Staying Healthy(ish) on Holiday

Greetings from Bonaire!

View from our apartment at Beachcomber Villas

Now that I’m nearing the end of my holiday here in Bonaire, I thought I would take some time out to share some highlights, and stresses, of being away and off-plan.

Adventures on Bonaire

The boy and I are not your usual vacationers. We don’t do all-inclusives – ugh, I shudder at the thought of them. And, we don’t exactly stay still.

Last year we went to Indonesia – and covered a good portion of the country! We were never in one town for more than a few days. Probably not your idea of “holiday”. But, for us, it is.

Bonaire is pretty unique. Here you can choose to stay on a resort and follow groups of people around on the various island activities and tours. Or, you can do what we did and rent an apartment. The first week we stayed at Bonaire Oceanfront Apartments, and the last (where we are now) at Beachcomber Villas.

We are both divers. Well, I am a dive instructor with thousands of dives under my belt, and the boy is “now” an advanced open water diver with almost 30!

In Bonaire, you can sign up for unlimited shore diving, pick up tanks as you need them and drive around the island to pick and choose which sites you want to check out on your own.

At most sites, you rarely pass other divers. Genius!

The boy heading out for his first night dive

Renting an apartment means you can make your own food, which not only saves money, but ensures you eat healthy….ish.

Our fridge with all the essentials: dutch kwark (greek yogurt), eggs, fruit, veg, and beer!

BUT… I’m going to be honest with you; I am human. Yep, I am.


Being able to cook for ourselves means there should be no reason I can’t stick to my meal plan. The only limiting factor is lack of protein powder, but that’s just an excuse.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of guilt since we arrived in Bonaire. For some stupid reason, like airplane luggage weight allowance, I didn’t bring my workout shoes, clothes, etc, and I’ve been regretting it every day. While diving is exhausting work, it isn’t exactly a “physical” sport – I didn’t realize they made wetsuits as large as they do! Thanks to nitrogen load from diving recreational depth limits 2 to 3 times a day, the boy and I are spent by late afternoon.

So, when we attempted the following workout…. Well, let’s just say it was pretty embarrassing:

3 rounds of the following exercises at 1 minute each, no rest between rounds:

– push ups

– planks

– jump lunge/stationary lunge/stationary squat

– wall sit

We got through 30 seconds of the first round of push ups and I was ready to throw in the towel. But, we made it through all 3 with A LOT of pushing each other to complete each exercise. This was the first workout I had done in about 2 weeks (including peak week, pre-comp).

I’ve been trying to stick to 6 meals a day, but my meals haven’t been as balanced. This morning, we ate goat meat with french toast.

Bread! I haven’t had bread in months!

I was a little dubious as to eating goat. I mean, just look at them roaming around wild here.

But, then I read that goat meat is very high in protein, 27 grams of protein per 140 grams of meat. It is also the leanest of all red meats. It doesn’t taste too bad either. Those Jamaican’s are onto something with their curried goat signature dish!

I’ve also developed a love for biscuits. It’s weird. I don’t ever eat them at home!

I blame the Dutch, and their need to eat biscuits with coffee.

The real reason? I am guilty of falling into the trap of: what happens in Bonaire, stays in Bonaire. I know when I go home this would never end up in my cupboards. I also know my limitations. I have 13 weeks to my next provincial show. I know I can focus and get down to business when I get home.

Snacking, and dealing with cravings

Which leads me to a topic I’ve been meaning to cover, but haven’t gotten around to yet. Thanks to an email I received from Agnes, I am finally going to talk about dealing with cravings and snacking.

Despite getting plenty to eat throughout the day, I always find it hardest to fight snack attacks when I’m driving.

Considering my job is mostly driving, you can appreciate the daily temptations I deal with.

Thanks to my mother, I have a deep-rooted sense of guilt 😉 This translates well to eating off plan. I feel an enormous sense of guilt if I eat anything other than what I’m allowed. My biggest weaknesses are: swedish berries, salt n’ vinegar pop chips (heaven!), Skor bars, and Jolly Ranchers.

I am also EXTREMELY competitive. I would never sacrifice coming in anything but my best for a competition! However, when I have a craving, I allow myself one or two of the above “weaknesses”, and that seems to satiate me. I know when to stop, and CAN stop at just one.

I also time my snacks to activity level. If I’m not doing much activity during the day, or it’s a rest day at home, I won’t eat anything off plan. And, NO, doing an extra 20 minutes cardio does not make it okay to eat that donut! Eating is about insulin control, not just “fat loss”. Controlling your insulin and hormone responses is the key to “fat loss”.

I’m not suggesting that this will work for you, I’m just telling you I’m pretty strong willed, and damn stubborn.

Booze, the biggest culprit

I’m not a big drinker. Well, not when I’m at home.

That changed a little while I’ve been on holiday. I’m not exactly rip-roaring drunk each and every night – I’m usually too tired for that! I’ve just been pretty relaxed about having a drink or two while watching the sunset, or “sun downers” as the owners of Beachcomber Villas, Tim and Leanne, call it.

How can you not want a cocktail with a sunset like this?

It’s another guilt I’ve been dealing with, but I haven’t let it ruin my holiday. I know I won’t be drinking when I get home, so I may as well enjoy a drink while I’m here.

However, EVERYTHING in moderation. I know my limits and you should know yours.

Post-competition weigh-in

So, in keeping with being as straight and honest as possible with you, I thought it only right to share some before and after shots. It hasn’t been easy watching my abs become blurry over the last week and a half. But, I know they’re there, and they’ll be back!

I think I’m the only person that has ever gone on holiday and become more white, rather than more tanned!

I’ve got A LOT of work to do when I get home!

Bon Dia!

And so, this is my last post from Bonaire. They boy is getting bored here waiting for me to finish writing this. We are on HOLIDAY. Relaxing is something I have trouble doing.

Stay fit, healthy and happy!

Keep the emails and comments coming. It’s so encouraging to continue doing what I’m doing. I’m glad I can connect with so many, and I’m even more encouraged so many can find my ramblings useful! 😉


6 thoughts on “Staying Healthy(ish) on Holiday

  1. Great read Lisa!! This was my first vacation ever that I have been working out 2 hrs a day except my day 7 and sticking to a meal plan. And the biggest difference, no booze. I am only 4 weeks into my new lifestyle and am thoroughly enjoying it!! I did have a vodka or two during my vacay but stuck to my food (as hard as it is) and my workouts!! Thanks for the info on dealing with cravings!! See u when we both get back to reality…!!! Safe travels home …. Julie 🙂

    • So proud of you! Can’t wait to see you when we are both back in the “real world”. You know I have your back, and I KNOW you have mine xo

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