Everyone needs a break – even from exercise and watching everything you eat – even trainers realize this (at least they should in my opinion). Summer vacations are meant to be fun and a break from your daily routine. In fact I just returned from my own summer vacation which we take every year. There was a lot of relaxing (as much as you can have with two kids in tow) and yes some good eating as well. I also got in a few runs and packed a set of weights, which my husband gave me a hard time about, but he understands me and went with it :). However, I did take a nice break from routine and feel re-energized, which is what a vacation is supposed to accomplish right?
There is a dark side however with returning from vacation – it can be hard to start back up with your exercise routine and good eating. Also the looming Fall related responsibilities coming up can shift our attention away from our goals. I say this b/c I too am preparing for Fall and the daunting task of the schedule changes with school, sports, clubs,etc… For moms, this is a very busy time of year!
So how do get back or stay on track?
My first bit of advice is if you have taken more than 2 weeks off, start back slowly. If you were exercising 5X a week before and then went to zero, it is best to start back slowly. Begin with 3X per week and go up from there. Easing back in for a couple of weeks will bring your commitment and focus back.
This also holds true for your eating plan. Saying “Once vacation is over I am going on a raw food diet and a cleanse” is not a good plan in my opinion. This is probably not a lifestyle choice you will stick with and will only create stress and disappointment if you can’t keep eating like that. When I got home from my vacation (and yes like I said I enjoyed the food very much!) I went to the grocery store and bought a lot of what I normally bought and started weaning myself off dessert. Eating healthy is a lifestyle , so just resume your “normal lifestyle” when you return. Take a few days to ease back into it, but stay away from crash diets or “cleanses” that are extreme.
Next set a new goal. For a lot of us it may be to lose those couple of pounds you may have added over vacation. That is not a bad goal, but I prefer positive goals to stay motivated. Try to increase the weight amount while strength training, add an extra day of of intervals, set a pushup goal, etc… By adding to your routine you will most likely see those extra few pounds come off without constantly focusing on it.
Finally step back and think of the big picture – you took a much needed vacation and now is the time to remind yourself why you want to be healthy and fit. Remember how good you feel and how much energy you have when you exercise and eat right. I realized while I was away that although it was fun to eat what I wanted, I started to not feel so great. I couldn’t imagine eating like this everyday all year. Once your body is used to eating healthy it becomes your new normal and you don’t feel good when you eat badly.
Don’t let your “normal” get off track!
Stick with your plan and remember why you started on this fitness journey in the first place!