Posted by Tammie Sarkozy in Motivation
Estimated reading time: 9mins
First of all, you have to weigh up the importance of your goal versus the holiday. For example, if you're midway through cutting for a bodybuilding show and are travelling overseas for 3 weeks (poor timing, but anyway...), your goal of competing is a high priority, so you have some serious sacrifices to make and planning to do.
Lucky enough, most of you aren't prepping for a show, so don't have a die-hard deadline looming over your holidays. Instead, most of you desire to get fit, strong, build muscle, lose some body fat or improve your health. None of these goals has a hard due date. Instead, these are all an ongoing improvement journey and can afford to be put 'on pause' for a week or so.
In your lifetime of improving health and fitness, you will never have a smooth run. You'll experience injuries, become unwell, work will get in the way, family commitments and so on. There are a million reasons you can't be perfect all the time, and holidays are one of them. Look at the bigger picture. Will one or two weeks kill your goal? No. Will eating out of a container while everyone else enjoys Christmas lunch be worth the sacrifice of a good time? Definitely not! It's impossible to achieve perfection every day without sacrificing your quality of life.
My solution? Pause those goals over your holidays. This is progress. This is a success. This is MANAGING your life to be the best you can while still LIVING.
Holidays are important. Even for those die-hard fitness fanatics who can't stay out of the gym, taking a step back is good for you both mentally and physically. Time to rest, time to recover and time to ignite a giant burst of motivation to pick it back up when the break is over.
Your goals are important to you, so we still need to plan to keep them insight.
Determine what you are likely to achieve over your break. If you're spending the holidays with other people, unless they want to train with you, you're going to be nobody's favourite person if you choose the gym over them. Let's be real; it's a little selfish to cut 'together time' short because you want to get your pump on.
Make realistic plans to maintain your goals.
Will you be in the mind frame to train? Holidays are about relaxing, and you might find when you get there, you realise you need some time out. The thought of exercising every day makes you feel anxious and then drives you to say, "screw it. I'm not doing any". A lot of people have the mindset they HAVE to train. They are a failure; if they don't, they'll get fat or lose all their gains in a week.
If you are smart about this, none of the above will happen, and you are definitely not failing if you decide to rest. Forcing yourself to train can make you resent exercise, ultimately resulting in the 'screw it' mentality. Again, this comes down to balance and what works best for you physically and mentally.
For those who want to train while away - bodyweight baby! Bodyweight workouts are easy to find online. Here are a few examples I’ve created for you:
20 tricep push-ups
20 banded hammer curls
20 banded tricep pushdowns
Rest 2 mins
3 x 20 bodyweight tempo Bulgarian split squats
3 x 50 banded hip thrusts
3 x 30 heels elevated cyclist squats
3 x 30 jump lunges
3 x 20 single leg calf raises
5 rounds for time
30 air squats
60 Russian twists
This is a simple tip but can be a massive time-saver, and time is of the essence during holiday training. So plan it before your trip and have those sessions ready to go!
Map out all the events or celebrations you have over the holiday. Pick the most important ones and choose to have a good time at these. The others can be about moderation. It is possible to have a good time without stuffing your face and getting wasted. Remember that.
Trying too hard can result in a dismal time (defeating the purpose of a holiday) or push you to break due to restrictions. People try so hard to 'be good' and end up saying "screw this" because it's too hard and then just let it all go. It doesn't need to be all or nothing. We have to be real here, and we have to live. Take the best of both worlds and have a good time in moderation.
Holidays are about relaxing, and that does not involve meal prep. Come to terms with eating a little more than usual. As long as you are being mindful for the majority of the time, you will be ok. Be prepared where possible, have food available if you can so you're not tempted or forced to get takeaway. This brings you back to moderation. Eating out every meal is likely to sabotage your body weight, so have food prepared.
Having foods available will force you to make better choices. Keep the chips and junk out of reach. If possible, don't bring them into your space at all. These snacks will keep you satisfied, so you aren't starving when you go out for dinner and order the entire menu. It's all about being prepared.
If you have a fridge, use it!
You don't have to eat out for every meal. This is a common thing people do when they go on holiday. If your goals are important to you, take control here. Again, moderation! Go out sometimes, eat at home most of the time. You have goals to achieve, so you will have to make some sacrifices.
Tracking your food while on holidays can be tough, so shift your focus to general health.
You might be on the other end of the spectrum, and you're worried you'll blow out. Easy way to keep you on track – accountability! Tell your mates, tell your coach, tell the world and announce it on social media. The moment you make your goals known, the more you are likely to stick to your game plan. Nothing worse than telling people you are going to achieve something and never get there.
So, to sum it all up, it's about balance. Life is always going to happen, so it's all about managing life well. Put the goals on pause, and once your holidays are done, you can hit those goals hard again and continue on the path of success!