So there we are ticking along nicely and getting into the groove – and suddenly we are faced with a situation that could potentially de-rail us…a holiday!
Of course holidays are fab – and shouldn’t be regarded as something that is negative and set to negate all your hard efforts, but how can we make sure that everything doesn’t go “to pot”? (And does it actually matter if it does?)
If you are worried about all your achievements ending up in a big puddle on the beach, then it is important to be realistic right from the start. It’s no good setting yourself rigid rules that you know you actually will find hard to stick to once you are away. Setting boundaries about what you are willing to be flexible with and what you really feel you want to adhere to is important.
For example, if you are regularly fasting during the day this may or may not work with the routine that you will be incorporating during your holiday; during my recent holiday, I decided to forgo my fasts and eat breakfast most days while we were away so that we didn’t have to cart stuff with us for a lunch (we had done that a couple of times but it got hot and was extra bulk to put in the bag). So we had an early breakfast that lasted us all day until we had our evening meal. Easy. It can, of course, be just as easy to take a lunch, or eat lunch out and keep to your fasting routine. Whatever you decide it needs to be right for you, plus taking into consideration whoever you are holidaying with.
If you work out regularly then you might either decide that a break from it is just what you need, or you might want to just lessen the load a little – especially if it is an active holiday that you are planning. Incorporating some quick Tabata style workouts first thing in the morning with some bodyweight cardio and strength exercises is the quickest, and easiest, way of keeping your momentum going.
I usually take my portable kettlebells (yes, there is such a thing!! – different sized heavy duty bags with handles that you can fill with sand, we have a 14kg, 12kg and 8kg. Because they are fabric, anything heavier is really a non-starter because they will be too big to handle), a lightweight TRX suspension trainer and jump ropes when I go away so I can do a variety of sessions – which typically last between 15-30 minutes. I do it first thing in the morning, and then have the rest of the day to spend on my holiday fun. I don’t necessarily do something every day either, it’s very loose and easy going, particularly as I am likely to be filling my days with plenty of walking and other activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, cycling etc (oh and of course the obligatory sunbathing!!)
One of the hardest things that can affect your goals during a holiday is what you choose to eat and drink. And the biggest clue here is the word “CHOOSE”. Holidays of course are meant to be fun and relaxed – and they absolutely can be with a positive attitude as to how you are going to handle certain situations. If you have worked really hard to lose weight and get fitter, then it is likely going to be very important to you to not slip back into old habits and lose momentum. It’s all about choices – and being happy with the choices that you are making. You know what you should be eating to keep your nutritional goals aligned, so why do you need to change it drastically just because you are away? Sticking to your usual way of eating is actually far easier than you might think (especially if self-catering) – hotels and restaurants offer a wide variety of food that are bound to fit within your criteria. The occasional holiday treat isn’t going to make much of an impact in all honesty. It’s only when you decide to indulge each and every day because, well, you’re on holiday, that it will start to impact adversely on your achievements. Alcohol, of course, is one of the biggest culprits to affect goals when you are on holiday because it seems to be one of those things that we have come to expect is part and parcel of relaxing, letting go, and just “being on holiday”. But it doesn’t have to be – unless you decide that it has to. Again – choices.
So don’t let the thought of a holiday start to create anxiety around your goals. Relaxation, sunshine and connecting with loved ones is just as important – and is great for stress relief and general wellbeing (which should be part of your overall goals). Decide what is and isn’t crucial to stick to and then set some boundaries for yourself (remember to tell anyone who is travelling with you that these are non-negotiable) so that you can cut yourself some slack, whilst sticking to your main priorities.
Above all…have a fabulous trip, wherever you are off to. You will soon be back to it before you know it, so relax and rejuvenate!
How do holidays affect YOUR goals?