So You Gained Weight on Vacation. Now What?

I can’t help but feel extremely hypocritical these days, and as the blog editor, I feel like it is my responsibility to be completely transparent with you in every piece that I publish. Since the REVLY announcement, we have received tons of messages from people asking us what our “secrets” are to being so confident and accepting of ourselves. People have asked how we have overcome the body struggle that many young people face and how they can do it too, as if the three of us are some perfect humans that never have a bad day. While I cannot deny how confident we are, I also do not want to put out any false representations. I can only speak for myself, but I do know that both Jordan and Lauryn fully agree with me when I say that our issues are hardly over. Being 100% confident in your skin at every waking moment is a daily battle and the negative voices in the back of our heads are almost impossible to get rid of. But, we have made pledges every day to be the best versions of ourselves and to look at life through a different lens and we promised to stick to these.

That is why I have to write this piece. I feel like I let down my girls and those who come to me for advice. I have a tendency to put up a façade and I want to be more honest with my own story. The original idea for my first blog, post-vacation, was to do a full reflection on my recent trip to Israel and the life-changing experience I had there. While this will definitely be a separate post (coming very soon, stay tuned) I wanted to first share this story and how I am taking steps to fix my behavior. My return home to the states instilled some routine behavior in me that scared me and I felt compelled to write. Stick with me here, I promise this will all come full circle.

The month of December was a disaster for me in terms of health and wellness. While posting blogs about working out and balancing the holidays, I was doing quite the opposite. I had not been home for a while and was completely swept into the excitement and holiday spirit, which led me quite astray from thinking about my body. I was not overly conscious of the food I was eating and I only worked out a few times. I had an amazing month surrounded by family and old friends, but I would be lying if I said that right now my pants weren’t a little more snug than they should be. As if being home and celebrating wasn’t enough, I then embarked on a 10-day adventure throughout Israel, which involved countless food tours and 4-course meals.

My vacation rule, especially if someone is going out of their way to take me somewhere and share experiences with me, is to not get too in my own head (my mantra is: enjoy and breathe). So we order every appetizer that looks amazing, we pick the entrees we normally would steer clear of and yes, of course, we have to try the exotic desserts. Every meal starts with freshly baked bread; shit, why not have three pieces? This is temporary, I tell myself. Plus, Syd, you never order dessert or eat the bread basket at home! Just be in the moment and figure it out when you get home. Oh man, did I listen to that on this trip. We ate the most incredible and exotic mix of cuisines in Israel and I do not regret it for one second. We spent our days hiking, exploring, and seeing all of the amazing historical sites and then we spent our nights drinking fine wines and eating everything in sight.

However, on the plane ride home, once I was separated from the magic that had been surrounding me for the past 10 days, the panic hit.

I went into the bathroom during our 12-hour flight and noticed that my workout tank was highlighting some puffiness that isn’t normally there. I lifted up my shirt and started pinching at the newfound softness on parts of my stomach that I hadn’t noticed growing. I looked at myself in the mirror, completely disgusted, and headed back to my seat.

When I woke up this morning, fresh off my first sleep and happily not fighting jet lag, I was in the best mood. I took a long bath, did a face mask and washed away all the plane filth. But as I stepped out of the tub and caught sight of my naked body in the mirror, I started freaking out.

I am flying out to San Diego this weekend to hang with Jordan and head to a lot of REVLY meetings (very exciting stuff coming soon, make sure to keep watching our Instagram for sneak peeks). While I couldn’t be more excited, the first thought that hit me today was “what am I going to do about my body before I go?” I started pledging to myself that I would barely eat this week, work out multiple times a day, and take whatever drastic measures I needed to before stepping off the plane. I couldn’t let my girl see me like this. I can’t put on the REVLY sample suits (side-note: they are absolutely fire) looking like this. My thoughts started taking over. I sat at my desk to start responding to emails and get some content out on the blog. This is not abnormal behavior but HOW I did this is what made me snap back to reality. I purposefully sat in a sports bra and leggings so I would remind myself of my failure and ensure that I was headed to the gym soon.

I had to take a step back. First of all, I reminded myself that Jordan would never say the awful things about me that I am thinking (right, Jor? Feeling insecure rn). If you wrote down descriptive words about your friends on a piece of paper and then compared them with words you write about yourself, you’d be shocked at the difference in tone. I needed to calm down.

We have covered multiple times that crash dieting is never the answer. Not allowing myself to eat and killing myself at the gym all day (huge difference between working out to keep yourself balanced and happy versus working out because you are mad at yourself and want immediate results), are not the answers to fixing how I feel. The answer is accepting the fact that I enjoyed a life-changing experience and I am sitting at my table with a heart completely full of adventure and family. Then, I told myself to wrap my head around the fact that I am fully a work in progress and now that I’m back in my day-to-day life, it’s time to schedule my days and focus on improving. The weight will shed as I keep my productivity level high. The negative way that I am thinking (this is the most devastating thing we do to ourselves) is what immediately needs to be dramatically shifted.

I think everyone can relate to these panicked feelings and, no, I will not sit here and tell you that this reaction mode will ever go away. But I strongly believe that the key is focusing on how we react and the coping mechanisms we use when we get into these frames of mind. Shit happens. It’s not the shit we should focus on, it’s the positive steps forward that we need to alter. Right now I have a little bit more to love, lucky me (I hated how cheesy that was too).

That, my friends, is the REVLY difference and the message we believe so heavily in sharing. As we’ve written many times now: we won’t change the way you look, but we can change the way you feel. I am making the active decision right here and right now to move forward positively, happily, and healthily. Who’s with me?

xo, 

Sydney Blake

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