Being on a diet while on vacation at an all inclusive resort is basically torture, so I had no idea what was going to happen going to Cozumel after weight loss surgery. My husband and I booked the trip the week before surgery as something to look forward to. During our long walks in the middle of the night, freezing, we would discuss everything we wanted to do in Mexico, unable to keep from smiling even though our teeth were chattering away.
Simply put, Cozumel, Mexico is our happy place. Our first trip there was actually our first vacation together ever, just about 7 months into our relationship. Traveling with a significant other in another country is a make or break situation, in my opinion. We definitely had some growing pains that first trip – I distinctly remember fighting next to the ocean after my then boyfriend almost trespassed to get a look at his “dream house” – but overall we realized that in yet another way we complemented each other perfectly. B (my husband) was happy playing volleyball and diving into the sand, while I much preferred to read guilty pleasure books on the beach. We loved to take long walks, although admittedly he went on more than I did, and both had a blast in the downtown area meeting new friends and negotiating for souvenirs. I fell even more in love with him on that trip.
The second time we went to Cozumel was for our honeymoon. Our travel agent presented a plethora of enticing honeymoon ideas at some of the most luxurious resorts we could imagine. But in the end, we were both just eager to go to a place we already considered a second home. My husband had wanted a big wedding with all of our friends and family, while I fought for a destination wedding on the beach. Our compromise was the big wedding back home, and a small ceremony – just the two of us (cue Will Smith) – on our beach in Cozumel. That trip was filled with romantic sunset dinners, even more long walks on the beach, and a festive Carnivale celebration. Still no volleyball for me, but plenty of reading kept me busy as B worked on his bump and spike.
This time around, we knew it was going to be a very different type of trip. Not that either of us were big drinkers to begin with, but alcohol = empty calories, so I knew I would not be indulging like I had in previous years on this trip. Plus, many of the tropical mixed drinks are filled with sugary juices = voiding syndrome. We literally strategized for a week about what we thought the best drinking options were going to be. (Well, really I discussed at length the benefits and drawbacks of every imaginable drink and B happily indulged me.) We also discussed at length whether we would bring my food scale and how to navigate an all-you-can-eat resort with my mini stomach.
But, I think the biggest difference we discussed going into this vacation was how excited we were to have a more active trip. Weather on the east coast has been abysmal, and my daily workouts have taken a serious hit. When presented with a week of sunny and 80 degrees, I was fully prepared to take advantage of it, and as an added bonus burn off some of my extra calories! In the 8 days we were away, we took a total of 6 beach walks and 2 very long walks into town (approximately 5-6 miles each way). My Jawbone Up said I did over 10,000 steps 6 of those days, even breaking the 20,000 step mark twice! Still, for the record, no volleyball for me. 🙂 A girl has to get her guilty pleasure reading in sometime!
As excited as I was to leave for Cozumel, I have to admit I was very nervous too. As anyone who has had weight loss surgery can attest to, this process is definitely not the easy way out. We sacrifice every single day, developing a “new normal” much different that our previous lives, in the hopes of achieving what we have always struggled with – a healthy body. Vacationing after weight loss surgery, especially only 3 months out, is like leading yourself into temptation. It is an exercise in self-control, something I know that I definitely lacked prior to surgery. But after a few days at the resort, I realized that in many ways it is just like my normal life at home; every day you are faced with a series of decisions. You have to make the right decisions in order to see the results. So whether it is the choice between a non-fat cappuccino or a frappaccino in the morning on my way to work, or the choice between ordering a pina colada or water with a splash of cranberry & lime at the beach bar, I just had to take each decision at a time and make the right choice.
This was by far my favorite trip to Cozumel, not despite the challenges of going on vacation following weight loss surgery, but because of them. I always thought that surgery would change my exterior, but I could never have imagined the transformation I would undergo on the inside. Today, I am a more confident, centered, happy, and daring person. And, the best part of my vacation was that I didn’t spend time concerned about what I was missing, just being grateful for all that I gained.
xo – SavvySleever
P.S. I have so many savvy tips to share from my vacation… stay tuned!