops.
One of my main concerns when traveling is maintaining my Paleo eating regime, which requires high-quality food. The first silver lining was discovering our hotel room included an in-room microwave and mini-refrigerator/freezer. In addition to the $70/night lower price tag, this hotel mix-up was beginning to look a lot brighter! I was now able to order extra food when we went out for dinner and have breakfast in our room the next morning. I was also able to re-freeze the ice pack for my cooler each night and carry my day-time meals with me.
I’ve always thought birthdays are a great time for reflection, which then allows us to look forward with clarity and purpose (thank you Mom for imparting this). Last Aug. when I attended the Summit, I was at my highest weight (about 12 lb. and ~6% body fat heavier than I am now). I was only a few months in to my journey of finding the root cause(s) of my digestive dysfunction. I had just begun eliminating certain foods. It was a major challenge to travel and go to Disneyland without indulging in any of my favorite treats, like mint chocolate chip ice cream, let alone “regular” food like chili in a sourdough bowl. However, I was armed with determination and had already noticed my body beginning to change in a desirable direction.
A year later, it was a great feeling to make this journey, at what is a pretty normal weight/body fat for me (though not where I was in ’07/’08, “A Tale of Two Numbers…”, but I’m getting closer), and not feel as deprived as I had the year before. Another silver lining!
When I stepped on the scale upon returning home, I figured the numbers would be up at least a little, due to lack of sleep, somewhat different and less controlled food, more sodium, etc. To my great surprise, the Tanita scale showed the same range I had seen pre-vacation. This silver lining reinforced the choices I’ve been making over the past year to allow my body every opportunity to heal were paying off in multiple ways.
My mind and my body were thanking me!
We returned home full of exciting new memories and the feeling of needing a “vacation from the vacation.” Labor Day weekend offered much-needed rest and time for birthday musings. As I look forward to the coming year, I plan to keep my eyes open for all the silver linings glimmering around what may have first appeared to be dark clouds.
To Your Best Health!
P.S. Included a few photos of our trip. Enjoy!