Overeating While Traveling
Do you struggle with overeating? Is a party or buffet an invitation to graze on all of the things and then some? Has anyone ever called you a garbage gut?
Unfortunately, my answer to all of those questions is yes…cue the “wah, wah, wahhhhhh” sound effects.
For anyone who also deals with garbage gut syndrome you know how much it sucks in addition to how embarrassing it can be.
So, just in case you’re wondering where the term “garbage gut” comes from, here’s a fun little back story.
The Story of How Overeating Turned Into Garbage Gut
A few years ago I went on a trip to Fort Meyers, FL with my mom and older brother to visit my aunt and uncle. During this time I was dancing with the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders Training Program, and auditions were right around the corner.
This meant that I was being extra careful with my eating. On a typical day I would count every last calorie in an effort to keep my calories under 1,500 per day, portion food, avoid treats, stare longingly at “off limits” food items, daydream about ice cream, and pretty much hate life.
Then came the long awaited trip to Florida! Since I was on vacation all bets were off. My over eating started the minute I got past airport security with a cocktail and deep fried goodness in a basket.
But that was just the start of my vacation binge….(btw this story is where the term “vacay eating mode” comes from!)
From there I was eating everything in site. Chips on the counter – gone. Chocolate candies – mine. Burger and fries – in my belly.
However, where it got really bad was while eating out.
I think most people know that restaurant servings can generally feed 2-4 people, and that eating an entire meal isn’t usually advised or easy to do.
During this trip it came to a point where I’d finish my meal PLUS everyone else’s. It was like “Hey, going to eat the rest of your pasta? No? Ok, hand it over”.
This happened at almost every meal!! YIKES!!
Then, during one of our last meals out after I had started finishing my bother’s food, my uncle looks at me and says, “Look at you go garbage gut”. Of course I laughed it off like nothing happened, but deep down I was incredibly embarrassed.
I couldn’t figure out what my problem was or why I couldn’t stop eating. And to make matters worse the nickname stuck!
Ultimately I went home about seven pounds heavier, a bit pissed off about my weight gain considering how strict I had been before the trip, and a tab bit depressed about how restrictive I would have to be with my eating when we got back home.
Say “Bye, Felicia” To Overeating
Being called “garbage gut” in front of everyone can really make one reflect on their actions.
Here are the insights I came up with:
- Being super restrictive about food intake on a regular basis doesn’t do any good. This promotes over eating during special occasions such as going on vacation, during parties, or going out to eat.
- Beating yourself up after overeating also does no good. Being hard on yourself after binging only makes matters worse – you end up obsessing over food even more and feel terrible about your actions.
- Allow yourself treats a few times per week to keep cravings at bay and prevent overeating. A chunk of dark chocolate or scoop of ice cream won’t kill you, but eating a whole gallon of ice cream in one sitting might.
- Self-love is amazing! We all mess up and will over eat from time to time. However, being able to forgive yourself and move on instead of punishing yourself with extra exercise and protein powder in water makes a huge difference towards getting back on track.
- We can have it all while traveling and during special occasions! Simply sharing items to get a taste will usually crush that craving/curiosity.
Garbage Gut No More
By following the above insights we can get rid of the garbage gut persona without depriving ourselves. We can have our cake and eat it too…well in reasonable portions.
We’re the only ones telling ourselves that health and fitness is all or nothing. And guess what? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Plus, at least for me, blurring the lines of all or nothing, and making every day a balance of satisfying my body’s need for nutrition along with my stomach’s need for sweets and treats, makes me healthier and happier in the long run.
So, I dare you to give it a try. Leave the all or nothing mentality, consistently overeating during special occasions, and the “garbage gut” label behind.
Until next time,
P.S. Want more in-depth training on how to avoid overeating during special occasions and while traveling?
Sign up for my free four day travel fitness coaching! I have a webinar dedicated to avoiding overeating while traveling which can also be applied to special occasions and social situations!
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