"Vacation used to be an excuse to eat any and everything I wanted."
Vacationing means chilling out—and for a lot of us, pigging out. But not for one husband and wife, who lost a combined 135 pounds and decided to maintain their healthful lifestyle during their recent trip away.
On Monday, Shandra Redwine posted before-and-after photos of herself and her husband Gerald. She compared their recent vacation, at the resort town of Onekama on Lake Michigan, to the getaways they went on in their pre–weight loss days.
“Vacation used to be an excuse to eat any and everything I wanted,” she wrote. “It was nothing to follow up a box of Mac N Cheese (to myself) with my mom’s famous zucchini cake and chocolate covered scotcheroos. It also meant wearing a swimsuit in front [of] people and spending a lot of time pondering a way to get from the water to my towel without anyone looking.”
This vacation, however, Redwine said she rocked her swimsuit the entire time and “felt great.” She tells Health she changed her exercise and diet regimen about four and a half years ago, when she weighed 260 pounds. Since then, she’s down 111 pounds, and the couple has collectively lost 135 pounds.
“He started running with me to support and encourage me, which led to him losing about 25 pounds and becoming a marathoner,” she says. “I am currently training for my first half marathon in September, [and Gerald] will be running alongside me.”
Her new routine and half marathon training meant bringing her workout gear on vacation with her and going for morning runs. Instead of loading up on junk food, Redwine says she planned out her meals and packed “healthy, low carb” options. One major swap? Eating Doritos on the beach is out, and taking the kids for a walk or swimming in the lake is in. But that doesn’t mean she’s depriving herself.
“Vacation is still a time for relaxing, indulging a bit, and having fun, but it’s no longer an unhealthy free for all," she says. “We pick one or two meals or treats and stay on track the rest of the time.”