Vicarious Vacation Eating

13 Mar

I love my grandparents more than I can describe but I usually don’t need to eat for two to three days after they’ve visited because I’m so full from a week of over-indulging. Vita has been a great co-blogger and friend this past week by doing the bulk of the writing and by not judging me every time I came home this week bloated from eating an In ‘N’ Out cheeseburger with animal fries and a Fosters Freeze sundae (three times in one week–yikes!). It’s a bittersweet dilemma when relatives or friends visit from out of town. They’re on vacation…and it ends up feeling like you are too. When you’re showing them around town, you’re going to end up eating with them a lot. And since they’re the guests, they get to pick what and where to eat.

When I was talking to Vita about this problem, she said, “The only person you always look skinny and hungry to is Grandma.” Ha! So true. My grandparents think I look beautiful and they don’t think I should worry about what I eat. And, while they do take care of themselves, they definitely indulge when on vacation because they want to keep enjoying life’s little pleasures in their retirement years. I appreciate their perspective, but I can’t share it longer than a week at a time. I don’t have enough time to exercise enough to burn off that many cheeseburgers in one week. And it’s not like I could skip eating or order a salad (no salad at In ‘N’ Out). Ok, I need to accept more responsibility here: there were a couple days when we ate out that I could and should have had a salad instead of potato soup with cheese and bacon on top. I gave in to temptation. And I could also have said no to some of the desserts…but it’s really hard for me–I mean really really difficult–to turn down my Grandma’s strawberry shortcake.

What is it about our culture that makes us feel obligated to eat what others eat in situations like these? Certainly, I’ll admit that I wasn’t fighting it hardly at all because I knew it was just one week. But it made me think about how I can make better eating choices when out with friends or family in the future without feeling guilty or like I’d be hurting they’re feelings by not indulging with them. I don’t have it figured out yet, but I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

The good news is that we did spend two different days at different flea markets, which meant that we walked for nearly five hours on each of those days. That was good exercise! And we had a blast shopping for great bargains on fun stuff. Plus, when you’re at an open-air market, you can stop at a fruit vendor stand and have fresh fruit for breakfast while you walk around. Yum! (Where do you think Grandma got the strawberries?)

I miss my grandparents terribly right now since they just traveled back to their home state. But my body actually feels relieved to be not eating so much yesterday and today. Since I had a full week of falling off the wagon, I’m going to give myself at least one more week to re-stabilize before I do a weigh-in to check on my progress.

I’d like to hear readers’ thoughts on vicarious vacation eating so please share your stories or struggles with us.

To your good health!



One Response to “Vicarious Vacation Eating”


  1. Vacation Eating: East Coast Edition « Diet Drop - April 10, 2012

    […] difficult to not over-indulge or even feel pressured by other to eat more, as I described in this previous post. For example, practically the first words out of my Peruvian mother-in-law’s mouth were, […]

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