Losing Weight Before a Trip: Should You or Shouldn't You?

With thoughts of lounging on a Costa Rican beach looming in my immediate future, my present has me fretting about my post-baby body (and who are we kidding - it wasn't tight and toned pre-baby either!).  On one hand, I want to set a positive body image example for my daughter by embracing who I am and what I look like, flaunting my baby pouch in a little black bikini and not worrying about the cellulite on my thighs.  On the other hand, I'm a normal woman who shudders at the thought of lolling about on the beach with my less-than-supermodel form.

Maybe I'm not being PC about the topic. With all the Facebook posts filtering through my news feed about mothers not caring about their size, or wanting their sons to see them nude so they know what a real woman looks like, I know I shouldn't be concerned about losing weight for my trip.  But I can't help it.

How many times have I stressed myself out about losing weight before a trip? Countless!

At least two to three months before every trip I go on, I worry about this.  Do I need to go shopping to buy clothes that flatter my current size, or do I hold off and wait to see if I actually manage to tone up before I go?  (Usually it is the latter, and no, I don't usually tone up before I go to answer your question. I usually don't even go shopping at all.)

Throw in having a baby: major changes to my body (some that I doubt are reversible), no time to exercise, eating like garbage because I'm just happy to be eating let alone cooking a plethora of healthy meals, and you have someone who is dreading wearing a swimsuit to the beach.  I know a lot of my 'excuses' can be solved - I can cook healthy meals in the evening after Peanut goes to bed, I could get up earlier and exercise before the baby wakes up... but I kind of don't want to.  I really like sleeping in the mornings and getting some time to put my feet up in the evenings.  A girl has got to have some down time, you know?

I want my baby to grow up without a weight complex - and I know that starts with me... but it is hard.

Do they make full-body swimsuit Spanx?  I need a wetsuit with a built-in corset. That might be my solution.  *le sigh*

Ultimately, I will do what I always do: my best.  I'll fit in a workout once or twice a week if I'm motivated, maybe do some sit-ups while Avy Bear is playing in her exersaucer, and I'll have a salad or two during the week.  I'll walk to the store with the baby instead of driving.  I will swear off pizza - well, until that night when I'm too tired to cook and Joey suggests we order in.  I may or may not lose about 5 to 6 pounds, but I'll be ridiculously proud of that and tell everyone.

And I will allow myself to have a fantastic trip, introducing my child to travel. I will enjoy the beach because my husband will tell me I look great and I'll believe him, even as I scoff at his compliments.  I will feel strong, because this slightly rounded body grew a human being and brought her into the world.  I will eat arroz con pollo and greasy fried plantains, because those are my favorite Costa Rican foods.  Yes, I'll eat some fresh fruit, too.  I promise!

What about you?  Do you try to lose weight before going on a trip?


  1. This is wonderful and such a timely post for me! I think we all feel this way to an extent! I in general have been wanting to get into better shape. Our lifestyle for the past few years just hasn't been very conducive to healthy habits that I used to rely on and want to have again... but we are making steps :) So for the most part I just try to pick out flattering clothing and keep doing what I can. It is good not to be too hard on ourselves, especially when two months (or whatever) may not be enough time to make much of a difference anyway. Though I do want to keep my motivation to make my everyday life healthier, because I know what it feels like, and I want to work toward that again. This coming summer we are going to a wedding in Florida and spending some time there afterward, so I would really like to bump up our baby steps by then to feel better about all of it in general, including being more comfortable on a beach. This is such a good reminder though, inspirational even, because next week we head to Seattle, and there goes the worry. Thank you for sharing! XO-Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    1. I'm glad I could inspire you - have a blast in Seattle and who the heck cares if you're a size 0, size 8, or size 16? Just enjoy your life and be thankful you have the chance to travel and see the world, right? And you have some great timing: rumor has it they are about to shut down the sea front area in Seattle, including Pike Place Market, so enjoy it while you can. (And please, let the rumors be false...)

      You also raise a really good point. Taking baby steps and attempting to be healthier with your eating and activity levels are great things to do, but it is also necessary to remind yourself that two months is NOT enough time to notice huge, 35-pound-weight-loss changes (unless you are doing an extreme diet, which I don't recommend, because it will ALL come back while you are vacationing). It is important to just be proud of the strides you made to your lifestyle improvements, and forget about the scale. Thanks for reminding me of that!