I was a tad hesitant to share our foodie adventures in St. Augustine on the blog. Fashionably Fit is not just a food blog; it is a weight loss blog, and the majority of my readers do not come here for photos of cupcake shops, ricotta-stuffed crepes and creamy soups. They want to know how I lost 120 pounds and how I am working at keeping it off, and I take that seriously. When I was obese I was so curious about what I perceived as this other world to which thin people belonged and what made them different from me.

My visions of that thin world included carrot sticks for dinner and punishing, workouts. In the last five years I have learned that that is not what weight loss and maintenance are about; it’s about balance and moderation, but I am not going to bore you with rambles about moderation, because as I’ve written before, I believe many people have a very skewed idea of what moderation actually is

I am also not going to wax philosophic about “squeezing in exercise on vacation”! You know this. Every fat person knows this, because they are the ones who religiously read the tips in Self and Fitness and Shape and Reader’s Digest and commit them to memory. But for the record, that’s true. We visited St. Augustine on a Saturday; I ran a treadmill 5K on Friday that was pretty speedy for me, and I went to Spinning on Sunday.

The key to a daylong (or weekend-long or weeklong) indulgence is not in ramping up your workouts or eat light before and after, although those are good ideas. The key is that you don’t fall into an all-or-nothing mentality, which is what I think makes or break weight loss for a lot of people. You can’t let the one day become a slippery slope — first the day of indulgences, then you feel sluggish the next day so you skip your workout, then you’re craving another cupcake, etc. And then you’re giving up, pulling on the bigger clothes you’d pushed to the back of the closet.

Five years into my weight loss, I am at a place where it is unnatural for me to not exercise and to eat big indulgent meals and rich snacks between those meals. It was the most natural thing in the world for me to get up the next day and head to the gym. But obviously, that wasn’t always the case, and I am not far enough removed from my previous lifestyle to forget what it was like.

Don’t view the indulgence or the cheat day or the slip-up or whatever you what to call it as a major failure or falling off the wagon, because the treats are part of weight loss and healthy living. If you get too caught up in that, you won’t be able to keep moving forward in your weight loss. That is what separates the “biggest losers” from the non-losers: The ability to keep moving forward.

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