AIM: Road Maintenance


Another month has flown by already and time for another AIM post!  Since several of us have taken vacations/trips – it seemed like a good time to discuss how each of us handles traveling.

Whether you are losing weight or trying to maintain, road trips can be a real challenge.  If you have been very strict with your eating, it can be hard not to go off the deep end where you take a vacation from everything, including your eating style.

How I eat really depends on the destination.  Sometimes food is not a reason for the trip, say to visit family.  Other times it is all about the food, say to New Orleans!

For our last trip to Maine, I knew there would be a fair amount of indulgence.  You just tend to eat more on vacations anyway, especially if you eat out where portion sizes are meant for linebackers most times.   However, healthier options are there. It’s just a matter of choosing those options.  I am more conscious about eating on a longer trip because I could do some serious damage in 6 days of eating whatever fell onto my plate.  I gain weight depressingly fast, so I do have to keep that in mind at all times.

So, I had some of this:


Lobster roll, which I split with John.  There was 7 ounces of lobster on the whole sandwich, so half is a normal portion for me. The thing I love about John (well, one of the things) is that he will split entrees with me.  Since he tries to be mindful of how much he eats – this is a real boon to me.  Especially when traveling when you have no way to take leftovers with.

We also split these clam strips from Bob’s Clam Hut.  Remember how I mentioned linebacker portions?  Like this:


Fresh battered clam strips and scallops.  Best clam strips I have ever eaten, too.  Seriously – we saw people with baskets all to themselves.

I had other more simple meals to balance these out, like soup and fruit or a nice oatmeal breakfast before one of our rides. This was in Manchester, VT.


There were nice options at our B&B as well:


So definitely a mix of indulgence and semi-normal eating. I certainly ate a lot of fruit on this trip. Not as many veggies, though.

And what if it happens where all my good eating intentions go to hell?  It  is okay.  It’s just so not worth it to beat yourself up over food.  It’s just not.  If I am going to gain weight from something, I damn well better enjoy eating it. I ended up gaining 2.5 pounds from this week-long trip, which I actually was happy with since I was expecting 5, given past vacations.  And 1.5 of those has already come off as of the writing of this post.

I think the key is having confidence that you will return to what is now your normal way of eating as soon as you get back.

The thing is, nobody notices if you gain a few pounds during a vacation.  When you get back, who says,  “So, how much weight did you gain?”  Okay, maybe someone might ask that if you take a cruise, but mostly you hear:

“How was your trip?”

“What did you do?”

We missed you!”

That’s the important stuff.


Make sure you read about “Road Maintenance,” at my fellow AIMers’ blogs for their thoughts on this topic!

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Debby @ Debby Weighs in

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you would like us to address!

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18 thoughts on “AIM: Road Maintenance

  1. Fran

    As said on Shelley’s post about this: to me vacations are also a bit about eating a little bit more or different. But not about letting myself completely go. Just enjoy the good food on a vacation. Usually we are so active that I don’t gain anymore on vacation and still had great food.

    For me it’s actually harder to lose weight or maintain at home than on vacation.
    Fran´s last blog post ..Sunday June 2, 2013: Lovely weekend

  2. Elizabeth

    This post comes at a great time for me, because we are going on a family vacation in 2 weeks to a theme park. I am very nervous about weight gain. We went to Disney World in 2011 and in one week I gained 10 pounds! I even worked out when we were there and we spent hours a day walking. The food was so rich. We went to Las Vegas recently for 4 nights and I gained nothing, but it wasn’t hard to make healthy choices there because there was a wide variety of restaurants, everywhere! We’ll be able to buy food to keep in our cabin, so I can eat breakfast there, so that will be good. I am just nervous about picking meals in the park. I plan to run once or twice while there. It’s so true how no one else notices if your weight is up a couple pounds, but it’s like I feel this failure if it ever goes up. I need to get out of that mindset.

  3. Jody - Fit at 55

    I think the key is having confidence that you will return to what is now your normal way of eating as soon as you get back.

    YES to that!!! I plan out fun foods & healthy foods – it is just the way I am… I love your attitude about it & like you, I gain very easy so… I always try to eat lots of healthy 7 throw in some treats. 🙂 Balance in life – right! 🙂
    Jody – Fit at 55´s last blog post ..Gratitude Monday & Plain Gratitude; KindRunner Too!

  4. Ali @ Peaches and Football

    Vacations are an excuse to indulge just a little bit. I think you were smart though to have some fun meals, split large ones, and choose healthy options too. I think there is still often the mindset that we have to finish our plate of food even if we are full. Some things I know don’t reheat well and they are so delicious I have to keep going – and then I feel sick afterwards. Bleh!
    Ali @ Peaches and Football´s last blog post ..Beating the Bunnies

  5. Biz

    I had my first lobster roll on vacation – so good – except I don’t do mayo, so I had tarragon butter on it. Worth it! I wish my husband was more active – he’s got really bad arthritis and walking is hard for him – I was so happy when he walked on 6th street with me – probably a total of 10 blocks but that’s the most he’s walked at once in months! I am jealous of your bike rides with your hubs!
    Biz´s last blog post ..Wonderful Weekend

  6. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    Good stuff here, and I’m not just talking about the food! 🙂 I especially appreciate the emphasis on enjoying the foods you’re eating and not beating yourself up over too many indulgences. It’s NOT worth it and can spoil an otherwise wonderful trip.
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..AIM: Road Maintenance

  7. Shelley B

    Splitting meals really makes a difference – like you, I’m glad that my husband is willing to do that with me. We get to have our more extravagant meals without feeling completely stuffed (love your “linebacker” portions reference, so true); not gonna lie to myself that we’re dieting that way…really we’re lucky if we come out even, lol.
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..AIM: Road Maintenance

  8. Sharon

    I was anxious to get to your post to see if you addressed the road challenges when there is a spouse involved. It does add an extra layer and you are fortunate John is open to splitting. Bill is not, nor would he ever agree to darken the door of a Subway. As Cammy infamously says, “I’m the one with the fork in my hand,” AND SHE’S RIGHT, but still, I’ve learned that eating on the road is MUCH easier for me when I’m traveling solo.

  9. Grace @ Grace Dishes

    I splurge on vacation too but I make sure to squeeze in lots of activity in the vacation too so it’s not totally sitting and eating 🙂

    Your food photos always make me hungry and I JUST HAD LUNCH 🙂

  10. Lynn

    Awwww….I love John and his splitting ways 🙂 That lobster roll and those clams…I’d have gone head first into both. I need someone like John on my side to make sure I don’t drown!

    I loved Grace’s comment above. It’s something I failed to mention in my AIM blog, that I love discovering gyms along the way, whether it’s in a hotel or in the town I’m staying. Most places will offer a day pass for $5 or $10. Staying active on the road helps immensely not only with the excess calories, but also with keeping me sane, particularly if I’m visiting family!
    Lynn´s last blog post ..AIM: Road Maintenance

  11. Linda

    I think…notice the word think…most of the time we gain weight while on vacation because restaurant meals are full of added salt and other items for flavor. The best vacations I have taken while on maintanence are cruises cause you can eat all the fruit n veggies from buffet ; or vacations like renting a house on the beach. You make your own food and can take as many walks/jogs as you want.

  12. Kaki Bennett

    You’re right…a lot of damage can be done in 6 or 7 days. I, too, gain weight very easily. If I ever get to Maine, the Lobster Roll will be on the top of my list!

    Just to save money, we usually try to make our own breakfasts and lunch on vacation. That way, I can eat really healthy then, and have a little indulgence when we eat out for dinner.
    Kaki Bennett´s last blog post ..Don’t ever get a job at Kohl’s

  13. Tami @Nutmeg Notebook

    I agree with not beating yourself up over food choices! Great advice and a good attitude on how to approach vacation eating. I too gain weight easily – but lose it so slowly. How unfair is that? It is what it is and I deal with it.

    We do a combination of eating healthy foods out of our cooler(providing we are on a road trip) and eating out. If we fly we go to the grocery store when we get to our destination and stock up on some healthy foods for the room frig. I always carry healthy snacks with me and eat healthy most of the time even when on vacation. If I splurge it has to be for something really good!
    Tami @Nutmeg Notebook´s last blog post ..P.S. Chorizo Patties / Engine 2 Recipe

  14. Leah

    I’m finally getting around to reading the AIM posts. I love your take on this. Never thought about the fact that no one ever asks, “How much weight did you gain?” when you return from a trip. So true. 🙂
    Leah´s last blog post ..Weigh-In … Pressing Forward

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