Vacation Workout Game Plan

We are going to Arizona (where both my husband and I grew up) for an entire week over Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!  Yippeeeee!!!  His mom and stepdad, my dad and stepmom, and my mom and stepdad all live there, along with all of our siblings.  It will be so nice to see everyone again.  Last night at dinner, Cody and I were talking about our plans while we’d be there, whose parents’ house we’d stay at when, who we wanted to see while we were in town, and how we were going to juggle Thanksgiving Day. (Ha – it’s going to be interesting with THREE Thanksgiving dinners to attend!) 


While I am incredibly excited, I am also a little anxious about the abundance of food that will be floating around the entire week.  I talked about this topic in a recent post too.  I decided I’m going to go into the week and do my best to eat how I normally do.  There will of course be extra goodies around and foods I wouldn’t eat on a regular basis, but that’s what the holidays are about, right?!  I plan on approaching these foods with a balanced mindset.  I am not going to eat it ALL, so I’m going to evaluate what I really DO WANT and enjoy it!  Pretty simple, right?!  Eh, I sure hope so… 


This led me to thinking about another thing I’m a little anxious about during our week in Arizona – exercising.  In a typical week, I workout five or six out of the seven days.  Yes, there might be a workout or two throughout the week that isn’t super challenging or lengthy, but it’s still exercising.  I started thinking about how I’m going to be able to exercise enough while I’m in Arizona.  The questions that flooded my mind:  How will I be able to fit in my workouts when it will be so busy?  Where will I workout with no gym or home equipment?  Will I stay committed to exercising since my schedule will be all over the place?  Some of you may think my thoughts and worries are ridiculous, but this is all part of me overcoming my disordered past so please bear with me.   


These thoughts and worries made me decide to come up with a “game plan” while I’m on vacation in Arizona.  Here it is:

  • First and foremost, remember that I’m on vacation.  Enjoy it.  Embrace it.  Don’t stress about it. 
  • Hold myself accountable to getting in some sort of exercise 4 days of the week.  It doesn’t need to follow my “normal workout routine”, just as long as I’m doing something active.
  • Incorporate exercise into our family time.  For example, we can go walking or running together; plan a hike; play a game of basketball, soccer, or other fun sport; find a gym nearby where we can take a fitness class.  Luckily I have family, my siblings in particular, that are just as active as I am and love fitness as much as I do.  I’m sure I won’t have a problem finding someone to do something active with.  Plus, the weather is always gorgeous around Thanksgiving in Arizona, so there will be no excuse to head outdoors.
  • Take along a few of my fitnesss DVDs.  A couple of the DVDs I have don’t require much extra equipment, so I can just pop them in and get my sweat on! 



I think my “game plan” will really help me get a reasonable and realistic amount of exercise in to make me feel good without stressing about it.  I felt so much better and less stressed after I put my “game plan” on paper and truly agreed to it.  I even talked to my husband about it so that he can help hold me accountable to it, and so that he can help suggest active activities that others would enjoy. 



  • Do you ever feel anxious about getting your workouts in while you’re on vacation?
  • If so, what do you do to help you feel better about it?
  • Any other thoughts, suggestions, or advice you have for me on this topic? 




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  1. says

    I try to look up gyms nearby before I go to see if there’s a cool class I could try out. If not, write down some workouts and do a run outside beforehand. An hour tops and you’ll be done, and you’re probably not even missing out on anything!

  2. says

    girl i used to be anxious about working out but since ive been fasting from it, its been amazing1!! we can say that stuff doesnt have a strong hold on us all we want, but sometimes when we step back from it, we realize its clinging onto US!!! so seriously do not feel anxious about working out on vacation, the Lord will take care of you! You need to enjoy yourself!!

  3. says

    I had a similar freak out when I went to Michigan for the 4th of July this summer. I brought a workout DVD with me and weights (I drove) but I didn’t even end up touching them. It actually was a very healthy experience for me because I spend 5 days doing fun active things (like some kayaking and biking and hiking) but I wasn’t doing the intense workouts I normally do and I was eating more indulgent food. The result? I gained zero weight and felt amazing and refreshed afterwards. I learned that taking a week from the gym will NOT set you back, it might even be doing your body (and mind!!!) a big favor.

  4. says

    Great mindset, Ashley!!

    I totally agree-enjoy the foods YOU want to enjoy, not just because they are there. I usually think about how I’ll feel if I overeat something that I love (because I now have no problem eating it. hah.)–that helps.

    As for exercise, 1 week won’t kill ya from normal workouts, but I agree that doing something active is important because it keeps your brain locked in to your goals. If it is a total freebie week then let that be, but if you want to stick somewhat to what you’ve been doing, then having some form of exercise daily will help you stay on track :)

  5. says

    Every time Pete and I are going away we always check out the hotel’s fitness center online. It is for sure one of the deciding factors on if we will book a room in a hotel or not. However when I go somewhere and stay with family, fitness is definitely a concern. Last week when our power was out and we stayed with my parents it worked out b/c we just brought the Insanity dvd’s. But other times I’ve just found ways- whether it’s running, swimming, free weights, etc there is always something you can do.

  6. says

    I love love your positive attitude and your game plan going into this – I think it’s healthy, balanced and realistic all at the same time. And I can 100% relate to everything here – I too am wondering what the heck I’m going to do workout wise in NY at my in-laws, especially since they live in the boonies, no gyms around whatsoever and it’ll most likely be snowing so walking is out of the question. Thankfully(!), my sweet MIL has an elliptical and she put it in the bedroom we’re staying in so that I can workout in privacy. How nice is that! Although then my mind starts thinking – will I be able to do an hour? Will that be too much and being in that room will be too selfish? So I’m committing to a half hour most days – I think that’s a good compromise – especially since the vacation is meant to be with family! My husband also suggested I bring a light pair of dumbbells which I think I’ll definitely do – It’ll add a lil weight to my luggage but willing to do it to sacrifice my sanity! lol :) We can do this girl!

    • Ashley says

      I appreciate you so much!! It’s nice to know someone else completely understands and can relate to me. It seems like we’re at a similar point in our “recovery” which makes it even easier to relate to one another. I think your plan sounds perfect on your vacation. That’s so nice your MIL did that for you! Even 30 minutes will help you feel great and get the endorphins going. I just want to meet you in person already! 😉

  7. says

    Great game plan! I usually just make my boyfriend or mom go for walks with me, or con them into saying “oh yeah, let’s go walk around and explore the hotel/things to do around here!” haha. I also love any hotel with a gym in it. I hope you have a great Thank You Day! :)

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