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Healthy Vacation break

Throughout my life, I’ve taken pride in trying to live a mostly healthy lifestyle. In case you’re wondering, my definition of mostly healthy consists of regular exercise while allowing myself to occasionally splurge. Well, somehow over the course of the current year, that pattern got reversed. As I found myself traveling more, my routine morphed into regular splurging with a side of occasional exercise.

 

The transition

  • One month into my new routine…

No major noticeable differences.

***

  • Two/Three months down the road…

“Who needs regular exercise…I must have some damn good genetics because this body of mine is holding up like a champ!” I think to myself.

***

  • Four/Five months deep…

With summer in full swing you know what time it is—beach time!

"not" beach body

“Dad Bod” in full effect!

 

Wait…Dad Bod?!?

That’s when reality hit like a ton of biscuits. I needed to reverse the cycle and it had to happen fast. How does one gain 30-40lbs in a period of four/five months you ask? Through a steady diet of regular splurging and occasional exercise—that’s how!

In the month following my revelation, I reverted to my old, healthier ways; however, I still wasn’t getting the weight loss results I desired.

What to do? What to do?

Healthy vacation contemplation

Thinking of a master plan…

 

Enter the Fitcation: A healthy vacation to the rescue!!!

I decided the best way to really kick myself into full gear was to take a “Fit”cation. A trip to a distant location, dedicated to nothing but daily diet and exercise. Minimal internet access, limited alcohol intake, no junk food…just a return to nature and nurturing my soul with much needed self-reflection and focus. Being fit, I discovered, is much more than just a physical characteristic. The fitness I experienced encompassed the entire physical, spiritual, and mental state of well-being.

 

Where to?

Guatemala was the destination of choice. Given its pleasant climate, abundance of nature, and the fact that it is the home to the highest peak in Central America made it an easy option. My healthy vacation began in the city of Antigua; traipsing around town before ultimately joining a half-day cultural tour arranged by Elizabeth Bell of Antigua tours.

Central Park Antigua

Beautiful view from Central Park in Antigua

The main event

After Antigua,  the city of Xela became my base for a large remainder of the fitcation. From Xela, I choose Quetzaltrekkers as my tour company of choice. That decision was largely motivated by the fact that they are a non-profit organization whose earnings, 100% of which,  go directly to helping Guatemalan children. I joined a three day hike through the hills and villages surrounding Lake Atitlan, immediately followed by a two day climb up Tajumulco Volcanothe highest peak in Central America.

Less than 30 minutes into those first three days, I seriously questioned myself. Legs burning, shirt sweat-saturated, and completely gassed…I paused on a rock in a forest:

Healthy Vacation break

“This is just day one!” I thought to myself ashamedly.

That pity-party didn’t last long; however, as I pulled myself together, took a drink of water, and kept it moving. And that’s exactly what I did over the course of the next five days—constantly kept it moving. Albeit very slowly, but never again did I allow the thoughts of doubt to creep into my head. Five days later, I stood atop Tajumulco overlooking all of Central America as a physically and mentally stronger individual than I had been prior to my fitcation.

Fitcation success

Whoo-hoo…I survived my fitcation!!!

Have you ever taken a fitcation? Would you?? Comment below if you have or, if not, provide your healthy vacation destination ideas.

40 Comments

  1. Ania Travels says:

    I love the idea of a fit-cation. I always try to take care of my body and be active even when on vacation. Love it.

  2. yukti says:

    Loved your post about a new concept on Fitcation. People when go for vacations neglect their health and splurge into all junk food and no exercise. Now I will also focus my traveling with full healthy plans.

  3. Anna says:

    I actually walk a loooot when traveling:) Didn’t know there was a name existing to describe it xD I love discovering through walking !

    • EG III says:

      I love doing that as well. I like to simply get lost in the neighborhood I’m traveling to.
      As for fitcation…I should hurry up and copyright the term…because prior to writing this I don’t think there was a name existing to describe it!

  4. Helen says:

    It sounds an amazing fitcation and what an acomplishment climbing to the top of the volcano!
    Ive never been on a fitcation, I would love to go to a yoga retreat which is kind of similar I guess.

  5. This is exactly our problem everytime we go for a vacation; we turn the trip into a gluttonous getaway. Indulging in the moment and worry about the consequences later.

  6. Ty says:

    I have never heard of a fitcation but I can understand where one would be needed. Since I’m just learning of this, I think that it is essential to have one or two of these once a year. Great post.

    • EG III says:

      I agree with the idea of multiple fitcations in a year…spread them out accordingly and you’ve got an instant pickup anytime you start to slack in the fitness department (and a great location to visit as well!). A win-win!

  7. Mimi says:

    I have not and I need one. My weight is heavier than I’ve ever been, but I’m good with it. What I need to do is tone it all up. I want to eat whatever I want to eat so I need to work out. So far I’m only hitting a 10K step goal for the day. Genetics have carried me all this time so its hard to do it on my own.

    • EG III says:

      I feel you on the weight Mimi. I used to be the same way with eating, but I guess my metabolism is catching up to me…Prior to my fitcation I, too, was heavier than I’ve ever been, but I’ve dropped nearly 10 kgs since early August and back on “fitness fire!”

  8. This is a great idea! The pictures were fantastic. I love the fact that % of the fees go to help the children. That’s wonderful.

  9. Ali Rost says:

    This is the coolest idea and I’d do something like this in a heartbeat. While not exactly the same, my husband and I have been exploring all of our state parks this summer. They have some of the coolest walking and hiking trails and we’ve been logging so many miles with our dogs. Now, if we can only curb our stops for ice cream cones on the way home .. all would be well! x

    • EG III says:

      Haha…well depending on the amount of effort you exert during the fitcation I suppose a little bit of occasional ice cream won’t hurt too much. 😛

  10. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    What a fun holiday that was. You get to see the sights, enjoy the food and stay fit all at the same time. I know getting back on the track to fitness is a long and arduous road but it is so worth it.

  11. Kallia says:

    Taking care of your body is very important! This fitcation, which I was not aware they even existed, seems like the best way to kickstart your body!

  12. Zee says:

    Beautiful pictures. I should try this healthy-vacation.

  13. Aisha Adams says:

    I am excited to see you that you have taken control. Thank you for inspiring me. I walk, but I have my ups and down. I hope to get to where you are.

  14. This sounds like a great vacation! I’ve never been to Guatemala or Antigua but they’re both on my bucket list. We’ve been trying to get outdoors more so all of the places you visited sound like the perfect places for a healthy vacation.

  15. Carissa says:

    Beautiful Pictures! And yes, my husband and I need to take notes!

  16. Onyi says:

    A fitcation sounds like the perfect trip after having a baby. Time to reset.

  17. LaQuisha says:

    I definitely need to adhere to this, lol. Beautiful photos of your travels!

  18. Mayuri says:

    Fit-cation! Wow! I have heard this for the first time and it sounds super-awesome for people like me. Looking at your photos, I am excited to go on such vacations 🙂

    • EG III says:

      I don’t think it’s something that’s commonly don’t but it should be…I created the term fitcation in the hopes to inspire people to not only travel, but also be active while doing so!

  19. Ana says:

    This is my first time hearing of a fit cation but I am pleased to hear that you survived haha. Guatemala sounds like a wonderful place to get back to basics and explore your exercise regime.

    • EG III says:

      Guatemala was the perfect place for it! Except for the fourth day (when it rained all evening and night), the weather was perfect. If you ever consider a fitcation then definitely let me know!

  20. I can totally relate to this. It’s so easy to get off track. I’m usually very good about waking up and hitting the gym on vacay. Great post!

  21. Natalie says:

    This sounds like a perfect trip. Holidays and adventure is made by getting outdoors and doing things. Your pictures tell your story brillantly and certainly looks like you had fun. Being healthy is important and I have been ill alot so its massively impacted my fitness which has then impacted my health. I hope to be back up soon and going to take a trip just like this

  22. Two in one! Holiday and boot camp! We like to do the same on our vacation. We try to hike and walk a lot wherever we are in the world. Thats the best way to discover unexpected things aswell. Love Guatemala!

    • EG III says:

      exactly…a lot of people neglect the fitness aspect of travel but I always make it a point to get out a lot more when I’m on the road. It helps in finding neighborhood hidden gems as well!

  23. Chris Buggs says:

    Much needed bro!

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