I’m new here. Lovely to meet you all. I try not to look at weight gained as exercise wasted. Eating and exercising are not at polar ends of the spectrum in my opinion. I’m 5’7 and am constantly up and down between 127-135lbs because I love to eat. When I’m on my own, I have little problem sticking to my healthy diet. I’ll get a chocolate bar, candy or a frozen pizza a couple times a week but that’s it. When I go out with friends or family, I just eat what I think tastes good and I don’t have a problem drinking alcohol or eating till I’m full.
As for exercise, I do intense cardio about 4x a week and lift (fairly light weights) 2-3x a week. Why do I exercise? Yes, to manage weight but also to improve mental health, emotions, discipline, overall fitness and wellbeing, socialize and just have fun! An extra helping of pie doesn’t have to take away from those things.
On vacation, I try to move as much as possible (e.g. dancing in the ocean, morning hikes, stroll after dinner) but just accept that 5 lbs is the minimum I’ll put on. So don’t stress if it’s just about the weight. Other issues like uncontrollable compulsions to eat even when full, intense guilt, and negative self-talk could be problematic but a number on the scale doesn’t necessarily mean anything in the grand scale of things. And like you said, you know the ropes. It’ll come off!